Mind Your Own Body

Amidst all the Jelena posts, I was quietly drinking my bulletproof coffee and trying to go on a fast, I stumbled upon another Facebook post. The first line got me…

“Why do people feel the need or feel like they have the right to tell me I’m fat?”

A few more relatable rants until this part…

“I can’t be in my closet and say ‘Oh! Nice dress, I’ll wear this”. Instead, I’m always like ‘Nice, kaso sabihin nila ang taba ko”, or ‘Nice, kaso iju-judge nila ako’. So dapat magpapayat muna ako before I can happily choose what to wear and happily wear it?”

And that hit me hard.

Growing up, I was always a people-pleaser, someone who does not know how to say no and I know it might be off-topic but I am saying that to emphasize the impact of these traits on how someone sees themselves… and even if you grew up differently, I bet, even once in your life, you have been body-shamed.

167929_1737206382277_2136474_n

I have always had a small figure. I was a skinny child in my grade school days and I never really paid attention to my body as my Harry Potter books got me busy. Come High School, I may be timid but I wore what I please. First day of school, I wore a sheer halter dress and at 15, my mom let me wore a g-string. No biggie. Although I knew that in a conservative private school in the province, I would be the talk of the town for wearing such a “bold” outfit when everyone was in their shirts or pants. Bottom line is I OWNED MY BODY. 

30185_396462907098_3897647_n
Carefree, high school days (2005)
30185_396469982098_7597819_n.jpg
That was me wearing the blue shorts!
…not until I saw how the boys in our school make fun of a classmate for being “chubby” and for slowly realizing that for you to be a campus heartthrob, you have to be not just good-looking, you have to be thin too. I was a volleyball player back then, and I had the metabolism of a teenager but strangely enough, I started to watch what I ate. I remember me and my bestfriends would have lunch together and we would share on a chicken sandwich and unconsciously rant about how “fat” we were when in reality, we weighed 100 pounds, at most. Come to think of it, we were just brats who complained even if we have nothing to complain about. I was never really that pressured about my weight because as I’ve said, I had a metabolism that anyone would kill for.

31117_1451176208180_5450017_n.jpg
Come college, fastfood was life.
It was 2008 when I moved to Manila for college and gone were the days when homecooked meals were prepared for you. Fastfood meals were the most convenient and anyone could vouch that stress-eating is real, especially when finals and class presentations come your way. The only workout I did was to lift my spoon and fork lol. To add to that, date nights also consisted of food and so from 45 kilos, I gained 3, 4, 5 kilos and everytime I went back home to visit, I was always greeted the same way, “tumataba ka”, “uy nagkakalaman ka”, or “lumalapad ka ah”! I did not mind at first but man, when these comments just won’t stop… it starts to get to you. It’s as if you are defined by how you weigh. It’s the constant reminder in a tone where it seems it’s unacceptable to gain weight?

Take the comment on this photo taken 7 years ago as an example:

188430_1875753742353_6576133_n.jpg
2011, when I started to be continuously body-shamed
img_6364.jpg

Comments like these put SO much pressure on me looking good. I also remember being in a school team where someone made fun of me when I did floor exercises because I “looked heavy” and that time when a certain person saw me eating at the cafeteria and took away my plate with a “why are you even eating?” comment. I was never bullied my entire life so hearing things like this slowly has taken its toll on me. I was, at most, at 125 pounds then.

Since then, I hated wearing fitted clothes or any top that had no sleeves. There was a time that I just did not want to deal and hated going out. I hated looking at the mirror. “I have nothing to wear” became an everyday dilemma. I felt guilt every single time I eat. I knew in that moment, I did not own my body anymore. My body is owned by the picture-perfect people on social media, the judgmental stares and the passive-aggressive (and mostly unsolicited) comments about my weight, my arms, or my double chin.

I’ve come along way from college and as much as I wish to end this blog with me being a body-shaming survivor, I honestly think I still can’t say that. The photos below were those times that I tried so hard to lose weight… and I did. Only to gain them back again.

IMG_5524
NYC, 2014
img_2469-e1531306307736.jpg
Boracay, 2014
I currently have a love/hate relationship with my body. There are good days, but mostly bad. I gain some weight, I lose some. It is a very exhausting part of my life and mainly the reason why I’ve tried to work out even when I don’t want to, starve myself despite the headaches, then binge-eat at times and try every diet possible out there but I still look in the mirror and see someone who is never good enough. It’s the constant “ang taba mo ngayon” being the new “hello”. It’s the constant pressure to look good especially when you see all this beautiful people around you and believe me, I know that beauty is skin deep but until we learn how to redefine beauty in our culture by accepting beauty at all different shapes and sizes and people learning how to filter thoughts in their head and thinking about what and how to say it, there will always be people feeling bad about themselves.

IMG_6365.JPG
Slowly trying to be a bit kinder to myself this 2018
So next time you make age, gender, weight or skin be the intro for your small talk… why not bring some positivity to the conversation? Maybe next time when we are with our family or friends, let’s try to not give in to the body shame talk. Let’s stay positive, appreciate others’ bodies for all of the awesome things it can do. Tell others how awesome they are and how great that dress looks on them, or how glowing and young they look. It’s about damn time we lift each other up, girls!

And if you are still having one of those days, remember that we are smart and well-educated women who are kicking ass in this arena called life. We’re raising humans, running businesses and charities, and contributing on a larger scale than the women who came before us. Our bodies weren’t meant to look like they once did when we were in high school. Our bodies are designed to change and morph with age and babies so let’s all be kind to ourselves and eat that damn cake 😉

 

All my love! ♥

Advertisements

Of Drag Queens and Pride Month

I have always wanted to write about this one show that I have been obsessed with, and girl, when I feel the urge to write about something, it pretty much means I have strong feelings about it. It either made me cry, made me sleep thinking about it or it simply touched me. (Disclaimer: things may get a bit personal at the end of this post).

Successful shows pretty much have the same formula. Aside from the big shot cast; the drama, level of relatability, deeply felt characters and good cliff hangers usually lead to high ratings. This show had all these… and much more. It was one boring day when I was browsing Netflix and stumbled upon this show and ever since that day, I got hooked. I saw it’s thumbnail and I had absolutely no clue who this woman was on the cover. Man, I was in for a surprise when I pressed play.

f4659e89-5080-4d46-99b6-810710c657e1.gif

Yaasss!!! It’s RuPaul’s Drag Race!

And that woman on the cover? She’s a man.

9zcA

I have an obsessive personality: When I’m into something, I need all of it. Why eat one slice of pizza when you can have five pizzas, you know? This is what has happened with Drag Race.

First things first, I had no idea about drag. Two minutes in the show, I was honestly confused about what this show was all about and seriously took the title literally and thought it was about racing cars lol so when I finally pieced it all together, it made me feel super excited. I have watched reality shows from Project Runway to Masterchef and all that but this was a whole ‘nother level! One episode down and I could not stop watching.

landscape-1498167659-es-062217-entertainment-ru-paul-drag-race-finale.jpg

Before I talk about why I love RuPaul’s Drag Race, let me give you a quick background about the show. The show documents RuPaul in the search for America’s next drag superstar. RuPaul plays the role of host, mentor, and head judge for this series, as contestants are given different challenges each week. RuPaul’s Drag Race also has a panel of judges and guest judges who critique contestants’ progress throughout the competition. My queen Khloe Kardashian, Gigi Hadid and Lady Gaga made an appearance too!

CHARISMA

Boy, these ladies have such beautiful faces with or without the big wigs and heavy makeup. They just make you wanna stare at them ALL.DAY.LONG. And their transformations? Better be ready to pick your jaw up from the floor.

54426064d72ca05405edf17baa8adb3b.gif47ba8e504edd2e8ab86fc25e4db0f464.giftenor.gif

5a716cd73f079045fc2d15ce86ee427e

 

 

 

 

Riiiiight???!

UNIQUENESS

All these queens come in the competition with such big and different personalities. Black, white, asian, thick, slim, there are queens of every race, creed, culture and background imaginable which is such an amazing celebration of LGBT identities and diversity. Drag itself is diverse as well. There isn’t just one singular type of drag: there are comedy queens, pageant queens, artsy queens and so much more so just imagine mixing all these queens together in one show!!!

da3cd1011dfe8930abe696c3fce784da.gif

NERVE

…and the shade of it all. These queens are, in the words of the great Jaclyn Jose, “bitch ka lang, ako super bitch!” level!!! Their fights are so amusing and hilarious. I swear, you have never seen anything like multiple drag queens arguing. They’re super sassy and turn fights into the most entertaining ones.

Akwp.gif

tumblr_inline_nsxnzf5EKD1raim3h_500.gif

Tumblr_m8cpkvsEZC1qlvwnco1_400.gif

anigif_sub-buzz-18149-1494695754-1.gif

TALENT

For all those who don’t know much about drag like me, drag queens are men that use makeup, hair and outfits to transform themselves as women. Omg I even saw them put all kinds of glue on their brows so if you thought contouring was hard, imagine doing drag makeup.

But nope, these aren’t just men putting makeup on and walking in 5-inch heels. These are incredibly talented people who do crazy challenges from being impersonators to comedians to lip-syncing and dancing. THEY ARE INCREDIBLE AND THEIR TALENTS ARE OFF THE CHARTS.

tumblr_lzh4jajgMM1qbzqexo1_500.gif

They may be born males but they all have C.U.N.T.s (get it, get it?)!!! 😜

I guess the bottom line of this blog is how this show is a great platform to entertain and preach messages of acceptance and love. A big part of this show, almost as big as the competition itself, is the personal stories of each contestant. Queens discuss coming out, family reactions, past tragedies and their journeys, each with hardships. Season 5’s Roxxy Andrews broke down discussing how, as a child, he and his sister were abandoned by their mother at a bus stop. Trinity K. Bonet from season 6 came out as HIV-positive. And, rather than defining them, these and other admissions become just one more reason that they all support each other through. I mean..

giphy (1).gif

We’re dealing with people who have been shunned by society and have made a life regardless of what anyone else thinks of them have decided. It shows the strength and resilience of the human spirit, which each of us watching relates to. And I root for them. I think that’s what’s so captivating about it, seeing how these beautiful creatures have managed to prevail despite how cruel our world may be.

It’s got more heart than any other show on TV—reality or otherwise.

And I think this is why I have such strong feelings about it.

Growing up, I have witnessed family and friends go through such a hard time coming out of the closet and it boggles me… WHY. Why do these lovely people have to experience fear and anxiety and shame when they are just being themselves? I saw the hesitant look of a cousin when all his partner wants is to hold his hand in the mall, I saw the pain in a friend’s eyes when she is forced by her own family to a place of healing to be “free” from this “disease”, I saw how an uncle continuously try to go day by day trying to hide who he really is, I saw a co-worker’s hope go down the drain day by day when he can’t seem to find the love he deserves, I can feel the fear that my sister tried to hide when she realized that her life was not “normal” and when things like these happen…

tenor (2).gif

Like, I literally feel as if I was the one experiencing it. We are our Heavenly Father’s sons and daughters, all equal in His eyes. We are family and didn’t Lilo once said, “family means no one gets left behind”? So if the straight ones can show love to whoever they please, why can’t our gay brothers and sisters do just that?

This is why in any way that I can, I try to affirm everyone that I can reach, be it personally or in social media. I remember that there’s this acquaintance of mine who came from the same province as I did, we really haven’t talked personally but I always make it a point to leave comments or messages whenever he is on drag or when I simply see him so confident by just being himself. So if you’re reading this, I’m so sorry if I come off as feeling close. Hahaha! But I just wanna say that I am just so damn proud of you!

I am a very strong LGBT advocate and I want nothing but love and acceptance for all our brothers and sisters. I believe in equality and I think my personal goal is to shine a light on those who don’t get paid much attention, or get paid the wrong kind of attention. I pray for the day when we all try to be kind to ourselves and to one another and throw kindness around like confetti ♥ I hope we all believe that it’s possible to find love for others—and ourselves—despite all of the crap and the pain and the heartbreak we go through in life. Sometimes we put ourselves through all of that, creating obstacles that stand in our way simply because it’s easiest to set ourselves up for failure. That’s exactly what we should avoid—whether you’re in a dress or a suit. Loving yourself has to come first; once you’ve got that down, you can accomplish anything—such as looking at the bright, beautiful world around you and telling those who stand in your way to fuck right off.

Whew. That was a lot for one post! I KNEW I’d get emotional!!!

So to end this blog, I would leave you with this beautiful question from Mother RuPaul:

b711cc7df3002ec87f07cbb3bbe0a2ee.jpg

Can I get an amen??? 😊

 

 

All my love! ♥