Are Filipinos Ugly?

Take note ladies and gentlemen, the title isn’t meant to be an insult or a personal attack against the Filipino people. Instead, it is a challenge and a question for you, dear reader, on what you have to say about Filipinos and whether or not you find us pleasant company. The truth is, there have been quite a few articles that have been written about the victory of Ms. Universe Philippines Pia Wurtzbach with some of them even being written by me. However, I need to ask the question above because I think we really need to reconsider our definition of “beauty” and “ugliness” in our society especially with the many issues we have to face as a people.

First off, let’s begin with just how we define “beauty” and “ugliness” in our own parlance. “Beauty” or “kagandahan” is often associated with pleasantness, desirability and everything we want. “Ugliness” or “kapangitan”, on the other hand, is associated with unpleasantness, undesirability and everything that disgusts us. Of course, the definition of these words is pretty much the same no matter where you go in the world and just about every culture has its own way of defining what is beautiful and what is ugly. For instance, some Eastern-European and Middle-Eastern cultures see men’s chest hair as a sign of virility and manliness while in some parts of Far East Asia, it is often scoffed at and disdained.

beauty_philippines

However now, let’s go back to my question: Are Filipinos ugly?

While I’d like to be nice and say that we indeed have some redeeming and therefore “beautiful” qualities, I’m of the opinion that our negative attitudes outweigh whatever positive traits some of our countrymen may possess. The thing is, the “ugliness” of our country doesn’t stem from any of our physical traits as some of my foreign friends even state that things like short stature, dark skin or a flat-nose can be attractive on a person who knows how to handle or carry him or herself. What makes us “ugly” as a people is our own attitude and mindset that seeps into our culture and society, similar to how a broken or leaky sewer pipe can ruin the appearance of an otherwise beautiful building.

Now, as with all my articles, you’re welcome to object and present your own observations to counter mine but, before you do, here are mine:

We Lack Self-Acceptance

One of the biggest problems with our country as a whole is our inability of face facts and accept reality as it is. Indeed, as some here have already stated, most of our media is nothing more than escapist entertainment. Of course, truth be told, there’s nothing wrong with escapist entertainment as I too engage in it on a semi-regular basis. However, the problem occurs when it’s the only thing and there’s nothing and there’s very little that can remind the viewer of what’s real and what’s really important.

The point of my article about Pia Wurtzbach’s victory in the previous Ms. Universe pageant (that everyone seemed to miss) was why are so many of us beholden to European standards of beauty? Why can’t a lot of us accept that dark skin can also be beautiful and either make fun of those who have it or struggle to bury ourselves in cosmetic products (often leading to making oneself looking like an awkward espasol in the process) when we do? Why is it none of the heroes of many mainstream programs look nothing like typical Filipinos and more like Europeans and those who do look like ethnic Filipinos (i.e.: Andrew E., Eugene Domingo or Bayani Agbayani) are often relegated to being comic reliefs and bumbling sidekicks that are often at the receiving end of slapstick violence for the amusement of audiences as mentioned by one of our commenters?

Ladies and gentlemen, let me rephrase what I said in that previous article that was misunderstood by many. Until the common Filipina, with dark skin, flat nose and small stature can say for herself: “I am beautiful!”, then I can assure you that we will always be an ugly people. After all, how can we expect others to accept us when we cannot accept ourselves for who we are?

We Lack Self-Respect

One of the things I was first made to do when I was struggling with my depression was develop a healthy sense of self-respect. Truth be told that back then, I was no different from your typical Pinoy: I often made a fool of myself through wanting to please everyone (not unlike Mar Roxas, now that I have time to really think about it) and then played the victim card when things didn’t go my way. Later on though, thanks to my counselor, I saw how foolish my beliefs were and gained a healthy amount of respect for myself in the process. What’s sad is that a lot of Pinoys out there still have the same mindset to this day and live in a cycle of stupidity, failure and disappointment.

What’s worse is that our media even seems to promote this kind of behavior. Just take one look at our local prize-winning shows and you’ll see what I’m talking about. People by the thousands line up for game shows wherein they are made to make fools of themselves on live TV just for a chance to win a measly amount of money. Then they are made to make themselves as pathetic and pitiful as possible when telling their life’s story by the show’s hosts who are often shown grinning like lunatics when the contestant isn’t facing them.

The thing is, “pathetic” is as far a definition from beauty as one can surmise. While it may not always be true, real confidence often denotes competence as a person who is confident in his or her abilities often looks more in control of a situation than one who is not. Unfortunately, as it turns out in our country, the more pitiful a person, the more desirable they seem to be in our culture. Just listen to our local love songs and you’ll hear that begging for love in our society seems to be more acceptable than making oneself more “lovable” through one’s own efforts.

As such, being more or less metaphorical slaves and prostitutes, we have no “dignity” (which is really just another synonym for “self-respect”) as a people. And sadly, without a sense of dignity, we can never really be a “beautiful” people.

We Are Largely Ignorant And Apathetic

Have you ever heard of the saying: “Beauty comes from within”? Well, as corny as it may sound, it’s actually true…

Well, allow me to expound first: The thing is I’m not a very attractive person. In fact, I’m probably a lot uglier in the physical sense than a lot of Filipinos. However, as I’ve come to notice, I got considerable attention from speaking of relevant issues and making historical jokes. With my gaming guild being an international community, all I can say is that if you can address various problems plaguing the world today and make references to historical figures from different parts of the world, then you will probably gain at least a small audience of different nationalities.

The thing is, the Filipino sentiments of anti-intellectualism and selfish ignorance make for a very ugly combination. See, the big problem is, we come off as ignorant savages or third-world bumpkins to the global community because we refuse to know or care about the things around us. One example is our lack of interest in our own history with some people preferring near-pornographic films like Ex With Benefits over gems like Heneral Luna. Another, of course, would be our penchant for littering and our lack of respect for one another and our surroundings. Last is our often blatant refusal to take action to remedy our situation and preference for just blaming our corrupt government and its constituents.

I’m not saying that being smart automatically makes one beautiful or being dumb makes one ugly. What I am saying is that company who is wise, kind and strong is always preferable to company that is clueless, awkward and pathetic. Indeed, I can tell you right now that any woman can be blessed with a pretty face but if she lacks any sense of personal hygiene and has little to no fashion-sense, then she probably won’t attract that many admirers. Also, a man who can make you laugh from your heart is often considered more desirable as a partner (according to some women in more developed parts of the world at least) than a man who might be rich or handsome but can’t even start a simple conversation.

So let me ask you: How can we have a beautiful country when every Filipino seems to take pride in throwing their trash just anywhere as described by ChinoF here? How can we call our society “beautiful” when we barely know ourselves as a people and understand just how we came to be? Finally, can we be considered a “beautiful” people when we blatantly treat each other like dirt just to get ahead in life?

***

Again, if you disagree with my sentiments, you’re welcome to prove me wrong…

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Post Author: Grimwald

I came that you may know PAIN and have it in abundance…

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39 Comments on "Are Filipinos Ugly?"

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Joven
Guest
This is the result of colonialism from different countries. The “indios” lost their self-esteem when the Spaniards made us look so inferior with their “matapobre” attitude. That’s how it all started I think. From then on everybody thought a fairer skin is the basis of beauty itself. (That’s why glutathione sells like hotcakes). As a child growing up, I also had this inclination. When I became an adult though, I became fortunate enough to travel and work overseas. I then realized that Caucasians are quite envious of my skin color. I also learned to appreciate the beauty of dark skinned… Read more »
Tor
Guest
you are mistaken. white skin was already an aesthetic even before european colonialism. i think the real problem about us is we seem to pride ourselves as filipinos being handsome and beautiful solely by pointing to a half-white, eurasian or mestizo filipino as if being purely native is somewhat shameful. this is not entirely the fault of the general population, it is the fault of the philippine mainstream media overrepresenting half-white commercial models with no talents posing as actors and singers, while the actual-looking filipinos reduced to being sidekicks, a butt of joke, or the eurasian bida’s designated fugly friend… Read more »
catharina
Guest

Do you have any proof that Filipinos have preferences on what is beautiful during pre-Colonial Philippines? And I totally agree that the Philippine Media made it worse. That is what exactly what Joven mentioned ” As a child growing up, I also had this inclination” which meant: Joven experienced also what you described as ‘ being purely native is somewhat shameful ‘.

Willie
Guest

I agree with your article 100%. I’m an American married to a Filipina and when Miss Philippines won the Universe contest, my son asked his mom if she represent the majority of Filipino? My wife respond is NO.

Irineo B. R. Salazar
Guest

Get Pangit Philippines.

tessasimone
Guest

Hypocrisy,a cultural disease,is never beautiful.

ChinoF
Member

I would always quote Marilyn Manson on this, about media and product makers convincing you that you’re ugly, then selling you stuff to “fix” it.

Attila
Guest

The preference for white or light skin did not start in the Spanish period. The Chinese have that obsession it for for the longest time. The Polynesians and the Indonesians also going back to the Majapahit Empire. Indians going back way before the white colonists the Japanese the Koreans as well. Stop blaming the Spanish period and admit that it is and was part of the culture of East Asia.

Attila
Guest

What would happen if Some African countries would use half breeds to represent their country? African mother and white father beauties. They would choose the Hally Berry caliber types. Would it be fair game? If not than why not?

555oro00ayden999.99
Guest

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What is beautiful to you, may be ugly to me.

Beauty inside is preferable. A woman may be physically attractive, but if her character is not good. She will not be beautiful.

The characters of Mar Roxas and Aquino are ugly. So, both of them are ugly.”Mga masamang ugly”…

Reader
Guest

I second the motion. Beauty is always in the eyes of the beholder.

elke_weis
Guest

The OP is a slope headed ch|nk. Nuff said.

Jim DiGriz
Guest

Are Filipinos Ugly?

Many of them on the inside.

Jerry Lynch
Guest
This young lady was dethroned as Miss Malaybalay & Miss Bukidnon because her mother told someone in the pageant that the girl is American. The last I knew, any child with even a single Filipino parent was automatically Filipino even if they hold 2 passports. This particular young lady is one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen. You people need to learn to enjoy your dark skin and exploit it, not the white skin you seem to crave. I came here 12 years ago in search of a dark skinned lady and found a native of Negros… Read more »
elke_weis
Guest

but then, gerry, we’re earning enough to live in our own country. what a tragedy that such smart and enlightened people like you would not have enough income to live in your native country, and instead settle in the philippines and marry a local girl. tsk-tsk.

Irineo B. R. Salazar
Guest
What I have observed is that many Germans go for the native Filipina beauties… so I guess it takes that detour of mestization for the Filipinos to see the beauty of their own… and Pia’s beauty lies in her VERY Visayan features, something the highly talented illustrator of Cebu Daily News manages to show, something her German dad must have seen in her mother. I sometimes wish GRP would see a few more of the good things that Filipinos have, not just the justified negatives which also exist. I like the article which shows that Pia is not just about… Read more »
Serge
Guest

Can you say this in Deutsch since you seen to be downplaying your kraut side?

Irineo B. R. Salazar
Guest

Kraut-baiting is so old school Americanized Filipino… wake up it’s 2015 and Merkel is Time’s Person of the Year.

Bruce Willis is half-German, so is Sandra Bullock, if American artistas is the scope of your knowledge, postcolonial halfwit.

Irineo B. R. Salazar
Guest

Baka gusto mong tagalugin ko pa, gago.

Kin
Guest

Why are you mad? He just wants to say what you said in German to show your heritage. What’s wrong with that?

mgmt
Guest

your thoughts are the reflection of yourself. not all filipino feels insecure, about their skin color

Steve
Guest
I am not sure if you seek reassurance that in fact Filipinos proportionately have the most desirable women on the planet. There are by far more strengths than the weaknesses you point out in this article. Globally, Filipinas are the most sought after partners for marriage by a long shot. Please give more credit to yourselves-it’s both the inner beauty (attitude) and outer beauty (exotic looking) combination-as well as being adaptable that should bring into light all the qualities that make for a wonderful partner-found, I believe only in the Philippines. I felt so strongly about this that I married… Read more »
Biffa Bacon
Guest

RIGHT ON BROTHER !!!

Steve
Guest
The man working hard out in the hot sun all day, smiles and waves to me and says “Hey Joe”. The old lady walking for many kilometers selling pandesol passes by me and asks me if I want some-of course I will-even if I don’t really want it. The vendor squatting all day selling her simple veggie making 500-1k a day saying “Good morning sir”. I am the one who is humbled. I am the one with shame for being born on 1st world soil. Grimwald, your article-so well written amazes me. I disagree that you are not beautiful-you in… Read more »
Steve
Guest

I can’t edit my above post here….but ‘internet vies” should say “internet lies”-thank you

d_forsaken
Guest

It is the sheer ugliness and banality of the Failippines everyday life which turns my blood to ice and makes me cringe in terror.

Juan de la Cruz Jr.
Guest

True beauty can only be seen when the lights are off..

marius
Guest

>> Have you ever heard of the saying: “Beauty comes from within”? Well, as corny as it may sound, it’s actually true…

Just as in Oscar Wilde’s story, what is inside tends to find its way out physically. I have met too many Filipinos with ugly personalities, and it shows in their faces.

Jerry Lynch
Guest

It would appear to me that most of the “ugly” Filipinos are the ones with ugly white skin. Not only is that skin color unattractive, but somehow those with that color seem to think they have a sense of entitlement (the reason escapes me why ugly humans should think they are attractive) that allows then to behave in ugly ways.

Factualizer
Guest
You are right, the ones that rub the bleach on themselves look the worst of the worst. The ones that are tan and just accept it and don’t rub stuff on themselves look much better than the pathetic ones that end up looking like clowns. I would rather a tan woman with clean looking skin than one that is tan and rubs stupid bleach on their face and ends up with crusty and gross looking clown skin. They end up looking totally gross. You are right, it’s absolutely amazing how they think they are pretty when they are absolutely ugly… Read more »
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