Beauty is subjective, but whenever Celine Domingo walks in a room—with her tall stature, modelesque figure, and a glowing morena complexion—we can’t help but stare at her in awe. The fierce fighter on the court is proud of her features, and she’s not one to shy away from a genuine compliment. Her skin color, though, was a bait for ridicule back in her younger years. But dark is beautiful, and she didn’t let comments get in her head. It inspired her to embrace it even more.
With an Instagram following of more than 40,000 as of this writing, the 19-year-old often captions her photos with skin color positivity words. Just from her recent beach trip, there’s “Darker and darker and it’s okay. I love my colour,” in one, and, “S U N K I S S E D,” in another, written like an open love letter to the world. Celine means to contribute to the ‘morena is beautiful’ movement, and hopes girls with skin like hers will be able to fully embrace their color.
The Lady Tamaraw used to include the hashtag #MagandangMorenax on her Instagram posts. “So that people will know na kahit maitim ka, you can be beautiful in your own way,” she explains. She goes on to tell her stories from years back, like how people would tell her, ‘Mag-gluta ka,’ or ‘Mag-kojic ka,’ despite of her consistent protests. Of course, there were times when she thought of getting swayed by these remarks and wished she was born with a lighter complexion. But Celine knows what she wants—she wants to be her most natural self.
“Kung lahat ng tao gusto pumuti, ibahin ninyo ko. Eto ‘yung gusto ko, na isa akong representation ng Pinay,” she declares. Celine radiates confidence that’s infectious enough to start accepting one’s skin insecurities, too. Her advice? Just love yourself. “Ikaw lang magmamahal sa sarili mo,” the middle blocker adds.
Apart from the proper mindset, a little vanity goes a long way. It doesn’t have to be grand—forget 10-step Korean regimen or layers and layers of makeup. Celine starts with a good foundation, and it's not the cosmetic type. “Hindi ko ina-abuse yung sarili ko, like kunwari sa food. May allergy ako so kahit alam kong kaya ko pa, tama na. Important din na nakaka-acquire ako ng eight hours of sleep. And kailangan ng proper hygiene,” she shares. With her sensitive skin, she keeps her beauty routine simple with a non-drying cleanser and moisturizer, too.
Beauty shouldn't only be skin deep, and Celine agrees. “Beauty is not about the outside. It’s about the inner you. It’s really about the attitude—that’s real beauty,” she says. This volleyball star is a positive force, and it’s what makes her strong. She’s a breaker of stereotypes, and it’s contagious. Do a Celine and flaunt your best asset—your skin, no matter what your color is.
Photographed by Erwin Canlas
Creative Direction by Madel Asuncion
Art Direction by Mikka Caronan
Styled by Aldrin Ramos
Assisted by Daphne Aranilla and Sammie Rodriguez
Makeup by Janell Capuchino, Andi Sapina, and Jean Lim
Hair by Francis Guintu, Nikko Bruel, and Jhear Abellar
On Cel: Top by All Star at The SM Store, Jacket and pants by H&M
Catch the UAAP Season 81 Women's Volleyball games starting on February 16 on ABS-CBN Sports+Action.
ALSO READ: #TheStrongSide: These UAAP 81 Volleyball Stars Get Real On Embracing Their Truest Selves