On Being 'Morena'

by - January 25, 2016

I have always been bullied as 'maitim', 'negra', 'negneg', etc. For a time, I hated my skin color. I hated how I look. I always get that joke, "Madilim na, baka hindi ka na makita.", or "Huwag kang magsuot ng itim, camouflage na yan." Or worst, "Maganda ka na sana kaya lang ang itim mo." I have been the laughing stack of my family and friends.

Moreover, living in a country where having a porcelain skin tone is considered more beautiful, or where mestizas are the standard of beauty for most Filipinos, made the case far worst. I lost my self-esteem. It felt like a mortal sin having a brown skin. So when I was in college, I opted to use whitening products. I tried whatever I see on the ads or whatever my mestiza friends are using. I let myself fall into their curse that I am no good because I am 'maitim'.

But then one day I realized, what have I been doing trying to live up to everyone's preference and expectations? It was at that point where I discovered that there are so many people from other races trying to get the skin color that I have whilst here I am, wanting to be like them. That's the irony, isn't it? So I started embracing and appreciating what I always have - this brown hue. Let me mention how brown skin sometimes turn into golden-brown when exposed at the beach and that is one thing I love the most, always looking so sun-kissed!

In anyways, being morena does not make anyone less of a person. Mestiza ka man or morena, it doesn't define who you are. Black, white or brown, a person's worth is not to be judged by her skin color. And we should love and embrace whatever God-given glow we have.

Now, I can proudly say that "Kayumanggi po ang kulay ko."

Okay, I said too much again. Kbye.

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