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Are Filipino women still being stereotyped to be beautiful based on weight and skin color?


It’s unfortunate that the standards of beauty applied to Filipino women are still based on weight and skin color. We can’t deny the fact that many Pinays feel the pressure to be thin and have white skin.

When it comes to weight, it’s downright tragic how most Pinays get obsessed with looking like waifish models rather than being fit. More often than not, they forget that being thin doesn’t necessarily mean that one is healthy. The “thin obsession” is so prevalent that it’s become part of Filipino pleasantries. Many Pinays greet their friends by saying, “Tumaba ka (You got fat)!” Before sitting down to eat, there are Pinays who announce, “Tumataba na ako (I am getting fat).” Such statements put an emphasis on vanity rather than health concerns. For instance, why can’t Pinays say, “We need to eat food that’s low in fat content”? Instead, many of them openly agonize about their weight in public. Of course, you can do that with your close friends, but it’s really not great to force strangers, new acquaintances, or your workmates to listen to you whine about your weight gain. It would be more proactive and empowering if you ask people for tips on how you can regain your healthy weight. Or you can always start going to the gym so you can actually get back on the fitness track.

When it comes to skin color, it seems that Pinays want to be white. At least that’s what beauty product manufacturers must be thinking. How else would you explain all the whitening products on our store shelves? It’s as if it’s a sin to have a darker skin tone. No matter how many times Pinays are told that skin color doesn’t matter—many of them still want to be white. Of course, there are also many Pinays who are content with their skin color—be it light, fair, or dark. Perhaps, those who think being white is all that should take inspiration from these women. That is, when they’re not busy trying out the latest whitening product that’s out in the market. It’s a “to each her own” issue—but hopefully all Pinays would learn to love the skin color they’re born with. Our tip: “Be comfortable in your own skin instead of trying to change it.”

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” So the saying goes. But, come to think of it, beauty is self-perception. You have to see yourself as beautiful first.

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