“Filipina beauty is one with rounded face, not of the oval type. The eyes should be exceptionally lively, not the dreamy sleepy type that characterizes the Mongolian. The nose should be of the blunt firm and strongly marked. The mouth plays a very important part in the determination of a beautiful face. The ideal Filipina beauty should have a sensuous mouth, not the type of the pouting mouth of the early days. So the ideal Filipina should not necessarily be white complexioned, nor the dark brown color of the typical Malayan, but of the clear skin or fresh colored type which we often witness when we met a blushing girl.” –Fernando Amorsolo
What really is Filipina beauty? Is it characterized by a fairer skin commonly known by Filipinos as “meztiza”? or is it an olive skin known as “morena”?
Since childhood, it has been already instructed into our minds that if you have fairer skin, you are beautiful. Me myself take a lot of whitening products such as lotion, cream and even soap. Admit it or not, we go crazy for whitening technology. But why do Filipinas consume themselves with lots of whitening products? For me, the reason is because when we see a meztizas, we think of her as clean, fresh and smells good. Not only that. Relating to fashion, we have this mindset that a meztizas can wear any color of clothing and any make up looks good on her—– the exact opposite when we see a morena.
In the U.S and in Europe, being tan is their definition of beauty; pale is not attractive to them. A number of Hollywood stars consumed themselves with self tanners and bronzers. Nevertheless, there are tons of morena beauties that gave pride to our country and showed other Filipinas that being morena is something to be proud of. Who would forget the one and only Nora Aunor who made her talents a tool for being a superstar, Anna Bayle surprised the runway, and became “The First Asian Supermodel” in the West and also Danica Magpantay who shined brighter than the rest because of her olive skin and won as a “Ford Supermodel of the World” Today’s beauty queens Venus Raj and Shamcey Supsup, and recently Bb. Pilipinas Janine Marie Tugonon? And also to name a few stars today who didn’t join the whitening bandwagon such as Lovi Poe, Bianca Gonzalez, Bubbles Paraiso, Michelle Madrigal, Isabelle Daza and Angel Aquino.
Advertising is a big part of this. The more the media shows that being fair is more beautiful, the more Filipinas will crave for something that they don’t have. But is it really because of the media? Or is it something personal?
Meztiza, morena, chinita or even half-breed, Filipina beauty is more diverse. After all, we are occupied by big colonizers. However, for me it’s not at colonial mentality that it is more deeply rooted. I believe it is not about how we look but how we see ourselves.