Unhindered Conversations: What Filipina Teens Think of Inner Beauty
Filipina teenagers share their thoughts on inner beauty and what they find most beautiful about themselves. Scroll down for an uplifting read.
Much has been said about Gen Z and their proclivities, mostly their pragmatic nature and inborn mastery of technology. But there’s more to them than Tide Pods and TikTok. Intelligent and mature beyond their years, these five young Filipinas share their thoughts on inner beauty, a subject with the potential to guide any generation through the perils of stereotypes, gender norms, and unfair standards.
Fairytales we grew up with tell us “inner beauty” is hidden under layers upon layers of physical "wrongs,” and will have to be unveiled in a near-impossible grand gesture – usually by another person. Nineteen-year-old Sam believes it’s not as concealed as centuries-old stories make it out to be. For her, inner beauty means embracing your .
“In a world where everyone is trying to measure up to and patriarchal notions of what beautiful ‘should’ look like, inner beauty means staying true to who you are instead of who you think you’re supposed to be.” She adds it also means being compassionate towards others and yourself.
“What I find most beautiful about myself is my creativity and passion. As a , this translates into my craft, but it also affects how I see the world.” Sam shares, “With so much negativity surrounding us, I think there is beauty in my ability to stand up for what I believe in and create art inspired by that.”
Seeing Your Own Value
For 16-year-old Jacinthe, inner beauty isn’t something only a special few possess. “Everyone has qualities that make them admirable beyond mere physical appearance. I try to find what sets me apart from the crowd,” she says.
Jacinthe admits that it’s not always easy. Like all teenagers (and adults!) there are times when she would feel pressure to fit in. Despite this, she remains a glass-half-full, strong-willed girl who recognizes her own value. “When I am passionate about something, I tune out the noise around me and focus on what truly matters. I take risks and chase my goals, even when the odds are against me. In my eyes, these are some of the things that make me beautiful inside.”
Working to Be a Better Person
Twelve-year-old Lali believe sinner beauty is the act of realizing that there’s more to life than physical appearances, status, and trends. “I used to always care about what people thought of me. When I would start to gain , something would drag me down. They were the phrases that used to haunt me. ‘You’re not pretty enough,’ or ‘People won’t like you if you try too hard.’”
“But now, I like that I’m a confident and bold person,” Lali shares. “I make an effort not to judge people, and I like that about myself. A person is most beautiful when she is kind and honest, and these are values I strive for, not just because I believe in inner beauty, but because I want to .”
Aphrodite, 14, agrees. For her, inner beauty means being kind to others and, more importantly, showing people your true self. “It’s being genuine with people. I find a person’s true personality more charming and alluring.” She adds, “As for myself, I think I have matured more over the years, especially in dealing with others. I’m closer to more people now than I was before, and I’ve been able to keep my old friendships from my previous school.”
Self-Love and Self-Acceptance
The fact is, no one can be truly in touch with their inner beauty without fully accepting themselves. Although “flaws” don’t define a person, it is part of who they are – and not something that they should be ashamed of.
“I am undergoing a process of with the help of people around me, and I am constantly reminded that one can only find inner beauty with self-acceptance,” says Alice, 17. “Self-love unleashes an even more beautiful version of oneself and gives you the confidence to be an individual.”
Alice sees empathy and goodwill as traits that define inner beauty. “It truly fascinates me how we are able to share and experience the emotions of another and communicate sincerity with simple gestures,” she shares.
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Ideas of what beauty is or should be confront girls at such an early age. Maybe a classmate innocently points out that you have dark skin, or a well-meaning aunt asks why you got chubby. Yet despite the prevalence of unfair standards and stereotypes, these young women and their inspiring views on inner beauty give us something to look forward to.