pinoy perception of beauty
Saturday, May 21, 2005 @ 2:52 PM 0 comments

Isn't it odd how the pinoy perception of beauty is defined by what's new and what's hot? Just like in the celphone industry, do you remember the time when nothing could be more techie-savvy and more fashionable than large-sized analog phones? Then as the digital phones cropped up, no one ever paid attention to analog phones again. You are not considered 'in' if your phone is not equiped with a camera.

In fashion, wasn't it considered sexy for a time when you wear large colorful belts and paddings right on your elbows? Try doing that today and for sure all eyes will be on you as if you have killed someone's mother. Then do you remember those ridiculous elephant pants? I swear to god, you're gonna laugh your heads off when you see yourself wearing a pair of that in a picture five years from now.

It's also funny how the Philippine Cinema and Television dictates what looks great and what doesn't, what's hot and what's not or what's in and out. Back in the early decades of the Philippine development, when the colonial mentality is truly rampant, nothing more than a mestizo or mestiza can be allowed to be called a beauty. Us filipinos, being commonly dark-skinned, doesn't really belong to that category and it's really strange that we ourselves back then don't consider our own self a beauty. We have inherited the notion that we are indios and just because of that we had always considered a sunburnt skin in constant inferiority to the whites.

Take the case of my bestfriend, Jules. In the mid-90's, when Mexican telenovelas dominated the Philippine Television airtime and Thalia was the most beautiful woman alive, he hitted for girls with hispanic beauties which eventually lead him to Vanessa, his first real love, who really has the look of a Spanish soap opera queen. Their dramatic love story ended in tragedy just as the flair for Mexican telenovelas did, and just in time for the birth of another epoch, the Asian drama series.

The new 'mania' really didn't offer any difference except that the Asian invasion (Philippines not included) also dominated the worldwide cinemas with the consecutive showings of different Asian films almost always having the same genre: horror, that some of the movies produced were even remade in Hollywood, indicative of the fact that Asian movies, indeed gained a lot of notice. Though some have also succesfully produced romantic Asian flicks, such as the phenomenal My Sassy Girl among others, the drama type was given more attention on television.

And subconsciously, as if on cue, Jules began looking for girls with rosy pearl skins and eyes that disappear when they smile, almost in perfect resemblance to the 'hot item', Sandara Park. And currently, he's going out with Shiela Marie, a girl he knew from way back in grade school and who exudes the beauty of a Korean chic, purely Asian- a trait considered beautiful just recently.

Then I began to wonder when the true Filipina beauty will get the spotlight on her or if that will ever happen, knowing that Filipinos are combination of mixed races. And now that our own local dramas have been replaced with Asian 'canned' telenovelas, I don't feel certain anymore if the Filipina stands a good chance to get noticed. I don't even know who among our local celebrities gives out the true Filipina beauty.

And if you will look at it geographically, you will see that the Pinoy perception of beauty has been getting nearer and nearer. From Latin America (Mexican Telenovelas), we went to Taiwan (Meteor Garden) then swerved a little bit to Korea (Lovers in Paris, Full House). I just hope it would go a little bit back to the Philippines and give the Filipina her time of day before it heads further to the Bollywood of India. Oh, God forbid.



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