Morena Ako

By Eliza De Guzman, FINDink Contributor

What does it mean to be a “morena”?

For me, it does not only describe the pigmentation of my skin, but rather my heritage. But throughout the entirety of my childhood, it seemed as if having a darker complexion was rather unattractive. In the eyes of my own mother, titas, and most of the Philippine entertainment industry, being darker was something that needed to be changed. Pale, eurocentric features and skin color are glorified beauty standards for Filipinos, and I come to ask myself, “Why?”

Why does it seem as if I need to fear going out into the sun?

Why do I need to use this block of whitening soap every time I shower?

Why are all these whitening products called “remedies” when having relatively darker skin is not the problem?

The existence of colorism in Filipino culture is deeply rooted in how we view ourselves compared to everyone else in the world. Western influences thrives throughout the many facets of the daily life of the modern Filipino/a, but it should not wipe out the entirety of our identity. The standard of beauty is rather relative, and yet we choose to not see our own as beautiful.

Disclaimer: The views of the author do not necessarily represent the views of FIND, Inc.