VICTORIA: Hi, Singlestalk! With the recent wins of Beatrice and Tracy in national pageants, what type of water do we have here in Cebu that makes our ladies the fairest in the land? Well, I’ve got a girl-next-door for a best friend. Like her, I’ve been drinking water from the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) since birth and Nature’s Spring since sixth grade. But when a guy sees the both of us, he will talk to me and ask if my friend is single or not. Being the smartest in class and a champion debater, I am still not at par with a Victoria’s Secret model. I am still Victoria—secret model. What should I do? Please don’t tell me that what matters most is inner beauty. I’ve heard enough of that from my religious education teachers.
DJ: Have you tried not looking at the mirror to avoid seeing yourself? Just kidding. I never made it to everyone’s codified list of good-looking bachelors, and I’ve been drinking MCWD and its purified form for years! It’s not even Nature’s Spring. But there are points I’m surfacing, hopefully, so you can happily live ever after.
First, beauty has so many faces, an aggregate of qualities that exalts the spirit. A perfectly symmetrical face is just a part of it. So are one’s intelligence and kindliness. I’m not saying these because I have the face of a saint—a Saint Bernard. We both know flair is not only reserved for supermodels. People on the up and up—Beatrice, Tracy, Melinda Gates, Jacinda Ardern—included—are often whip-smart and determined with a heart.
Sure, there are narratives that support being pretty as self-confidence applied directly to the face. But we both know people who made a lasting impact in the world can have an hourglass figure with a few extra minutes. People are ultimately not defined by face, body type or skin but by who we are, our dreams and the value we create.
Second, be careful about comparisons. We all have strengths. Assuming you’re right that you’re not up to the imposed standard of beauty, you’re not the only one with a weakness. Nobody is perfect and no one is nobody. For sure, there are a lot of captivating things about you. Your debating skills can drop stuff—like my jaw. Your wit can sell Band-Aids with all the guys scraping their knees falling for you. What you talk about matters a lot. Do you know that intellectual agility and humor can make a person smoking hot? GSOH is said to be mandatory for any happy, long-term relationship. An equivalent to a peacock’s tail. Walk like you own it, because you do.
Third, give yourself the same level of tolerance and acceptance you give to others. Self-criticism lowers self-esteem as much as being overly critical about others can break them to pieces. You don’t cancel people because you think they’re awfully short or are like giants, or that they’re too curvy or too flat like surfboards. Why would you do that to yourself? I’m not saying you should stop taking a bath or eat more Oreo’s than vegetables. What I am saying is every woman is beautiful. It just takes the right person to see it. Let that sink in. Tape it to your mirror. Repeat it every day.
You are beautiful as you. And if others don’t see it, you don’t see it and you won’t see it, there’s little that people like me or MCWD or Nature’s Spring can do. You have to call Belo. Seriously, the skin won’t always be young and fresh. We’ll gain a little weight. Age happens. And at the end of our lives, we will be remembered for our intelligence, grit, kindness and compassion. These are the traits, too, that make us family and friends people treasure to be around.
Remember, many can capture the eyes but only few can capture the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye. According to the “Little Prince,” not my religious education teacher.