Perfect I Am Not

" Is your hair naturally curly? You should have it rebonded," a colleague  told me today.
She was sitting behind me while we were attending a seminar-workshop. Surely, she had a close-up view of my frizzy hair. I didn't particularly had a great hair day today, or any day for that matter. She had the nerve to gingerly ran her fingers in my hair, must have felt how rough they were against her immaculately smooth fingers and was prompted to make such a remark.

I smiled at her. I said that yes, my hair has always been this curly and frizzy and dry. And yes, I didn't freaking make such a big deal about me being a curly chick. I pasted a smile in my face during the whole conversation. I took it all calmly but deep inside, I was seething. I was holding unto all the calm I could possibly muster. So I am less of a person because my hair is curly? How shallow can you get!

It is so sad that I live in a country where you couldn't be yourself. Filipino girls always have this notion that every girl should look like Barbie - tall, slim and fair-skinned. Although typically Barbie has big curls, we love our hair long, flowing and straight. Anyone who doesn't fit this norm will suffer the stares and rude comments of "concern friends" . Freaking great!!!

Whitening lotions and creams fly from shelves every single day. Glutathione sells like pancakes. Brown-skinned Filipinos have always looked at Caucasians with envy in their eyes. Filipinas can be pretty obsessed about having white skin. Evidence is the overflowing shelves of whitening products. Black beauty? No sir! You are only beautiful if you are fair.

Girls have tried every freaking diet pills and other whatnots just to lose those extra poundage. How many times did I hear these words? You are pretty. If only you will lose some weight.

Have you seen a shampoo commercial model that sports curly hair? Absolutely none. Nil. Zero. Straight, Cleopatra-like hair means perfection. Curly hair is a messy affair we don't want to deal with.

Yes, I have tried to change myself. I have rebonded my hair every couple of months for the past 12 years of my life. Yes, I have gone to hell and back just to have long, straight hair. I endured hellish and painful scalp after each trip to the salon just to have those long straight tresses. Just so that I can fit in the mold the society has made.

But after all the years of being a slave of other people's opinion, I have stopped trying to fit into what people deemed as a beautiful person. I have stopped caring about other people's opinion of me. I learned to only listen to those I knew have my best interest at heart. I have stopped reading magazines and yes, I have given up Tyra Banks.

I do not have an immediate wish to change the world because society has always been this shallow ever since I could remember. I might not be able to change the world but yes, I could change my perspective of things. And I have decided that I am too tired to pretend to be the girl I am not. Its time to say goodbye to the dream girl I never was nor ever will be. I am not tall. I am not skinny. My hair is a fuzzy mess. I will always have a flabby tummy. I will never have white, creamy skin. And yet, I have made my peace with that. I have come to realize that I need to love myself first and foremost, flaws and all.

If all these traits doesn't make me a beautiful person, then so be it. I will settle being simply ME.


  1. I think you have pretty hair :) I have very straight hair, but my mother had very curly hair. I was always jealous of her hair and wanted my hair curly too!

    1. We sometimes fail to appreciate what we have. Thanks, Anne, for the kind words.

  2. Oh trust me Kristine it's not just there. Black girls do it a lot as well. I just recently cut all my hair off and my friends were appalled. I decided to cut the chemicals out and go all natural and apparently that's not cool. I am going to be me whether they like it or not and kudos to you for being you. BTW I missed you and I LOVE your hair!!

    1. I guess its true in other parts of the world, too. People sometimes judge us based on the way we look or how we lived. Its so sad because I believe there is so much more in the person, more than her looks. I wish people would someday realize that each of us is beautiful just as we are.

      Thank you so much, Amanda. As always, your kind words makes me feel so much better.

  3. What you're saying is completely true. I know that everybody must say the same thing, but I just think that you put it in a way that everyone can understand. I'm sure you'll reach so many people with what you've got to say.


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