Living in a country full of celebrities with fair skin, glossy magazines mostly dominated by Caucasian models, and advertisements selling you products to make your skin whiter, learning to love your morena skin is definitely a struggle. It’s no secret that here in the Philippines, women with fairer skin have always been perceived as more attractive, while us brown-skinned are always pushed to the side and even get made fun of for looking the way we do.
In a society that thinks that ‘the fairer the better’, it’s a challenge to accept and love the skin you were born in. And with this problematic narrative, it’s almost as if we were taught to hate how we look.
Actress, celebrity, and multi-hyphenate Nadine Lustre is no stranger to this feeling. She may now be one of the biggest names in our entertainment industry but at one point, she was also just like us: an insecure morena girl who vigorously rubs whitening lotion to her skin every night, hoping to finally achieve the fair complexion she dreams of.
But not anymore.
Hating her own skin
In an exclusive interview with MEG, Nadine fearlessly talked about her past insecurities, admitting that she used to care so much about what people think of her, especially when they talk about her complexion.
“Honestly, when I was starting out in showbiz when Diary ng Panget came out, and especially as someone relatively new in the industry, I used to listen to what people would say about me,” she revealed. “People would always be like ‘Oh, she’s too dark’, ‘She’s not mestiza‘ and I would get affected, because let’s face it, majority of the people here really believe that being mestiza is the standard.”
Because of this, Nadine did everything she could to achieve the standards of beauty our society believes in. “I used to listen to what they say about me. So I would take gluta, and use scrubs to make my skin fairer.”
Loving her morena self
After years of trying to change herself, Nadine eventually learned to love herself in such a way that other people’s comments don’t matter to her anymore. “I realized what other people think of me and what they say about me, it doesn’t really matter as long as I stay true and love myself. Now, I know myself, I love myself, and that’s when I learned to embrace my complexion.”
“I’m naturally a morena. And I’m proud to say that,” she said with so much conviction. From being the girl who used to dream of having fairer skin, Nadine learned to embrace and celebrate the complexion she was born with. And she wants you to do the same, too.
For her fellow morena women, Nadine wants to tell you this important message: “Here in the Philippines, there’s always comparison between mestizas and morenas so just love the skin you’re in and be yourself. There’s no need to be embarrassed and be ashamed of our complexion. Everyone’s beautiful, no matter what color it is.”
With fair-skinned women dominating the media, it’s refreshing to see someone like Nadine Lustre: a bronze-skinned goddess who went from wanting to change her own color to fully embracing and celebrating it.