TV host Bianca Gonzalez-Intal once again expressed her pride about being morena through a series of tweets, in the midst of the launch of a skin whitening brand's ad campaign.
The advertisements, which came out online and in billboards, come across as a put-down on individuals who are dark-skinned.
"Just a note from a Filipina with brown skin since birth: There is no problem AT ALL sa mga gustong magpaputi. The problem is when whitening brands make us look "kaawa awa" dahil lang maitim kami. Kasi, hindi po kami kawawa, maganda ang kulay namin."
The mom of two revealed that she has this mindset because of beautiful role models she had growing up.
"I grew up loving my brown skin because of beautiful women like Angel Aquino and Tweetie de Leon who proudly flaunted their brown skin. I looked up to them. I did not need to compare myself to fair skinned girls. It need not be a "battle" of maitim versus maputi."
Bianca also tweeted that as a mother, she will teach her daughters Lucia, 3, and Carmen, 5 months old, the real meaning of beauty, which has nothing to do with one's skin color.
"I now have two daughters, and both of them are morena. When they grow up, choice nila kung magpapa-tan or magpapaputi sila. But what I will teach them is that being brown is not something "shameful", and being brown is not something that makes them less beautiful than others.
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On Instagram, Bianca also posted a throwback photo of her nine-year-old self and captioned it, "Hey 9-year old me, you do you, brown skin and all. Kahit ano pang sabihin nila, ang pagiging maitim, hindi kapintasan. #proudmorena"
On the other hand, preggo mom Rica Peralejo-Bonifacio was more straightforward in calling out the skin whitening brand that owns the controversial ads.
"Glutamax, why so tone deaf? Suspecting problem is a toss between the two: tone deaf owners or founders insistent on the direction or tone deaf agency/comms department who sold what seemed a brilliant concept to the execs."
Over the weekend, skin whitening brand Glutamax unveiled that they were behind the teaser ads that have begun appearing on billboards along major thoroughfares in the city early April. The teaser ads seemed to question the "unfair" advantage fair-skinned individuals have over others who are brown-skinned, but later added the brand name and the copy, "'Wag magalit, mag-GlutaMAX!" — a message that didn't sit well with netizens.
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Mom of three Marie Field-Faith, who owns children's boutique brand Pottly N Tubby, added her voice to the discussion with an Instagram post about her own experience as a morena individual, saying it was only when she went overseas that people appreciated her color.
"We’ve talked about equal representation in terms of body type. How about our natural skin colour?
"I don’t know if you’ve experienced the same thing, but for me, I only really found people appreciating my morena skin colour once I left Uni and went overseas to work. Suddenly, everyone loved my colour! But when I returned here, I couldn’t buy any product without whitening on them! Even feminine wash has whitening. What are we whitening there?!"
Marie is hopeful that someday soon, we Filipinos will learn to take pride in our beautiful skin color.
"One day I hope we learn to love the rich honeyed colour of our skin. That one day we won’t need to reach for that whitening lotion/deodorant/soap/face cream because we think our sun-kissed skin tone needs to get bleached out. That one day we embrace this natural golden beauty blessed upon us. One day.
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"Time to change this narrative before our kids have to live thru this warped beauty standard too!"
Inspirational speaker Anthony Pangilinan, meanwhile, calls the ad a "mistake," and urged the skin whitening brand to apologize. The dad of five tweeted that "People 'conversing' about it isn't success," and emphasized that publicity, in this case, isn't doing the brand any good.
"Just take it down @MyGlutaMAXPH. We all make mistakes. Your mistake is capitalizing on harmful ideas that hurt and destroy people, especially our young. And people “conversing” about it isnt success. Just take the campaign down and apologize. The cost increases by the minute."