Morena Is Beautiful: 22 Stunning Filipinas Who Embrace Their Skin Color
Flaunt that tan; don’t hide it!
A typical television commercial promoting skin whitening products would go a little something like this: A young woman exits a building and steps out into the street. She looks down at her arm and gasps: “Konting araw lang, iitim na agad?! [Just a little sun exposure and I’m dark again?!]” She hurries back to where the shade is, stuck, with no choice but to wait out the sun.
A fairer, happier looking woman appears. She just so happens to be walking around the street with a bottle of skin whitening lotion, which she then hands over to the problematic young lady with a phobia of the sun. The TVC ends with both girls walking down the street with the sun above them and not a worry in the world. Dark skin days are a thing of the past, so evidently they stroll down the street with glee. Thank you, skin whitening lotion brand A. You’ve addressed a pressing beauty concern.
Another commercial shows a celebrity caressing white curtains in her living room (as you normally do before dressing up, right?). She then begins to caress her skin with her voice-over saying: “I love white. White is clean. White is pure. White is beautiful.” The ad ends with the star expressing she is “at her most beautiful” when she uses skin-lightening products.
Another A-list celebrity, meanwhile, twirls around under the sun in her television commercial sporting a papaya-colored dress (quite predictably to promote her papaya skin whitening soap). She sings: “Para sa puting pang-diyosa [for fair goddess-like skin.]”
It’s the stuff of cringe videos, really, but this idea of beauty has been ingrained so heavily in Filipino culture that no one bats an eyelash anymore…not until fairly recently, at least.
Whether a blatant disregard for or indirect insult to morenas, Pinays are no longer taking this lying down. And it’s high time the beauty ideals of Filipino women evolved.
This in no way is a dig at those who are fair-skinned; no, not at all. This is a call for a beauty revolution beyond the aforementioned evolution: that all Filipinas are beautiful regardless of skintone. And it’s about time morenas were given a seat at the table. Tan looks healthy, vibrant, full of life and youthful. Tan is beautiful. Tan doesn’t make you look dirty, flawed or poor (as several skin whitening brands so grossly imply).
"Tan is beautiful. Tan doesn’t make you look dirty, flawed or poor (as several skin whitening brands so grossly imply)."
Here, we celebrate 22 beautiful Filipino women who have nothing but love for their gorgeous tan skin. We’re rooting for you, team morena!
Leila Alcasid, @leilalcasid
via @parulshahofficial on Instagram
Angela Martinez, @angelasburgers
Certainly, there still exists a high demand for skin lightening products, but perhaps the key is to shift the focus to creating a desire—greater than that demand—to love the skin you were born with. Thanks to these bronze goddesses, the dialogue is already changing.