It’s a great time to be a woman, they say, as we now live in a world that stands for more inclusivity when it comes to the definition of beauty. Such was then limited to the unrealistic ideals portrayed on social media. And body shaming being a norm was another story altogether.
Even Pinoy Big Brother alumna-turned-actress Dionne Monsanto is no stranger to being judged for her looks, and it was mainly brought about by the antagonist roles she plays on television and film. “I used to get bashed a lot. They said mean things about my body—that I’m short or that I have a ‘slap-able’ face. I used to go to the mall alone and someone would just cuss me. I was pinched by people out of their hate for my character,” Dionne, who used to star in the series Tubig At Langis, opens up to ABS-CBN Lifestyle. “There was a time that it really did get to me and affected me in a negative way.”
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Admittedly, Dionne grew up insecure about her body. “I was and still am short, dark, and petite,” she muses. Having enough of it, she says she had to turn that feeling around by working out hard. She now does boxing, lifting, and lagree—a high-intensity, low-impact workout that strengthens one’s core and endurance. But of it all, she says she relied on meditation. “Meditation is an amazing thing that I did to change my perspective on things. It wasn’t just good for my mind, but for my body, too."
It isn't all about exercise for Dionne, who says one of the best decisions she's ever made is going vegetarian. "I wish I had done it when I was younger. I feel lighter and kinder now," she says.
Her perspective followed with this change. "It’s the law of attraction—what you give out always comes back in," she declares.
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Although she looks up to co-actress-turned-friend Cai Cortez (“She is one of the most confident people I’ve met and she has no issues with her body") and influencer Angel Jones ("She helped me in making me realize that imperfections are beautiful"), Dionne herself can be considered these days a fitness inspiration in and out. She does have a powerful piece of advice when it comes to those still dealing with body shaming and such. “Part of our journey is seeing the bad in the good and turning it into seeing the good in the bad. Strive hard to get to the latter,” she says. “More importantly, the real secret is: acceptance and happiness. These combined just makes people more beautiful, no matter what size, shape, or color they have.”
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Photographs taken from instagram.com/dionne