What fashion magazines say about us…

Media has undeniably been a strong force in cultural influence. It has driven people from one behavioral pattern to another. Trends often change as dependent on what media shows from time to time. Different topics show up these days, from movies to fashion, from events to social engagements. And media sets these in motion as people succumb to them and consume what is declared as factual and occurring. 

Just recently, as I was browsing through my regular men’s fashion magazine, I came across photos of Filipino celebrities, depicting summer in their bright outfits, further showing a Woodstock, Music Festival feel to it, along with Caucasian extras. While the scenes stuck to the theme, an underlying, idea just got me to thinking. Why does it always have to be Caucasians put in the scene? Can’t we just independently work a fashion shoot as we are, brown-skinned Filipinos? If diversification is the idea, why isn’t there any other race/ethnicity included?

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Most Filipinos have this preference for the white-skinned if they were to define beauty and what is attractive. They would rather be white than brown as influenced by media alongside consumerism in whitening soaps or whatnot. To add to this, just a recent fashion magazine got into a controversy as regards mix-breeding Filipinos to other nationalities to make the identify sound outstanding, impressive, and attractive. But why does it really have to be FilAmerican, FilAussie, FilCanadian, FilJap, or FilBrazilian? Why can’t it be pure Filipino?

Diversification is just a noble idea in today’s context. Globalization has led everything to this. It’s something to celebrate, yes. But in every social process, there is always the dominant and the minority. Acculturation simply explains the borrowing of some cultural traits of one minor group from a dominant one. Assimilation on the other hand is the complete embrace of that dominant culture. These two explain the process of socio-cultural change in its most general sense. What these do is explain what media is doing and what people are becoming in effect. Being the weaker culture, Filipinos succumb to the whites. Hasty may it seem, but Filipinos do indeed follow the lifestyle, desires, wants, and culture of the west. Diversification is rather a disguise to what is latent. Diversification is used for a smooth process of change. But are we just picking bits and pieces of a that dominant, West culture? Or are we heading towards letting-go of our own for a more favorable West end?

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Filipinos desire to be white because that’s what media shows. Filipinos don’t necessarily hate their color. They just want something popularly desired and wanted. What does this have to do about us? The question is, where are we right now as Filipinos? Have we really prided enough ourselves with our talents, culture, and ways of living ? Or are we still sticking to the white association for better identify? We tend to leech around the Caucasians for us to feel better about ourselves. There is still that insecurity in ourselves, in our identity, and in what we can really do as people. Media continues to show this, and we all continue to breed such idea and make it a reality. 

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Globalization is well embraced along with the sharing of values, cultures, and goods. Diversification is such an admirable concept to make people one. But these, at times, are made as disguise to what is truly happening. They defeat their very purpose, ironically speaking. The complexity of people as put against concepts of change is yet to be tackled in depth. What the mind does is beyond the display of actuality. But from ourselves, we should start to ponder, as Filipinos. Where are we really right now?

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