Everyone has their own beautiful story to tell.
It is when you realize you are beautiful in your own right, and begin to discover your self-worth. In a lot of ways, it is an ‘AHA moment’, where you stop listening to negative, hyper-critical talk and start celebrating your good qualities, inside and out. No doubt, we’ve all experienced “ugly days”, and for some of us, we may actually believe this is all we are. But guess what, there is more to us than what others and what we perceive ourselves to be. There is beauty is each one of us, sometimes you just need to look closely to find it.
Have you ever looked at yourself in a mirror and just began tearing yourself down? That happened to me, a lot. I was back in grade school, at around grade 6 or 7, a time when my height shot up and all of a sudden I was tall, extremely thin and gangly. All my other classmates were cute and petite and I stood out like a sore thumb. It didn’t help that my parents decided I needed braces, which destroyed my smile for a few years but okay, it made my teeth straight so I have them to thank for it. I wanted to hide my hideous height but it was impossible, so I began slouching, which you know only made things worse. I was awkward and self-conscious with my new body, and to top it off, I looked like a boy, with a nose too big for my face. I was rail-thin with a mouth full of metal and I always stood at the back of the line. This went on all throughout high school, and I seriously believed this was all I would ever be. In my free time, I sought the solace of books and writing in my diary (an intro to blogging). Thankfully, I had friends, who are still my core group till this day. But I never in a million years would I have believed it if someone told me I would be where I am today. I would likely dismiss it as an impossible dream, but as I learned through the years, nothing is impossible.
So when did this ‘AHA moment’ come to me? Did I wake up one day, look at my reflection in the mirror and say, “I’m beautiful”? I wish it were that easy. It took most of my college life to build my self-confidence. In college, I met different kinds of people, from different schools with different ideologies. My world grew, and I suddenly realized I could do whatever I wanted without everyone else’s approval. I was in charge of my life, and I could pursue my dreams. So I began introducing myself as ‘Kelly’ (my real name is Raquel, which I never liked, Kelly is a nickname I never used because I was too scared to make the change), I cut my hair short and colored it red, and began trying out for commercials. I joined a modelling competition, which I made to Top 10 (I was with the likes of Solenn Heussaff, Nicole Hernandez, and my sister-in-law, Bianca Fernandez, if you can believe that). I found a reputable modelling agency who signed me up, and soon after, I began booking jobs. In late 2004, I attended a final VTR for a skincare commercial. I was among so many beautiful girls and I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would get the part. My Pond’s commercial was launched in 2005, and until this day I swear, people still remember me from it. That commercial launched my modelling career, and I went on to do many, many print ads, commercials and endorsements. I even got to travel around Asia to model. Impossible.
It has been a crazy transition, but all it took was a positive view of myself. I tore down all my “hurdles” and decided they were not real, and went for what I wanted. I tried, which may not always end in success, but if you think of it, you’ve already got your foot in the door, so might as well continue. Also what I’ve realized is, perception is reality. You are what you believe to be. And really, the only person that might be stopping you is your own reflection in the mirror. I truly believe we can all be what we want to be, and that nothing is impossible in this world. Dreams can come true, and it comes hand-in-hand with hard work, dedication and good intention.
This is what we celebrated at the Pond’s Beautiful Story event a few weeks ago. Each one of the 17 Pond’s girls will be sharing their beautiful stories, over the course of the year, and the first one is by new Pond’s endorser Toni Gonzaga (you can watch her Beautiful Story HERE).
Toni Gonzaga’s tale is one such example of an inspiring story of a true-to-life Pond’s girl. The newest face on Pond’s roster of beauties, Toni, shares her experience as she transformed from yesteryear’s screaming fan and showbiz’s resident funny girl to her now-status as a top actress, leading lady, and beauty icon. In a genuine account of her struggles and successes, Toni claims that she worked hard “to be beautiful on the inside and work on [her] beauty on the outside with Pond’s. I discovered that things really could change. I could actually feel the difference.” Her ultimate yet humble realization? That through it all and more importantly, with Pond’s, she found that “may igaganda pa pala ako.” She assures women that “if it can happen to me, then it can happen to other Filipinas, too.”
It was a lovely evening filled with beautiful stories. Pond’s aim by all this is to urge all Filipinas out there to inspire the world with stories of their own beauty transformation (log on to pond.com.ph to share your story) and to promote positive change and well-being by being kind to others and to ourselves. Lets stop this nega talk, and think/live happy.
Agoo Bengzon, Chesca Garcia-Kramer, Kelly Misa-Fernandez, and Rissa Mananquil-Trillo for Pond’s Age Miracle.
Rissa Mananquil-Trillo for Pond’s Age Miracle – Don’t ever think that the way you are now will be the way you are for life. As a beauty columnist, I discovered that with proper care and the right products, you can become more beautiful.
Tweetie De Leon-Gonzalez for Pond’s Age Miracle – I constantly discover new sides of myself—as a wife, as a mother. I take care of my family and and I take care of myself, and I’ve never been more content.
Pond’s Girls Charlene Gonzales-Muhlach, Rissa Mananquil-Trillo, Apples Aberin, Tweetie De Leon-Gonzales, Toni Gonzaga, Agoo Bengzon, Patricia Prieto, Tricia Gosingtian, Jasmine Curtis-Smith, Nicole Andersson, Kryz Uy, me, Laureen Uy, Heart Evangelista, Julia Barretto, Chesca Garcia-Kramer, and Hindy Weber-Tantoco.
Charlene Gonzales-Muhlach, Rissa Mananquil-Trillo, Chairman of Unilever Philippines Rohit Jawa, Tweetie De Leon-Gonzales, Paul Soriano, Toni Gonzaga, Xian Lim, Agoo Bengzon, Patricia Prieto, Tricia Gosingtian, Julia Barretto, Jasmine Curtis-Smith, Nicole Andersson, Kryz Uy, Kelly Misa-Fernandez, Heart Evangelista, Laureen Uy, Apples Aberin, Chesca Garcia-Kramer, Hindy Weber-Tantoco, Unilever’s Marketing Director For Skin Ms. Mian Datu-David, Unilever Philippines’ Vice President For Personal Care Ms. Gina Lorenzana, and Unilever Senior Brand Manager for Pond’s Cesca Silvestre.
Unilever’s Marketing Director For Skin Ms. Mian Datu-David, Unilever Philippines PR Head for Personal Care Apples Aberin, Chairman of Unilever Philippines Rohit Jawa, and Unilever Philippines’ Vice President For Personal Care Ms. Gina Lorenzana.