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The Philippines ranks first among Asian countries with the most winners. Having clinched prestigious titles in all of the Big Four contests, the nation is well-known for hosting some of the best-looking women in the world. But beyond the sash and crown, what do our Southeast Asian neighbors truly think of Filipina beauty?

We asked women from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam to share their opinions on and how these compare to the ideals in their home countries. Here are their thoughts.

Poised and Elegant

For Pink, an English teacher from Thailand, Filipina beauty has a classic, beauty pageant signature look. “Nearly every [photo of Filipina celebrities] has the same long, wavy, . The most extreme style I’ve seen so far is dirty blonde ,” she says. “It’s the same here in Thailand. Many actresses and singers like to have a pure and sophisticated image, so they stick to the same hair MO. I’m guessing that’s the case in the Philippines, too.”

There’s a lingering stigma about certain women’s hairstyles. Brightly are deemed unprofessional and is sometimes labeled “too boyish for girls.” Despite these stereotypes, more and more young Filipinas are breaking away from conventional ideals and experimenting with .

“[I’m not judging people who] have long, wavy, brown hair – I like it as well. But I want to see something different,” Pink remarks. “When I picture a Miss Universe with purple hair and purple dress, I think, ‘That’d be so pretty.’”

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A Slim “Thicc” Body

“Wow” was the first thing Zelisa, an Indonesian copywriter, uttered when she scrolled through Julia Barretto’s and Maris Racal’s Instagram pages. “I don’t know if it’s the Filipina beauty norm or not but they have insane proportions. They’re , but they have curves. They’re slim, but they’re also muscular. I’m sitting here, wondering, why can’t I be like them?”

There’s a deeply embedded culture of toxic in the Philippines, which is why it’s not at all shocking to see most Filipina public figures adhere to such a stringent diet or workout program to sculpt their body shape. Najla, who works in a Malaysia-based digital marketing company, says, “They definitely work hard to get to that shape, and I applaud them for that. It must be tough. But we have to be aware that this type of body isn’t attainable for the majority of women.”

Deep Appreciation for Tan Skin

Odi loves watching Filipino romance movies on YouTube. As an Indonesian content creator, she admires how Filipinas proudly embrace their . “Kath Bernardo’s tan skin and curls in Barcelona: A Love Untold looked so stunning. I couldn’t keep my eyes off her,” she says. “It’s amazing that a top actress like her can confidently show her without mean comments about her complexion.”

Tham Tran, a sales executive from Vietnam, finds this representation inspiring, given that skin-lightening products are the top sellers there.“Most Southeast Asian countries have exceptionally hot weather anyway. It’s only natural to have unless you’re born with pale skin and covered head-to-toe in clothes whenever you go outside,” she explains.

“Looking at these photos [that represent Filipina beauty], I realize that we think darker skin is unattractive because we’ve been conditioned to believe that lighter skin is superior since we were kids. We now have the power to challenge the ‘whiter is better’ belief that’s so pervasive in Asian cultures,” Tran adds.

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Everyone’s Faces Are on Fleek

Duanne defines Filipina beauty as a real-life example of the #HighMaintenanceToBeLowMaintenance trend, which is investing in beauty routines to achieve a seemingly effortless, flawless appearance. “All their physical features seem meticulously sculpted but they don’t look made up if you know what I mean,” she points out. “Their faces are . There’s not a single crooked tooth or in sight, even in their ‘no-makeup’ selfies.”

Although Duanne believes that it’s more than fine to pamper oneself with an abundance of beauty treatments, she argues that there should be a clear line between what’s considered a luxury versus a necessity. “I enjoy manicures and pedicures every few months or so, maybe and lashes appointments, too, if I feel like it. However, I’m convinced that these Filipina stars treat these as everyday essentials and have many other procedures to look the way they do.”

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How do you describe Filipina beauty? The answer is deeply personal. Whether you agree with these women or not, know that you have qualities to take pride in. Don’t let restrictive standards limit you from being authentically you.