“Some of the girls don’t look like they come from the provinces they represent,” said host Tim Yap’s now deleted tweet regarding last Sunday’s Binibining Pilipinas 2017 pageant. While it probably offended more people than it amused others (Tim has since issued an apology and explanation that he did not mean to offend anyone with his statement), there’s one interesting takeaway from it: It’s how much the discourse on Filipina beauty has evolved.
Yes, stereotypes may still exist, but now, more and more people defend the unique beauty of the Filipina (as evidenced by the majority's reaction to Tim's tweet). Yes, our country’s fascination with Western looks is still very much there (hence the obsession with skin whitening products and hair coloring), but now, the number of morena Filipinas celebrating the golden skin they’re in is increasing (remember how Bianca Gonzalez beautifully defended her daughter Lucia against an online basher?). Or perhaps they've just become more vocal? Either way, it's so refreshing to see how much Filipina beauty is appreciated now here on our shores.
And making the case stronger for Team #MorenaAndProud? Miss Universe Philippines 2017 Rachel Peters.
She may be half-British, but she’s all about being proudly Pinay. One scroll through her Instagram feed will show you that this is one lady who enjoys basking under our tropical sun.
Makeup may be a mainstay in her life as a beauty queen, but she’s also an advocate of the au naturel look.
She also definitely knows how to werq her dusky looks and emphasize her Filipina features.
Okay, we see those wheels turning in your head: “But Rachel has foreign blood!” “She’s an exceptionally beautiful woman so it really doesn’t matter what skin color she has.” “She has access to all beauty services possible because she’s from a well-off family.” “Some women are just born with ‘it’—it doesn’t matter what skin color you have.”
Here’s what we're what gonna tell you (note: the author isn't even morena, so there’s no vested interest here): Rachel is a lovely showcase of how beautiful the Filipina is, golden brown skin and all—but go look at that girl in the mirror, she’s just as fascinating. The success of the "real Filipina" beauty in an arena like pageantry should serve as great encouragement for you to step out of any shadow of insecurity you’re hiding behind (if you are). Because if Rachel can achieve her goals after working hard, so can you—never let anyone tell you otherwise. Be nothing less than #morenaandproud, because pretty girl, the world is in awe of the beauty from the tropics.
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Photographs from Instagram.com/rachelpetersx