Talk about empowered women and Nadine Lustre almost instantly comes to mind. Besides her talent and at-ti-tude, she is exemplary with her advocacies geared toward the environment, LGBTQIA+ rights, mental health, and self-love.
In her acceptance speech for the Young Critics Circle (YCC) Best Performer of 2018 title, the actress gave a powerful talk on the latter. “Kung mayroon mang mga pagkakataong walang naniniwala at bumibilib sa iyo, paniwalaan mo ang sarili mo. Hanggang kilala mo ang sarili mo, wala kang kailangang patunayan sa ibang tao,” Nadine said with conviction as she received her trophy. “At kung pilit ka naman nilang hatakin pababa at batuhin ng mga bato, huwag mo silang batuhin ng tinapay. Pulutin mo ang mga bato at gumawa ka ng palasyo.” Her words easily captured the praises of many, making the rounds online the following day.
[related: Beauty Inspo: How To Score The Perfect Selfie, Courtesy Of IG Queen Nadine Lustre]
A while after that memorable event, at the TVC shoot for her Pond’s commercial, Nadine opened up to ABS-CBN Lifestyle. “When I accepted my award for YCC, I said I realized the importance of self-love a long time ago,” she began. Like her fame and success, however, Nadine said it didn’t come easy. “Actually, when me and James (Reid) were starting pa lang, we were filming On The Wings of Love (OTWOL), it was a time na I didn’t know who I was anymore,” she said. “I was so lost. I would always read other people’s comments about me, about what they have to say about me, all their comments, even the styling. People would say I should dress ‘like this’ more. It was so hard because I am a creative person so I like having my own identity pa naman.”
All these, mused Nadine, eventually left her in low spirits. “It was really bad. I didn’t know how to take care of myself. I didn’t give enough for myself. I was always just giving and giving to other people,” she recalled, calling everything that happened a self-made trap. “I liked challenging myself in a way na it got really bad. Kunwari, sa gaming, mayroon kang high score and you want to beat that the next time. I was like that. I was always in a competition with myself.”
[related: Beauty Inspo: In Case You Need Summer Hair Inspo, Nadine Lustre's Got You]
View this post on Instagram
How Nadine got past this proved to be a huge effort. “One day, I just woke up and decided to stop being hard on myself,” she shared. “I was like, ‘Okay, I’m going to stop listening to what other people think about me, to what other people are saying about me, to what other people want me to do with myself, with my life, with how I look, and just do whatever I wanted to do.’” This, next to gratitude and contentment, led her leaping high toward genuine happiness and confidence she said that's now permeating within. “When this happened, naging okay na ako. I started getting to know myself better. Naging clear na sa akin kung sino si Nadine and yung kung ano talaga yung gusto kong gawin in life.”
For Nadine, rawness and honesty are paramount “in a time when almost everything is blurred,” as she put it. “Everything and everyone is on social media so eventually, you’ll get clouded sa image mo kasi online, some people just want to show the good side of things,” she observed. “Nowadays, you don’t even know who’s being real and who’s being honest. But ako, alam ko na ako ‘yun so whatever happens to me, I’m not ashamed to share it. I’m not ashamed of it. Whatever flaws I have, accepted ko, and I think that’s one thing that people like about me as well.”
Dare we say, Nadine, almost 26, is now at her fiercest. Dare we add, damn be the time she becomes apologetic for it.
“Whatever happens, whatever challenges that come my way, kahit ano pang ibato sa akin ng universe, deadma na kasi I know I’m going to get through it. I know the universe gave me that challenge because it knows I can handle it,” Nadine concluded. “So now, really, I just go with the flow.”
ALSO READ: #RoadToABSCBNBall: For Celeb Fave Vania Romoff, Giving Back Is Always Fashionable
Photographs by Vyn Radovan