Portrait of a young drag queen in full makeup and blue hair

It can be quite challenging to feel proud and beautiful — especially for members of the — when society forces you to contend with (ridiculous) standards. Fortunately, more and more people from the community are pushing back against restrictive norms and ideas on beauty. They are now becoming more vocal when it comes to practicing self-love — including learning how to be beautiful.

With that said, we talked to several LGBTQIA+ personalities who shared with us their thoughts and ideas on , , and self-love.

Luka on Society's Beauty and Body Standards

Local drag artist Pura Luka Vega believes that while society’s perception of , much work is left to make it truly inclusive and diverse.

“There is still so much emphasis on the form rather than the overall health and wellness of a person. I don't think much of it, but it affects me and everyone I think, whether we subscribe to these standards or not,” Luka says.

As one of the Metro’s new generation of drag queens, Luka knows how important it is to , noting that he often gravitates to products that help protect and nourish his skin, as well as prevent

Luka has one other tip on how to be beautiful naturally: follow a .

“Food is a beauty product. If you eat healthily, your skin and body become healthy,” he adds.

Those who want to follow Luka’s lead would do well to try products such as POND’S Bright Miracle Ultimate Acne Control Facial Foam, a mild facial cleanser with Thymo-BHA that helps fight pimple-causing bacteria by up to 99% in three days of use.

You may find yourself asking how to be beautiful when the beauty standards set by society tell you otherwise. However, as these gorgeous and fearless Filipinos have noted, you don’t really need to pander to what other people might think — what’s important is that you feel good about yourself.

DeeDee on What Makes a Person Beautiful

For drag queen DeeDee Holiday, beauty is all about being who you are — no apologies needed.

“I find it beautiful when a person can present themself unapologetically and confidently regardless of their size, shape, height, color, and/or economic background,” DeeDee says. She adds that dwelling on beauty standards and forcing oneself to conform to them builds nothing but insecurities.

While she does get inspiration from Old Hollywood actresses like Grace Kelly and Greta Garbo, as well as contemporary pop icons such as Kylie Minogue, Adele, and Britney Spears, she rarely wears makeup during the daytime, given the nature of her work. 

“As a drag entertainer, I wear a month’s worth of makeup in one night,” DeeDee shares, adding that products such as moisturizers, sunblock, and are the ones that often comprise her daytime arsenal.

As she is a fan of letting her skin "breathe," DeeDee has a list of requirements for the products that she puts on her skin: they must feel light, they must be unscented, and they mustn’t contain harsh ingredients.

One product that ticks off these qualities is POND’S Age Miracle Ultimate Youth Day Cream. An anti-wrinkle day cream, this product penetrates the skin continuously to release powerful anti-aging retinoid actives — as well as Vitamins B3 and E — for 24 hours, thus ensuring continued protection for the skin.

Jobo on Self-Love

"I used to think that beauty had a template," Jobo, a freelance creative director, says. "In our culture where show business dominates the screens, magazines, and social media, we tend to believe that there is a certain mold that tells us that this is the look of success, the look of popularity, and the look of an attractive person."

These days, however, Jobo's reminder on how to be beautiful is to embrace every single unique quality that is yours alone. "We're not born to be perfect, so why force ourselves to be perfect?" he adds.

According to Jobo, it's only normal for people to get hit with insecurities regarding their appearance. What is important, however, is what they do about it after.

"I allow myself to feel bad about it for a while (who doesn't?) but I always try to avoid beating myself up too much about it. At the end of the day, regardless of what other people say (unless it’s for health reasons) I still own my body and what I do with it is my choice," Jobo shares.

For Jobo, a part-time illustrator and androgynous model, taking care of his skin using mild and moisturizing cleansers is what works best for him. If this is something you want to add to your routine, Dove’s line of body washes is worth trying. They come with moisturizing cream that helps keep your skin soft.

Rene on Redefining Beauty

“I used to think that beauty is all about symmetry and order but I’ve evolved to believe that beauty is anything, literally that makes me feel good,” Rene, an instructor at the National Institute of Physics at UP Diliman College of Science, says, adding that they now see their flaws as things that make them unique.

“I’m working on the idea to genuinely embrace my flaws and translate it into my badge of beauty,” Rene adds, noting that while Western beauty standards still fuel many Filipino teenagers’ insecurities, their understanding of how to be beautiful is the realization that anyone can now have their personal, empowering definition of beauty.

As what a quick look on their Instagram might reveal, Rene is quite the makeup enthusiast, with colorful, full-glam looks taking center stage on their profile. Rene notes, however, that they have since learned to trim down their go-to looks.

“I was heavily inspired by RuPaul’s Drag Race at that time which is why full glam was my go-to. As years passed by, I’ve learned to trim it down to suit the climate in our country and since my skin improved, I can confidently wear minimal makeup when going out,” Rene shares.

According to Rene, they keep their skin healthy by following a . This, Rene says, involves the use of facial wash, cleanser, moisturizer, then serums.

Justin on Finding One’s Beauty

How to be beautiful? It starts with disregarding the standards set by society, Justin, a writer, says.

“There is no point in hating yourself for how you look. People would find beauty in the things that you hate most about yourself,” Justin shares, noting that people should make it a point to not let themselves get eaten by society’s standards.

He explains that he grew up being so insecure about his body and his looks that it took a toll on his confidence and self-esteem. "Now, I just learned not to compare myself to others. Some are blessed with good genes, and I can’t control that. Be your standard,” he adds.

According to Justin, one tip on how to be beautiful is to listen to experts.

“If you’re having problems with your skin, the most affordable beauty regimen that I can recommend is going to a dermatologist,” Justin notes, adding that investing in a good dermatologist helped solve recurring problems in a relatively short time.

Aside from that, investing in a — as well as adding sunscreen to one’s beauty kit — is a good way to address the root cause of your skin problems without resorting to piling on tons of makeup. 

“A healthy skin requires less makeup. If I need to go outside to do some errands, I’ll just slap on some tinted moisturizer and call it a day. If I need to go to an event, a good primer and a pump of my favorite foundation are all I need,” Justin shares.

So go on, indulge in (and document) your skincare routine, find more ways on how to be beautiful, take those gorgeous selfies, and just be the fabulous individual that you are. The rest will simply fall into place.