“You like cats too?!” Jennylyn Mercado excitedly asked me when she saw the cat tattoo on my arm and proceeded to tell me about her three fur babies. “I’m a total cat lady. Our room is like their room already.”
My colleagues and I would often talk about having those kinds moments with notable people we interview—like it’s somewhat a reminder that, oh, they’re really just like us. That phrase is overused but there’s no other way to put it. I guess this short exchange with Jennylyn is another example of that.
For her latest project, Jennylyn is the face of YOU x Max Factor, a campaign that promotes all kinds of beauty and not just what society dictates. Or, in Jennylyn’s case, what is perceived and expected of her as a celebrity. Aside from the cat comment, here are other #real things that I got out of my relatively quick chat with the singer-actress.
On becoming an actress after winning Starstruck in 2003
“Becoming an actress [was] an unexpected thing for me because I’m a shy girl. Like, I don’t approach anyone because of how timid I am.”
On people who ask women about what they’re wearing rather than what they’re doing
“It’s nice to know what celebrities are wearing and what’s on their face, and I don’t mind answering questions like that. At the same time, people should also get to know them because there’s more to them. It should be a balance of both.”
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On not conforming to impossible beauty standards as a celebrity
“Usually in the showbiz industry, the beauty standard is you have to be a little bit skinnier because you’re 10 pounds heavier on camera, and that your skin should be smooth. There’s like a certain look to achieve success. When I hear those kinds of ideals, I always say that I want to different and unique rather than going with the trend. There are no standards to beauty, everyone is beautiful inside and out.”
On being inspired by her fans
“It makes me inspired whenever [fans] tell me that they look up to me or that I’ve helped them in some way.”
On guaranteeing she’s not fake unlike what others might perceive
“Networks tell us actors what to show [on camera] and that’s we do because it’s job. But once the director says cut, I’m back to my natural side—the real me. [My manager] would attest that I’m not ‘plastic.'”
Art by Marian Hukom
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