Denise Laurel recently opened up about being bullied because of her lips. The actress shared her first holy communion photo on Instagram and wrote: "I still remember a lady from the photographer's team kindly putting lipstick on me [because] she said she liked my lips."
Denise recounted, "Some kids started making fun of me calling me "Duckie," "Mojacko," "Arrow Lips," and "Petrie" (from the movie Land Before Time), and when I got in the swim team, people called me "Baluga" or "Charcoal" and that lasted for years even before that incident."
"I remember trying not to cry before this picture and wiping the lipstick off. Kids can be mean but we can teach them better," she wrote.
Because of her lips, Denise said she had to learn how to talk and smile while folding her lips until she embraced herself and stopped caring.
The actress also said that she couldn't get casted in some roles because her features were "distracting" or "fake." She added, "Carry lang [because] what's meant for you will always be yours. And naging uso din."
Denise continued, "I'm sharing this [because] naalala ko lang this was ages ago. Not to fish for compliments, but I thought of you! I see when you guys comment about being bullied about many things. Sharing this to encourage you [that] there's no such thing as normal. The fake standard of beauty changes every couple of years, fashion can be fickle or repetitive but their standard has nothing to do with you!"
"You are perfectly imperfect just as you are and made with so much thought and love! There’s only one [of] you! What's different about you is what makes you unique! Embrace it! When you do, no one can do anything about it and we teach them to embrace themselves and be kinder to themselves as well," Denise wrote.
Denise encouraged women to embrace their individuality and said that we should create a cycle of compassion for ourselves and others.
She added, "I know a lot of you ladies can relate! See you guys commenting about your lips and being bullied for then. It was all a test to reinforce your appreciation for yourself and bring us back to gratitude! Enjoy them lipzzz! Or your height or shape. Ilantad niyo na! It's your one life. Their opinion can't live your life for you. I love seeing people [be] unapologetically themselves! Go!"