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How I Embraced Being Morena

How I Embraced Being Morena

One of the most active forms of beauty standards that are still perpetuated in the Philippines is colorism. Filipinos continue to believe that you can only be beautiful if you have fair skin. As a morena, this was something that I struggled with greatly.

The Media and Morenas

As a morena, I was told that I have to be ashamed of my skin. The media told us the lie that to be beautiful is to be fair in order to sell more lotions. A viable exchange of young girls’ confidence for revenue and profit.

The media played a very important role in this misconstruction. For many years, they have placed “fair-skinned” actresses as the heroine. While casting dark-skinned actresses as the “villains”. Equating morena skin with villainy.

Unlearning

We were told that morenas can never be beautiful. Hurtful words are repeatedly thrown at me as a young girl. It took me a while before I actually came to terms with my own skin. Before I started to feel at home in my own body.

Before I could actually love my skin, I had to unlearn the reasons why I hated it in the first place. This is a process that took me years to perfect. In all honesty, I think I am still working on it.

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I think that I started to embrace my own skin when I started to view others without the lens of Philippine media. I started to observe commuters, girls I sit across to in coffee shops, and teachers, all with morena skin, all beautiful.

It was then that I realized that if they can be beautiful, why can’t I?

Now, I wear my skin as a badge of honor. A mark of my long Asian heritage… the skin kissed by the sun and our ancestors.

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