Celebrating Real Beauty & Glowing Skin

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I believe it’s almost every girl’s dream to see her face on a billboard, especially for a beauty product. It’s perceived as a major affirmation of being beautiful. (Although, of course, you don’t need to be in a billboard to feel beautiful, we all know it’s a big bonus!)

I grew up using Dove products because I have very sensitive skin and Dove has been one of the gentler brands available in the market. What sets Dove apart, though, is their advocacy. I’ve also been such a fan of their Campaign for Real Beauty and the ads they come out with (e.g., especially this one about body love). I remember watching their first series of ads (Remember the “True Colors” commercial?) and ending up teary-eyed because I was so inspired to love and appreciate myself more in spite of my insecurities. I ended up wishing that someday they’d launch the same campaign in the Philippines and they did shortly after.

Little did I know that years later, they would be coming up with a huge campaign showcasing the diversity of Filipina looks. Recently, I was one of the lucky girls to be featured in the first Dove Glowing Skin mosaic billboard after submitting a photo through their Facebook application. I sent in a photo taken by my photographer friend Carlo Cabral and about a week later, got called for an interview for their new campaign.

I was so grateful for being given the opportunity to share my story with Dove. Medical students are thought to have boring lives and zero time to take care of themselves so I felt privileged that Dove actually took the time to listen to my story and to appreciate my look. My skin was generally cooperative and even if a small zit suddenly popped out on the day of my interview, it didn’t hamper my confidence at all.

A week later, I was so excited when they sent a message that I get to be a Dove girl! In the same batch of girls was my friend Dior, also a fellow medical student. It felt really awesome being part of that and knowing that Dove is making a difference in advertising by making Filipinas feel great about themselves in knowing that ordinary girls can make it to billboards next to actresses and supermodels. It makes me really happy about their continuing efforts in promoting confidence in the Filipina beauty.

Our batch of Dove girls will have our photos up from September 17 to 23 (Sunday), after which a couple of batches will follow until the campaign ends on November 30, 2012. The Dove LED billboards could be found at EDSA Northbound, Paragon Building in Boni, Mandaluyong and EDSA Southbound, near New Horizon Hotel, Boni. (I have yet to see the billboard and I hope I do so before Sunday!)

Here’s an online version of the LED slideshow:

By the time the campaign ends, 200 women will have been featured! So you, too, can get the chance to be a Dove girl! Use Dove for at least 7 days and upload your photos at Dove’s Facebook page. I know I have lots of pretty friends in all sizes, shapes, and shades so do join and help Dove get the message across and, at the same time, live your dream of being in a billboard! Photo submissions are until the end of October, so if you haven’t been using Dove yet, now’s the time to start!

Special thanks to Dove Philippines for this wonderful opportunity and for sending me a photo of my part in the mosaic! They should know that this means so much to us real girls.

Show me some love by dropping me a mention [@GolightlyMD] at Dove PH’s Twitter account [@DovePH] with the hashtag #DoveGlowingSkin!

Here’s to celebrating real beauty and healthy, glowing skin!

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Team Manila Q4 2011

Dug up this behind the scenes video for one of Team Manila’s lookbooks last year. The shoot involved a lot of jumping as we tried to keep a poker face in mid air. Most physically tiring shoot I’ve had to do, in my opinion. :p

Here are the published photos:

Note to my 19-Year-Old Self

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I wrote this blog entry when I was an angsty 19-year-old, too eager to belong in a serious relationship. I had so much to learn back then about boys and dating, just like any other teenage girl who felt “not too young and not too old.”

There are times when I want to be single—unattached, tied to nobody, not having to update to someone where I am and who I’m with and what my plans for the day are.  But there are times when I want to be in an official relationship—bringing my guy to lunch-outs with the family, having a “couple album” in my hard drive, proudly being “In a Relationship” (or must things get mushier, “Married”) in all of my online accounts, setting our favorite “couple photo” as primary. Sometimes I’d like to be the girl who makes her closest guy friends torpe over her. The one who actually has a selection of boys but opts not to choose anyone at all. The girl whose life revolves around friends and family and work and school. The power girl who doesn’t have any time at all for a boyfriend, or even just a crush. The girl whose value appreciates directly proportional to the number of guys she’s turned down and ignored. The free spirit whom nobody just can’t have. But sometimes I’d like to be the girl who helps her boyfriend’s mom cook his favorite meal on his birthday. The one who’d always have someone who’d pick her up after work or school. The one who’d join her guy’s family on out of town trips and the one who’d bring her guy along on her own family outings. The one the boys would best want for him because she’s always game and her corny jokes actually sell. I could be either of the two, actually. My Friendster account would proudly say either “Single” or “In a Relationship”. I would be happy and content either way. But here’s the painful truth: I am definitely unhappy and discontent right now being in between. Just in between.

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