I recently saw a news report from my country, Philippines, where a young woman died due to overdose with slimming pills. The 19-year-old woman was scheduled to participate in her last beauty pageant and decided to purchase slimming pills online. She took more than what she’s supposed to take and started vomiting, suffered extreme stomachaches and eventually died couple of days after. After seeing this video on social media, I commented and expressed how I felt about the issue:
Kahit FDA approved pa yan (though it was approved by FDA), any medicine taken more than the recommended dosage, makakasama padin (will still cause harm) and unfortunately in this case, nakamatay (death). The main reason why women in the Philippines stress over their weight and image is because of the standard and the pressure society is putting upon them. Women feel pressured to lose weight and look as skinny as the women on tv because they see a lot of models and/or artista (artists) in the showbiz (entertainment industry) complain about their image or their weight even though they’re already “skinny”. May mga artista/models, ang payat na tapos (There are artists that are already skinny then) publicly magrereklamo (complain) na “Ang taba ko na!” (“I’m so fat!”) “Kelngan ko na magpapayat” (“I need to lose weight!”). Of course map pressure talaga mga tao (some will feel pressured). Change the way you think and that change must start from the people in the public eye.
I’m not gonna lie. I’m one of those people who feel pressured to look a certain way. Slowly and surely, I’m trying to change my way of thinking. News like this makes me really sad because I know what these young women are going through. I may not know EXACTLY what they’re thinking, but I pretty much have an idea. I came that close to doing WHATEVER, and I mean WHATEVER it takes just to get “skinny”.
Take this post as my informal letter to those who feel insecure about their weight or how they look, those who feel pressured to look a certain way. It’s normal to be insecure. It’s human nature. We want to look like those women we see on tv, billboards, and magazines. There’s nothing wrong with them at all. Most of them work so hard to look that way. However, let’s not make them the standard of beauty, because as cliché as it is, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.
People thought I looked sick and malnourished when I was at my lowest weight, while others thought I was sexy. When I started gaining weight and muscles, people thought I looked too muscular and manly, while others thought I looked strong and…..sexy. You see, either way, I looked sexy. It really depends on who’s looking. The only consistent thing during both times was me hating on myself, feeling insecure.
What I’m trying to say here is that it doesn’t matter what other people think of you. You have to love yourself. You have to accept how you are and who you are as a person. As long as you’re healthy and you’re taking care of your body, it doesn’t matter if you’re a size 00 or size 12. Remember that what other people think is irrelevant. Loving yourself and appreciating who you are have to start from YOU. Once you learn to accept everything about you, flaws included, you will feel confident and that confidence will make you look and feel sexy.