Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror? I don’t mean glance, like check-out-if-everything-is-in-place kind of look, but really look. If yes, what do you see? And if no, why? Personally, I can say that there are days when I’m feeling myself and I end up lingering in front of the mirror, celebrating my body. But there are days too when looking at a mirror seems more like a difficult chore, or a punishment. Our relationship with our own body can get complicated, especially for us ladies. For years, how we perceive our body has been dictated by society, mainly through media platforms. Fortunately, as more voices speak out against these harmful messages on body image, more media outlets and marketing campaigns have also taken the stand to promote body-positivity. For instance, some publications and brand advertorials have agreed to stop airbrushing models. Fashion and beauty brands and platforms have also become conscious about how they present their message or present the woman’s body in the public. While we celebrate these genuine efforts, we remain critical.
As body-positivity advocate Jameela Jamil said in an interview with Marie Claire, “It’s become a marketing slogan, and that’s not what it was originally for.” She explained,”It was supposed to be inclusive, and again now, it’s been taken over by very slender, often Caucasian women. And that’s fine, but they weren’t the reason that body positivity was started and needed. So it’s turned into just a way for brands to have an excuse to talk about women’s bodies some more.”
In the Philippines, we have also adapted this type of beauty standard. Thus, the pressure to become fairer, have facial features similar to Caucasian beauties remain. Here at Preen, we’re all for fighting against that type of thinking. We’re not saying Caucasians are less beautiful than Asians, or anything like that. We’re saying, we are all beautiful in our own ways, and we should celebrate our uniqueness. Yes, it’s okay not to look like models you see on billboards.
This is why we’re a hundred percent behind She Talks Asia, an organization whose values and advocacy we believe in. Founded and managed by a group of bad-ass ladies, girl bosses in their own right, they believe that the improvement of self is tantamount to the improvement of society. Part of their efforts is building programs and platforms that focus on education, dialogue, and community, with the aim of empowering individuals to work with or through their struggles and become the best version of themselves—thus creating leaders, innovators, and confident individuals that make better overall life choices. They use the power of dialogue and storytelling to connect with the public.
Part of their efforts is they hold conferences and speaker sessions that educate, empower, and inspire. They will actually have an on-ground culmination of the 12-month long awareness campaign, which will happen tomorrow, at Whitespace, The Body Love Revolution 2018. It will be one whole day dedicated to inspirational and informative speakers and community discussions about loving the skin you’re in, spearheaded by She Talks Asia co-founder Iza Calzado. With an aim to create a healthy relationship with our bodies; one that revolves around acceptance, kindness, and respect, it will feature discussions on “A Journey to Self-Love and Why it Matters” led by Iza Calzado, “Media and our Evolving Perceptions of Beauty” by Sara Black, Catriona Gray, and “Taking Charge of my Mind and Body” by Erwan Heusaff, among others. A Movement Workshop by Joey Atayde will also be available.
We hope to see you there tomorrow, as we all take the time to better respect, relate, and repair our bodies and body image. We owe it ourselves and our bodies, after all.
Art by Marian Hukom
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