Do I feel Belo-beautiful in this pandemic?

Yes and no. Here’s what the talked-about ad made me ponder

SO much has been said about this week’s Belo advertisement, and these days social media can really try to make or break a brand. In that video, a woman is seen gradually having acne, dark circles under her eyes, facial and body hair, and gaining weight while watching pandemic-related news on her couch. At the end of the ad, a tagline reads, “tough times call for beautiful measures” with a call to book a consultation with Belo clinic.

Netizens spoke up against the ad, criticizing it for body-shaming women in the middle of the pandemic. But it allowed me to ponder how I felt about the ad.

Honestly, I can relate. I’m one of those who have “let myself go” during this pandemic. And I certainly could use a procedure or two. Just kidding.

The story allowed me to look at how I feel about myself, not just my physical well-being, but also how beautiful I feel inside. It feels like this pandemic is draining me of everything I’ve got, and it’s only now that I have started to pick up the pieces to make myself whole again. And a lot of that started with being honest with myself about how I really feel. I took to journaling to organize my thoughts.

When do I feel ugly?

I feel ugly when I have a zit. I ask my dermatologist to zap the damn thing. But that is literally so superficial, as it’s the skin’s surface that can be lasered away and healed within two days. Don’t I wish my inner ugly could be zapped away just like that?

Inner ugly is when I don’t want to look at myself in the mirror because all I see are sad eyes (more than the eyebags) and a downward-turning mouth (more than any wrinkles). That’s when I know “work” is needed because beauty is in the eyes of the beholder (me), and I don’t like what I feel inside, which is why I don’t like what I see outside.

“As above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul…,” said Hermes Trismegistus

There’s no point hanging on to your old body, just as there is no point hanging on to your past

I feel ugly when I’m overweight. Don’t get me wrong. I have accepted my body for however it looks. I’m telling you, it looks and feels different every decade, so there’s no point hanging on to your old body, just as there is no point hanging on to your past.  But what I don’t accept is when I am feeling sluggish and unhealthy. I know I’ve let myself go when I don’t exercise and when I don’t eat balanced meals.

@thekitchendiaristShrimps and pomelo salad, mix it all together—to taste. So fresh, so good. #shrimppomelosalad #fyp #thekitchendiarist #ECQeats♬ Upside Down – Jack Johnson

Back to healthy eating for some self-love 

I don’t go running to my dermatologist or the salon to make myself feel good, any more than I allow any ad to make me feel bad

I feel ugly when my frown lines are pronounced. Because I know that more than fillers, what I need is to work on my attitude. When I’m not feeling good inside, my RBF is full on, and I become all-out defensive. I snap at everyone and everything. (One time I threw my mouse across the room because the curser wasn’t pointing correctly.) This is when I know I’m overwhelmed and need to chill out.

When do I feel beautiful?

I feel beautiful when I feel good about myself. I don’t go running to my dermatologist or to the salon to make myself feel good, any more than I allow any advertisement to make me feel bad. It all starts from within. First, I ask myself why I’m feeling this way or that, and then I work on it. I’m good with following steps and having a structure, so here’s what I do:

  1. Ask myself what is working, what is not working, and write them down

  2. Meditate for clarity

  3. Pray for guidance

  4. Start the inner work

Recently, I’ve added GriefShare to my inner work. I still have a long way to go in dealing with my grief at the loss of my brother. It would seem like death is the ugliest thing that can ever happen to anyone, but I have started to see beauty in that, too. It’s a work in progress.

When I feel better and have worked inwardly, that’s when I go to my dermatologist, to the salon, to the retail shops for that extra cheer. No amount of procedure or retail therapy will ever be enough if the ugliness is all in your head.

Beauty comes from the inside. And if an advertisement irks you in any way, maybe it’s time to think about why.

Read more:

Only happy thoughts, kuya Ali

How Hyun Bin helped a widow recover from grief

Do as BTS—Keep a journal to fight pandemic anxiety

About author


Spanning two decades of a career in publishing, she began to see the lockdown as a priceless boon – for it has given her the leisure of unleashing her potential as an amateur baker, writer, and digital publisher.

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