I’m all for refining, for maximizing, for developing..there’s ALWAYS room for improvement and part of LOVING your body is treating it right 🙂 But you can’t convince others that you’re beautiful if you can’t even convince yourself. So it starts with seeing how PRECIOUS you are to God and how he sees you with loving puppy dog eyes 🙂 When you fully understand this, how he took the time to make you and shape you into the person you are today, then you’ll just GET IT.
De La Salle Zobel PE Class, circa 1998.
Hunky Classmate: “Hey Patty!”
Flirty Me: “Yessssss???”
Hunky Classmate: “Wipe it off…There..Sa legs mo. May putik.”
Bummed Out Me:“I CAN’T WIPE IT OFF! BALAT KO YAN!!!!”
When I saw this photo of my leggy-legs by Mango Red (from our Prenup Pictorial), I was pleasantly surprised to see that my birthmark actually stayed on my leg and made it to the final edit! I can’t even count the many magazine editorials I’ve done wherein my birthmark was forced to take a vacation to the Bermuda Triangle thanks to the wonders of Photoshop. Don’t get me wrong, i completely understand why it’s necessary to “edit” and to make things appear polished..but I’ve come to love my birthmark and it’s somehow a badge I wear proudly everyday. I wear shorts, skirts, and dresses and I’ve never been fazed by it. It’s funny how a permanent “flaw” is much more welcome than something as temporary and fleeting as a pimple! Give me ten thousand balats, wag lang tigyawats! (Rhyme Master P coming at ya!)
When I was about 4 years old, I noticed that I was the only one in class who spotted a funny little thingy-majiggy. To sort of satisfy my curiosity about this odd brown spot in my right leg, my dad concocted an elaborate story about how my birthmark was actually a secret map of my OWN country, hidden in some parallel universe!!! Biro mo, hindi lang island..not only a resort, I was the princess of an entire COUNTRY! And of course this gullible kid totally bought it. I thought I was the coolest kid in kindergarten…hello, there’s a 4 year old COUNTRY OWNER right here!!! I even told all my classmates about it, bragging about the map that was “magically embedded” on my skin. Talbog sila lahat sa kin! “Sus, meron kang Swatch watch??? But do you have a country?!? Hmmmm… Thought so!Loser!”
Wait..what are you trying to say? PATRICIALANDIA is actually just a figment of my dad’s imagination!?! Damnit, I was soooo convinced that it was somewhere in between Fiji and my dad’s Baloney sandwich! Hahaha 🙂 Aww, this revelation sucks. I genuinely thought that all the Care Bears relocated to MY country..dahil laos na sila sa Philippine market! Kasama nila sila My Little Pony, Rainbow Brite, Cabbage Patch Kids..medyo sikat pa kasi sila sa bansa ko. You know, ala-Brian Mcknight, David Pomeranz and Keith Martin. “Because offff youuuuuu….”hahaha 🙂 Well I guess, it’s better to find out now right..hayyy..bye bye Patricialandia! At least, I still have the tooth fairy…huh..what..@#$%*! Nanay ko lang yung naglagay ng 100 pesos sa pillow ko!?!?! NOOOOOO!!!!!! BETRAYAAAAL!!!
My birthmark is something so insignificant and dedicating a whole post about it seems so trivial. But the point that is trying to be made here is that, there are little things about each and every one of us that could easily become perceived a “flaw”and if you allow yourself to think that it is actually “flaw” then sure enough you’ll live a life trying to mask it. Whether it’s physical, emotional, social, or even spiritual, there’s always something that would be a cause of insecurity. The challenge is to adapt a more positive approach towards it, to wear it proud instead of hiding it.
Although it’s not ideal for parents to give blatant lies to their kids, I appreciate what my dad did for me when I was 4. Because he loved me, he made the effort to be creative. He had foresight and knew that it was important to redirect a potentially damaging situation and lead me towards a more encouraging perspective. If I came to him, completely innocent at 4 years old and asked “Dad, why am I the only one in class with this weird spot on my leg?” and he just dismissed it as something irrelevant and said “Oh yeah, that’s a birthmark and you’re stuck with it. Don’t worry we can cover it up with pants”.. this would have made me incredibly insecure and embarrassed about such a teeny-weeny part of my body. I wouldn’t have the confidence to dress up, I would be too shy to hit the beach in a bikini, I wouldn’t be able to do modeling/hosting. I have a host of other physical “flaws”, from my small height to unproportionate boobs to body ratio (imagine the stress of shopping for swimwear!) and loads more in between. But these are things that make me- ME and make me fearfully and wonderfully made by God.
I get a lot of emails about body issues and most, if not ALL, of them raise valid concerns. I feel you, there really is a pressure to live up to certain standards mandated by society. Wouldn’t it be great if we were big shot celebrities who could afford to get Belo-fied everyday, what a dream life! But for the rest of us mere mortals, the best thing WE can do for our body is to LOVE IT!!!! It’s corny and sounds very juvenille, but it’s a message that rings true for any person in any age, shape, or social status. Think of yourself as a painting. If you wanted to be “flawless”, then you would look like a plain white canvas. And that would be a bore and a half. Your features, your body type, your skin color, your birthmarks, your hair texture, your eye color, your waist line…these represent the different brush strokes, the blending of colors, the distinct artistic expressions that sets you apart, these characteristics make you interesting to look at!:)