We should all know by now that beauty can never be bound by standards. We no longer accept the mindset that our beauty simply lies "in the eye of the beholder." Rather, we believe that it springs from within and shines outwards once we learn to accept and celebrate every part of ourselves.
When it comes to our crowning glory, we most frequently hear words such as "silky," "smooth," or even "straight" to describe beautiful and healthy hair. But what about girls with naturally voluminous hair? What are they to do when they see a shampoo commercial on T.V. with a model flaunting hair that's completely opposite to theirs?
For a young girl growing up, this could be a major source of insecurity. So for a boost of inspiration, we gathered three beautiful ladies who have learned to embrace their God-given mane and asked them how they powered through such distinctness that most people may repel.
For 17-year-old Shanne Dandan, a musician and senior high student at the University of Santo Tomas, her childhood years was a testament to how being "different" can be a real struggle. "I was bullied when I was in elementary kasi ako lang 'yung may ganitong buhok sa school namin," she narrated. "Pareho kami ng mama kong kulot, so kapag may PTA meetings, pinagtitinginan kami, pinagtatawanan." It even came to a point during her third grade where she would come to school with her hair tied up or hidden under a cap because she no longer felt comfortable with it.
Kara Subido, currently a Mass Communications student, felt the same pressure during her younger years. When her peers started getting hair treatments such as perming and rebonding, Kara followed suit without realizing the damage it would do to her hair. She also added, "At that time, feeling ko hindi ako 'yun."
24-year-old Kaye Calleja, a graduate of UST and now working as a digital accounts officer, also told us how she would have a hard time with her hair when she was part of her college chorale. The girls would usually style their hair uniformly during performances, and it came quite as a challenge for her. She recalled with a laugh, "Nahihirapan ako kasi kailangan ng extra effort para ma-flat yung buhok ko, eh hindi talaga siya nafa-flat!"
But when they started to see more big-haired girls and natural beauty advocates such as Alicia Keys and Zendaya on mainstream media, these girls knew better to start feeling comfortable with how they truly look. "I realized that I was forcing someone's opinion and standards on myself. I knew then that curly hair is beautiful, that it's my identity, and I should be proud of it." Kara shared.
Shanne had the same sentiment when she started discovering more of herself as an artist. She even asked herself why she would be embarrassed about her hair when others don't have to. Shanne thought, "Why would I hide something so natural and beautiful at the same time?"
They've also found a real sense of identity to the point where hearing comments or being called names no longer bother them. Kaye said, "Hindi na ako na-o-offend. At least, alam kong ako 'yun. Sino pa bang tatawagin nilang 'kulot' kung hindi ako, 'di ba?" She also advises, "Wear it loud and proud, kasi yung 'kulot', hindi siya derogatory. Ikaw 'yan, so you should own it."
Once you embrace your innate beauty, everything else follows. Shanne concluded, "Self-love starts when you accept what's natural in you. Kahit stretch marks pa yan or acne. It will change your attitude and help you with your confidence."
Truly, these fab femmes have inspired us to love every bit of ourselves. Just looking at how stunning they are with their natural tresses already makes us feel like there's nothing about us that we should hide! Whatever shape, texture, or length your hair is, wear it like the glorious crown that it is. Here's to celebrating our born-with-it beauty!
ALSO READ: #KababaeMongTao: Why Girls Should Never Hear This Sexist Statement Ever Again
Photographed by James Lopez
Styled by Madel Asuncion
Makeup by Janell Capuchino