The Philippines has come a long way in the subject of self-love. Gone are the days when we'd watch TV commercials blatantly promoting whitening products every day. Finally, more and more Filipinas are learning to fully embrace their natural skin color, and a lot of the brightest stars today are proud morenas that young women can look up to! It's a big step towards eradicating the society's unrealistic standards of beauty.
That being said, did you know that some of our unapologetically morena celebrities have also had their fair share of insecurities? Growing up, three of today's most sought-after leading ladies have experienced being rejected multiple times because of their brown skin—and while this admittedly affected their self-esteem, it was something that they were ultimately able to overcome. More than learning to embrace the skin they're in, they now continue to champion true Pinay beauty representation. Read their inspiring stories below.
Filipina Actresses Who Experienced Rejection Because of Their Morena Skin
Nadine Lustre recently opened up about how she used to receive a lot of rejection when she started in showbiz, citing her being morena as the reason why she was made to feel "ugly" growing up. "Before, I would go to auditions and VTRs and I would get rejected because of my skin color," the actress shared in an interview. "I always get bashed [for] it because I’m naturally morena. People would say na, ‘Ay she’s dark, she’s not beautiful.’ You know, as a young girl who was going through that, it made me feel na I was ugly and I wasn’t worth it.”
It's been quite a journey, but Nadine is now one of the biggest advocates of self-love, constantly using her platform to spread body positivity and shutting down bashers who used to make her question herself. “I guess now it’s different because I’m older and I know more. I’ve learned a lot of lessons along the way."
Even the former teen queen wasn't immune to naysayers. Kathryn Bernardo's open letter for her Preview cover story back in March 2017 went viral as she shared her struggles growing up, and it detailed how she used to worry during casting because she wasn't "tisay" enough and the fair-skinned candidates would usually get the roles she was auditioning for.
Three years later, the actress did another Preview cover featuring her sexiest photoshoot to date. Sharing the photos on her Instagram, the proud morena captioned, "As I turn 26, I celebrate everything that made me who I am today. I celebrate my body, which I’ve learned to fully embrace in my journey to self-love."
Gabbi Garcia is a proud morena beauty, but even she admits that her skin color actually used to be one of her insecurities. According to the actress, she experienced a lot of rejections when she was a kid because the local showbiz industry preferred girls with a fair skin tone, and that took a toll on her confidence. But instead of trying to whiten her complexion, Gabbi didn't let the experience keep her from embracing her natural skin color. "Doon ko na-realize the importance of loving yourself and your skin color, na hindi ka magpapa-sway sa ibang tao," she said in an interview.
In 2017, Gabbi appeared on the cover of Preview Magazine, highlighting her beautiful sun-kissed skin with the word "golden" boldly printed on it. "Iyon ata iyong unang beses na feel na feel kong tinanggap ako ng industriya na morena ako," she noted.