Oct 21, 2010

Why are Filipinas beautiful but Filipinos ugly?

Dear Filipino,
I've been wondering: Why are Filipinas beautiful but Filipinos ugly?
Smitten
Dear Smitten:
Thank you for at least praising 50% of us.  You could have done worse.
I don’t know what your standard of beauty is, but Filipinos (which term is used to refer to both Filipinos and Filipinas) are like mutts because we are the result of much inter-breeding over the course of centuries, unlike, say, the Japanese or Koreans, who are more homogeneous.  Yes, the truth is, the modern-day Filipino people is a product of mass migrations of, and inter-marriages among, all types of people or races which started thousands of years ago and which have not let up even today.
Hence, on one end of the facial, cranial and skin color spectrum, you will meet Filipinos who look like Africans, because they’re descended from the Negritos who settled the islands some 30,000 years ago and who share much physical commonalities with African pygmies and the Australo-Melanesians; real Africans from Africa; or even African-American GIs who fell in love with the local women or may have unintentionally impregnated their entertainers when the US bases were still operational in the Philippines (so I guess partly you can “blame it on the Marines”).
On the other end of the spectrum are the light-skinned European-looking Filipinos, who, because of present-day Western-skewed standards, are commonly viewed, deservedly or otherwise, as the “more beautiful” of the lot.  These Filipinos descended mainly from the Spaniards, who colonized the islands for over 300 years, and their progenies and extended clans in South America, because of what used to be a very active Manila-Acapulco galleon trade; hence, you can bump into Filipino mestizos and mullatoes of French, Portuguese and Mayan descent.  As also implied in the previous paragraph, American GIs, this time of the white variety, and white American missionaries (no pun intended) are also partly to blame because the Philippines was once an American Commonwealth.
In between are the rest of the Filipinos: the “Asian-looking” ones.  But even the term “Asian-looking” is too broad because you can have the South Asian look (dark) and the North Asian look (light or “yellowish”), owing to many entrepreneurial Indians and Chinese who have traded with the locals over the centuries and have decided to call the islands home, as well as the Japanese who also colonized the Philippines and the Koreans who recently have been finding our beaches and golf courses irresistible.  Then, of course, you have the Indo-Malay-Polynesian look (brown), which is what the majority of Filipinos now sport because people of this stock were the ones who colonized the majority of the Southeast Asian archipelagic countries of Malaysia, Indonesia and, of course, the Philippines, during the region’s maritime era. 
So you see, when you mix all sorts of colors from the blackest to the whitest, you’ll end up with all shades of brown, including the much sought-after "healthy tan" look.  That’s why the Filipinos have a story, understandably popular among us browns, that when God was “baking” humans, his first batch was overcooked and from this batch came the dark-skinned races.  So he tried to bake another batch, but not wanting to overdo it again, he pulled his second batch prematurely, thus resulting in the light-skinned races.  Not happy with his results so far and not wanting to strike out, he tried again, this time guarding his oven more closely.  Of course, more experienced this time, God had his Goldilocks moment because his third batch was “just right” – and from this batch descended the brown Filipinos.  Not a bad legend to feel good and beautiful about one's self, isn't it?
Smitten, I’m sure the above doesn’t really fully answer your question, and I doubt you will really find an answer satisfactory to you.  But I think if you’re smitten by beautiful Filipinas while at the same time finding their male counterparts ugly, you are probably just understandably jealous of the latter, who roam around these beauties more freely than you do.  And because of that, man, I feel sorry for you! 
Got a question for The Filipino?  Email him now at askthepinoy@gmail.com.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think Smitten is a white guy, and if so, it explains why he feels this way, as most non-Asians with Asian fetishes think Asian women are beautiful while criticizing their male counterparts.

The same guys with Asian fetish applaud Asian women for being beautiful, demure, skinny, etc. while blast Asian men for being domineering, short, ugly, etc. I guess it gives them an excuse to "rescue" Filipina women...

Anonymous said...

I also encountered this question when I met the mother of my Italian friend who has been in the Phils.

They also tell me this even here in Germany where I am currently residing.They find the Filipino men ugly...I'm sorry but sometimes I really think they are.Hindi naman lahat ng lalaki sa atin pangit pero mas marami talagang magandang babae sa atin.

Supremo said...

Filipino guys are not really that ugly ONLY short and women usually do not like short guys.

Anonymous said...

I find this observation a bit on the side of manners. It's a comment also stated by some Caucasian's in US and Europe, but I believe it's more attuned to the manners and conduct of some they'd seen. Although some couple really show a bit of that.

Eurasian Sensation said...

Credit to you, Filipino, for having the tolerance to devote a whole post to answering this stupid question, when "Get lost, douchebag" would have been equally apt.

I personally have great appreciation for the beauty of Filipino women. Can't really comment on Filipino guys, because I'm just not looking from that perspective, but they seem fine enough to me.

A lot of people just don't get that beauty is very subjective and culturally defined. Such as the way that Asians tend to like light skin, while Westerners love a tan. Or how the ultra-thin body shape is popular in the West now, in contrast with the way many black guys love a woman with some butt.

Anonymous said...

same here, my husband who is from Argentina always asks me this same question over and over again, especially when im watching shows on TFC. Like of course our artistas don't count, that's why theyre idolized and everything since they dont look a bit like the average filipino guy. and never ever ever in our five yrs in nyc have we encountered a goodlooking pinoy. i keep telling him before that the good ones are all in LA lol. he says most of the filipinas he knows arent attractive but at least he finds a couple or two once or twice a year. i dunno what to say anymore, but well maybe because it is true.

eld said...

Most good looking Filipinos cannot be found in Luzon or abroad. They are in Visayas and Mindanao. Just go to schools like Ateneo de Davao and you'll find a sea of mestizos (and mestizas).

Anonymous said...

I think as a Filipina, the girls (Filipinas) are more vain than the guys (Filipinos). most of the time, guys are attractive enough if they have a good sense of humor and "bolero" (smooth talker) where girls focus on making theirselves pretty.

but don't you think generally, guys who are beautifully attractive are those who look like girls so in that sense, it's accepted all over the world, that girls are more beautiful than the guys, it's not just about our race.

Anonymous said...

This is kinda stupid. There are ugly men and women in every race. Having lived in the US for 23 years and in the Philippines for 5 years I can say that, for some reason or another, US citizen Filipinos/nas are better looking facially and have better physiques than those in the Islands. I have no idea why. This is not to say that there are not cute and handsome people in the PI, there most definitely are. But overall, something or things are missing. Either by the way they dress, hairstyle, or personal hygiene, something is often times missing in the native Filipino. I know myself, I've thought some girls were pretty cute when I was going to school in the PI, but thought they could be smoking if they changed their hair, got a healthy tan (so many girls in the Philippines are obsessed with pale skin because that's how the tv stars appear), and fixed their teeth a bit, along with losing some of their weight. I've noticed teenagers and 20-30 year olds aren't really health and fit conscious as people are in the US. They don't go running or enroll in pilates or dance classes in the Phils that much.

carne norte said...

I laughed when I saw this question. Kudos to you, Filipino, for taking the time to elaborate on how broad our racial spectrum is on the homeland.

I would have to agree 100% with "anonymous" on the comment that non-Asians with an Asian fetish applaud Asian women for their qualities while blasting Asian men for theirs. It happens all the time, and the inquiry itself personifies that attitude.

Filipinas are often portrayed as being petite, submissive and demure—seen by many men as highly desirable and attractive qualities. In college once, I overheard a young Caucasian man telling his friend, "Man, Filipino girls are soooo fine. And get this—all you have to do is f*** 'em once, and they'll do whatever you say. Serious."

On the other hand, Filipinos are often seen as just another "little Asian man"—smart but nerdy and socially inept, short and ugly, arrogant and domineering.

One doesn't have to look further than their own computer screen to see who and what's popularly considered "hot" and "studly" when it comes to men. Compare that image with that of the average Filipino, and you'll see why they're considered "ugly."

NIcky said...

Its because Filipinos are falsely represented in their media, with the majority in public limelight being light skinned mestizos/mestizas. Its very similar to how Singapore gets Eurasians to represent them, when the population makeup is majorly Chinese.

This gives a contrast effect to other nationalities who are used to these images and when they get to see an actual Filipino (majority from Austronesian stock)they are shocked and instantly call Filipinos ugly.

Filipino men look very similar to SE Asian men. The other SE Asian countries are represented more accurately in their media.

A true representation of a Filipino male (physically) today would be Manny Pacquiao.

filipino singles said...

I attended once a Art Class in the US, one of the activities at school was to show pictures of people from its respective country.
So I showed them pictures of Filipinos with various facial features, caused by our genetic recipe. The Philippines has the Malays (Christianized and Moros), the Mestizos (usually Malay + Spanish or Chinese), and the indigenous folk (i.e. Igorots, Aetas).

They must have really been surprised to learn of such diversity, they asked why do filipinos have different beauties?

Anonymous said...

I shared some pictures of my recent trip to the Philippines with a friend. The first thing one of my guy friends (American of German and Mexican descent) said was, "Damn, Filipinos are good looking people!" I agreed completely. Filipinas are beautiful. I've yet to meet one who was truly "ugly" in her youth. Filipino men are beautiful too. My uncle in the province has a physique that would put many 22-year-old Americans of all ethnic backgrounds to shame, and it's not because he's a gym rat. He works his ass off in the rice paddies and it shows. I find it a bit sad that folks in the Philippines automatically said I was "beautiful" during my visit just because I was "white." They fail to appreciate the diverse beauty that surrounds them thanks to a media that still celebrates the Spaniard preference for the mestizos and mestizas.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous Dec 23rd, 2010

Not quite sure if I'd agree with you on that one as I do observe that here in the Philippines, German women rank among the most likely of caucasian women to date local men...

deeply upset with the world said...

I dont understand how in this day and age people feel like its ok to ask such ignorant questions... i understand that to some vain people what matters most is peoples appearances.. but i feel humans may have majorly become blinded by social media and public portrayals of what ''Beauty'' is.. Im Canadian and come from French, Native, Ukrainian and British lineage and my skin is very white, and i have many Filipino friends both male and female and contrary to the person who posed this question i find lots of Filipinos undeniably irresistible... however there are some whom I'm not partial to.... just like any other race there are some people you'll like and some you wont .. but that's not based on their looks, but rather how we judge people's hearts...I im engaged to a filipino man.. and he is both dark skinned and shorter than me but I don't think any of that truly matters, what matters is our love, and how my family accepts him and how his family accepts me. EVERYONE is human..EVERYONE is beautiful its just unfortunate that some people cant see that... grow up, nobody gets to choose who their parent are or what ethnicity they are from.. all of that is god.. and we have no right to criticize or judge his work...

carl said...

The answer is easy you would have to be gay to think a guy is good looking its that simple.FILIPINAS ARE THE MOST MAGANDA WOMEN IN THE WORLD

Anonymous said...

I'm a Filipina and I agree. We aren't very attractive as an ethnicity (we have too many ethnic/DNA differences, even between tribes). Then again Koreans without plastic surgery aren't very attractive either. The truth is harsh. I don't find your average Filipino guy attractive, but I noticed class has some impact on looks no matter what country (even in the West). Rich people have their pick of the most attractive partners, and have money to be high maintenance, be on the latest beauty regimens/fitness routines, employ personal massage therapists and trainers, and this pampering shows. They also tend to be taller, both from their greater power over mate selection and better health from their diets. I believe the shortness isn't just genetic, it is class-linked. We are one of the poorer countries.

If you asked me which men I find attractive, I find tall men with long limbs and toned bodies sexy. Skin color doesn't
matter. Evolutionary psychologists theorize that the bigger men tend to project more strength and desirable traits and appeal to our instincts. Ascribing our preferences wholly on what "the media" portrays or culture is a farce of political correctness. If you don't believe me, look at Takeshi Kaneshiro or Daniel Henney, or the most well-known actor of modern Filipino dramas, Richard Gomez. Gomez is six feet tall. All of them Asian and all are regarded as hunks. So yeah, the shortness is not appealing.

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