Dove Says: Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful

Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful

A couple of days ago, I received this gift from Dove.

It came with the message that every woman should celebrate her unique beauty, embrace and even express it.

The message reminded me of a contest the brand had in a local publication 10 years ago.

Yes, 10 long years ago!

I remember because I wrote a piece for it and won. I never did get the prize though. Maybe that’s why it’s still in my memory! Haha!

Yesterday, I rummaged through my box ofΒ  memories to locate the clipping. Sadly, I couldn’t find the actual newspaper clipping but I did find the web printout that was still intact.

Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful

It’s entitled From Boyish to Beautiful, dated March 6, 2007. I tried the URL but it doesn’t work anymore so I’ll just retype it to be able to share it with you.

From Boyish to Beautiful
March 6, 2007

My brother is prettier than I am. And he is so without even trying. No, he’s not gay or anything of that sort, he was just born with the pretty features that I was supposed to have.

Tell me, aren’t dainty hands and feet with shapely fingers and toes a woman’s features? What about a sharp nose and thin kissable lips? So why am I stuck with this body that makes me think there must have been some mistake and I was made a girl only on the last minute?

Over the years, this great switcheroo has earned my brother his boy-next-door looks, a la John Prats — small, petite, artistahin (actor-like).

I, on the other hand, became an awkward toss between a boy and a girl. I’ve got a girl’s body with a hodgepodge of boyish features. Take one look at my hands and you’ll know what I mean. I’ve got big, unshapely hands that even the best manicure could not help, with matching feet that are a big pudgy pair, reminding me of a giant’s feet in fairytale illustrations.

I once took a picture of them, wishing they would look different in photo than in the original. I was disappointed because they looked worse up close! I never took the photo out again.

Added to my list is my very wonderful voice (ahem!). I’ve already lost count of the number of times I’ve been mistaken as a man whenever I answered the phone. And when I’d give my sibling the phone to answer, I’d always hear him say, “No, that wasn’t my dad, that was my sister!”

Oh my! Do I sound that bad? Anyway, my list is still quite long but I’d stop here, for both our sakes.

I didn’t need anyone telling me about my faults, I was not blind to them. But people did so anyway. “You know, your brother looks prettier than you”, they’d say. I was always just my brother’s shadow. He gets the praises and I get the ho-hums. He’s the looker and I’m still the ho-hum.

And that was how my confidence got thrown out the door. I became the timid,Β  awkward girl who shied away from social events and functions. I hated attending our family reunions because I never felt pretty enough to be among my beauty-queen cousins. In a group of girls, I always felt that I stood out like a sore thumb as my insecurities were underscored by what I saw in them that I didn’t have.

I would never believe anyone who told me I was pretty. I would simply scoff at the idea and tell them to stop patronizing me. I even thought it incredulous that someone would be attracted to me, since there were so many prettier girls out there. I was just that — the ugly duckling who would rather hide at home, missing out on a lot of fun and good opportunities.

It wasn’t a case of overnight magic that made me gain back a little of my confidence. Even now, I am still working on it. It was a whole lot of building up by my dear friends, and by no less than my brother himself, which did the trick. They coaxed me out of my shell and into the world.

“You know what, you’re actually pretty”, they said. After hearing it a couple of times, I looked at myself in the mirror. What is it that they saw that I wasn’t able to? Why do I see a plain old-looking boyish girl when they saw potential written all over my features?

I then decided to prove them right. If they saw a budding person in me, I should try to see it the same way. I went ahead and gave myself a makeover. I tried to accentuate my girlish features to offset the odd ones.

My hair is longer now (hmm, maybe lash growth also next time). I junked the eyeglasses for a pair of contact lenses. I now wear slip-ons even if they show my unsightly feet and toes. I still don’t have the nerve for a lot of other things but I’m working on it.

Along with these physical changes is the change in mindset that reminds me not to complain about what I see as faults. I am fortunate enough to have this body and I’m sure God had intended it just the way it is. I am now trying to live outside my hermitage and I am enjoying every minute of it!

Fast forward to today, I’m glad that I am reconnected with this article. Appreciating and celebrating real beautyΒ is truly a treasure and it’s something that I’d want to teach my own daughter someday. For more on #RealBeauty, head on over to

31 thoughts on “Dove Says: Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful

  1. I find you as one of the beautiful mommies I met last year. Though I havent seen your feet and hands up close, I have seen your smile from afar and it was and is still up to now one of the warmest and sincerest.

  2. “Beauty” is subjective. I believe that as long as one’s mantra is – “I am beautiful,” then that person’s aura will be beautiful.

  3. I can relate! I was one of the boys back when I was younger. I wore pants and a shirt with rubber shoes all the time; my hair tied back. I didn’t feel very confident ‘glamming up’ because I thought I wasn’t pretty enough, sexy enough, etc. It was only in my 20s that I gained confidence. I don’t go full on with make up and trendy clothes, but I wear what I’m comfortable in – and I feel beautiful that way!

  4. As the old saying goes, “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”. When you’re happy inside of you, it reflects on the aura it projects outside. Indeed, you are beautiful πŸ™‚

  5. I love your article! Almost cried reading it. I wish I read it when I was in my high school. The first and 2nd yrs of my high school, that is what I exactly felt. I felt so ugly compared to my siblings. I also doesn’t want people to see my feet and hear my voice! Hahaha! But then I knew myself, I saw that maganda din naman pala ako, hahaha! And it helped me to be confident. πŸ™‚

  6. I kind of felt like you did, especially when I’m with my pretty girl cousins. Being compared to someone didn’t help. I would always go back to knowing that this is how God made me and I have to accept and love what I look like. Even if I sometimes don’t like what I see in the mirror. Confidence is a journey that I’ll always be on.

  7. Real beauty is skin deep. I was sad to read you had to go through quite tough times growing up. Growing with better looking siblings doesn’t help. I am really thankful of Dove’s latest advocacy on valuing ones real worth.

  8. What a beautiful article, Mommy Cheryl. Actually, super naka-relate ako. I, too, used to wear thick glasses and was being labeled as “Lola”. Those teenage years were the awkward years of my life. Come college life, I switched to contact lenses kasi masyado na rin makapal ang eye glasses ko. To make the long story short, super insecure ako sa appearance ko noon until I learned to love myself and accepted the fact that every single person, every one of us, has our own unique kind of beauty. What matters is what’s inside. Cheers to us beautiful women! πŸ™‚

  9. I don’t know if it’s a right of passage that women go through an “I-feel-like-an-ugly-duckling stage before discovering the swan in themselves.I could relate to your story except mine was about my acne prone skin.This campaign by Dove is really relevant and timely especially for young impressionable girls.We are all uniquely beautiful and we need to embrace that philosophy.

  10. Celebrating real beauty and own unique feature is what I want to teach my kids. I love Dove’s campaign that boost up women’s confidence and accept their individuality 😊

  11. A very moving story. I also used to collect articles from newspaper that I love. πŸ™‚ our beauty depends on how God sees us and the how well we grasp that is how others see it. πŸ™‚

  12. Beauty is something we all have, depende lang talaga if we believe that we have it. πŸ™‚ I like the campaign of Dove because it reminds us of that, no matter if you are one of the boys or kikay at heart. Makes me curious though, what happened kaya to your prize? πŸ™‚

  13. It is important as a woman that we feel beautiful about our self regardless how the word dictates an image of what is beauty. I admit I often have my ‘ugly’ moments too even up to this day but I just shake it off, go and take a long bath with Dove of course and viola- I feel great about my self.

  14. I had to laugh at the voice story because I can relate. I have a deep voice too and it sounds a lot different over the phone. Sometimes, people think it wasn’t me or sometimes they think they were talking to a man. The worse one though is still being called “sir” even when I am standing right in front of them and dressed like a girl. I am my father’s girl version so I probably that could explain why. But I don’t take it against anyone. I just laugh at it. πŸ˜€

  15. I guess your brother must really be that great looking for you write those up kasi naman ang ganda mo kaya sis! πŸ™‚ congrats for winning! Sayang di mo na-claim! πŸ™‚

  16. Your brother must really be great looking for you to write those things up sis kasi, you yourself is very pretty na! πŸ™‚ congrats for that winning piece! Sayang lang you were not able to get the prize! πŸ™‚

  17. Love your article! I relate to it because even though I grew up girly (even when we didn’t have money, I found ways to be kikay haha!), and even though I was usually confident, I was aware that I wasn’t like the typical pretty girl – fair-skinned, thin, and *ehem* gentle-mannered. It was only when I got older that I realised that I was my own kind of beautiful!

  18. Each person is beautiful in their own way. Depende nalang sa tumitingin :)) I hope to instill positive attitude and confidence in my girls, since we know how awkward teenage years can be, right?

  19. That article is awesome! I can see how it became a winning piece. So good to know you’ve been able to find and be proud of your real beauty. All of us should do the same.

  20. Everyone is beautiful and unique, that is what I always believe. I feel that you are beautiful inside and out.

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