The 2011 Mutya ng Pilipinas (“Muse or Lady of the Philippines”) pageant which was held Saturday (3rd December) at The Arena in San Juan City was reportedly dominated by “Eurasian and Filipino-American contestants”…
British-Filipino Vickie Marie Rushton from Bacolod was crowned the Mutya ng Pilipinas-International while Filipino-American Felicia Baron won the Mutya ng Pilipinas-Tourism title.
German-Filipino Diana Sunshine Rademann of Puerto Princesa was proclaimed first runner-up, while Filipino-American Tifani Alexandra Grimes finished as second runner-up.
The only one in the winning circle who was not of mixed race was Bea Santiago, who represented the Filipino community in Canada. She was proclaimed Mutya ng Pilipinas-Overseas Communities, a title reserved for overseas-based bets.
The odds are seemingly stacked up against Filipinos who are “not of mixed race” winning an international “beauty” competition. As such, even within the domestic meat market, Filipinos are under intense pressure to defy their genetic heritage in order to get ahead. One of the really hard challenges in this rather ludicrous effort to compete in that arena is the endeavour to grow taller.
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The famous tagline of Star Margarine in its 1970’s advertising campaign under then brand owner Procter & Gamble Philippines, “Iba na’ng matangkad!” embodies the aspiration of the generally height-challenged Filipino to tower over the competition for mates and bucks. The tradition of linking Star Margarine to “good nutrition” and therefore to height and social advantage is carried on today by its new owner San Miguel Pure Foods Company, Inc under the banner of its Taglish catchphrase “Angat sa Height, ang Future Mas Bright” (Translated: “Increased height means brighter future”)…
“Star Margarine realizes and stresses the importance of children to be properly nourished and cared for and one of the best ways of doing this is to provide them with proper nutrition,” says Star Margarine Brand Assistant Vannie Escano.
But a report following an audit of nutritional claims on the labels of various food products by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) revealed some disturbing (albeit admittedly inconclusive) observations that render questionable the way margarine and butter subsitutes are positioned in the market for “nutritious” foods…
Twenty-five of 52 samples of oils, spreads and margarines [48 per cent] failed to comply with CFIA’s “quality” labelling rules. Reasons included misleading nutrient claims about omega fatty acids, vitamin E or cholesterol; inaccurate trans-fatty acid and non-hydrogenated claims; disallowed diet-related health claims regarding DHA and antioxidants; and various questionable claims such as “freshpressed” and “premium grade.”
Perhaps a bit of scrutiny applied to the claims of some of the Philippines’ biggest corporate advocates of “better health” through “better nutrition” is overdue.
But then it seems that there actually is some science behind the claim that height makes might in both career and love. The correlation, according to a paper co-authored by evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa, was brought about by a process of “assortative mating” where the hypothetical cause of a physical attribute is reinforced by sexual preferences within the species that affect the chances that said attribute is propagated down the line.
Specifically, as far as height goes…
Because intelligent men tend to attain higher status, at least in the evolutionarily novel environment in recent history, and high status is desirable in men, and because physical attractiveness is desirable in women, there should be assortative mating between intelligent (and thus high-status) men and beautiful women. Because both intelligence and physical attractiveness are heritable, this will create an extrinsic (non-causal) correlation among their children between intelligence and physical attractiveness, where more attractive people are more intelligent than less attractive people.
Kanazawa emphasises that the relationship is primarily correlational and not causal (i.e., more height does not necessarily “cause” more intelligence) and that a statistically higher incidence of intelligence, attractivness, and professional achievement among taller-than-average people is more the result of the collective and cumulative re-enforcing effects of mating preferences.
What does this mean for Filipinos who aspire to be international beauty queens, top basketball players, and, overall, possess bodies that are generally consistent with the ideal of beauty foisted upon them by the vast marketing machine of Big Corporate?
It means that it is time to re-visit other bases upon which to build self-worth. Unfortunately for the average Filipino, growing taller and looking more Caucasian is an option that is available to them only through the magic touch of surgeons like Vicki Belo. Until a greater appreciation for substance can somehow be ingrained in today’s youth, the same people will be laughing all the way to the bank for the foreseeable future.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.