Filipina woman in a yellow top smiling.

If you’re wondering why brown skin is a cause for celebration, just visit the nearest skincare aisle or scroll through social media. Fairer skin remains a benchmark of beauty, and skin whitening is still, unfortunately, all the rage. So, when a woman embraces her morena skin, it's always glorious – like a flower blooming through the pavement.

Here, some of them share how they celebrate and love the skin they’re in.

There’s No Such Thing as “Nakakaitim”

Society has programmed most women to believe there are specific colors suited for light skin and shades for brown skin. It’s systemic within Pinoy culture to describe clothes, makeup, or even nail polish in certain shades as “nakakaitim.” “Don’t wear orange,” your aunt might advise. “Don’t wear black, you’ll disappear,” a friend might joke. Morena women have been shrugging these comments off for years, and many of them have had enough.

"I celebrate my brown skin by wearing anything people might call ‘nakakaitim’ – because so what?” says vlogger Prei Valencia. Beauty editor Belle Rodolfo echoed the same sentiments in a , sharing how she likes being morena.

“No, I’m Not Exotic.”

Mappy, a fitness instructor, is overhearing how she should go abroad and be “a hit with foreigners.” “First of all, I’m . Second, what does skin color have to do with finding love?”

Calling someone exotic just because they are morena is toxic because it betrays how the old beauty standards are still very much in place. It shows how a lot of people still consider the norm. “Dark-skinned women are everywhere. We are not exotic. We are not fruits, pets, or rare Pokémons. You just haven’t been paying attention,” she adds. 

Trends Are for Everyone

You can thank Euphoria for showcasing how makeup trends can work on any skin color by using the same whimsical concept on every member of its inclusive main cast. There was a time when makeup artists or salespeople would dissuade darker girls from wearing pastel pink. Back then, the range of shades available wasn’t so great, so morenas were stuck with cool-toned peaches (muy unflattering!) and old rose (ick!). Forget that the latter makes dark skin look ashen. 

Thankfully, those days are over. Beauty enthusiast Abiele celebrates her brown skin by showing everyone how she can rock any makeup trend. She posts her on her Instagram (@theconsciouskikay). “I love exploring beauty trends that don’t ‘suit’ morena skin,” she says.

Posting Without Filters

Just when society has started to open up to all kinds of beauty, here come the scarily realistic filters that promote otherwise. Those used in trending reels like "how can you tell if you’re pretty but not hot” or “what would you look like as a Kardashian” are masks that erase everything unique about you. And we thought pore-blurring apps were bad.

While brightening your photos to lighten your skin can be unflattering, not to mention obvious. "I celebrate my brown skin by simply being me and posting photos without filters or edits,” shares writer Sarah Mae.

Ditching the Whitening Regimen

“Throughout my teenage years, I was made to believe that having fair skin is all you need to be beautiful. In time, I’ve accepted that my skin color is just as beautiful as any other skin color,” says account manager Thea Villanueva, who has switched all her whitening products to moisturizing ones.

“I celebrate my latte-colored complexion by simply and flaunting it. I wear whatever outfit I want and I no longer restrict myself from basking under the sun. It’s fun being confident in your own skin!” she adds.

Content creator Theola Destura adds, “I unashamedly spend more time under the sun without the fear of ‘getting darker.’”

Ditch the whitening products and instead, protect your morena skin with sunscreen like POND'S Bright Sunscreen SPF 50 PA+++. It prevents sunburn and premature skin aging from UV exposure. 

Complement your skin with healthy hair. Try applying a small amount of TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Shine Serum for instant glossiness minus the frizz. Finally, complete your regimen with a deo that gives you the confidence to be you. Swipe Rexona Women Natural Brightening Fresh Sakura Roll-on Antiperspirant Deodorant for all-day freshness and even-toned skin.

Celebrating your brown skin is a personal journey. It’s not your job to change anyone’s mind about what it means to be “beautiful.” However, like these women, you can still send empowering messages to others by being you.