Diary ng Panget: Filipinos' Standard on Beauty

Saturday, April 05, 2014

It has been three days since the flood of Diary ng Panget movie commentaries on Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram. It has also been weeks since the release of Bob Ong's ABNKKBSNPLAko!? the movie which opened the doors of Filipino writer's future in the league of movies. There are also more upcoming Filipino-written stories from Wattpad soon to seen in theaters nationwide thanks to VIVA Films and their new agenda of endorsing local writer's works in the Philippines.

Moving on, I have nothing against the movie, nor the writter, not even against the cast, I have no hate against them whatsoever but the way they made the movie like that is what annoys me every time I see someone posting or sharing their commentary online. It is how the main character was portrayed, not in the acting, but how she looked like. There are few problems obvious in this movie, it conveys a lot about Filipino mentality, it is not only visible in the story but with how the characters look as well. I'm going to elaborate on what I am trying to say here.

  1. Filipinos view having pimples as a sign of ugliness.
  2. Filipinos view that ugly people will never be accepted in the society, especially the Filipino society.
  3. Philippine media's standard in beauty defines the Filipinos' standards
These three points can be seen not only in the Diary ng Panget movie but also in local telenovelas and other Filipino generated movies.

Nadine Lustre as Eya Rodriguez (Diary ng Panget movie)

Pimchanok Lerwisetpibol as Nam (Crazy Little Thing Called Love)
Notice the difference between how they made Nadine 'ugly' for this movie and how they made Pimchanok ugly? Can you see who looks more realistic?

Julia Barretto as Mirabella (Mirabella telenovela)
I know Mirabella's 'ugliness' concept is dependent on the curse, I have to commend the make-up, it's really good, but still not that ugly. Notice that just because of the skin color, it's already considered ugly?

The Philippine media constantly rewrites our concept on beauty, actually, if we are to listen to everything the media has to say about beauty, you'd end up considering everyone ugly. You'll view the people around you as ugly. That's Philippine media.

What's sad about these television series is not the story of the series but how the media portrays the concept of beauty. I know it entails the moral lesson of what true beauty is, but if you're going to consider the totality of them, the motive of it is to make people condemn ugly people. This is why South Korea developed the best plastic surgery in the world. We degrade the esteem of these people. We make them feel bad about themselves. And that's not how the media should be.

Ever seen a television series that has an 'ugly' character but still, the whole cast and the whole show considers her beautiful? Have you ever seen a series where it's not only the mother who tells these characters that they're beautiful even from the start?

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