Monday, October 04, 2021

This is mine.

Hello! I'm alive. And I am sooo alive! As a royal watcher, busog na busog ako the last week of September. And it looks like the feast isn't going to stop! Why? Well, now that the US and the UK have their vaccination programs in full swing, life has gone back to a kinda pre-COVID normal. That means the royals are out in full force! 

First, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were in TIME's 100 Most Influential issue and I am so here for Meghan's pantsuits. New Sussex Brand look, guys!

If you disagreed with TIME, well, sorry na lang but tama sila because a few days later, Meghan came out of her year-and-a-half hibernation and maternity leave to take on New York with Harry for important and high-profile meetings and events. They helped raise over a billion dollars for global vaccine equity. That's measurable influence, guys. A BILLION DOLLARS' worth of influence.  

Then hindi pa ako nahimasmasan when Kate Middleton came back from their summer vacation in the most fantastic fashion! You'd think she went to the premiere of James Bond GoldenEye, Goldfinger, or Golden Gun instead with how dazzling she looked. 

This is the very BEST Kate has ever looked. Ever! The movie premiere was for charity but wala akong mahanap na news outfit that says how much money the Cambridges et al were able to raise but bet ko hindi siya a billion dollars.

So let's give the "Harry and Meghan are irrelevant" schtick a rest. 

But I'm not blogging today about the fantabulous fashion show both duchesses put on. Or their charity work. I'm actually here to kinda talk about me. Yes, because this is my blog, not a royalty blog! For my royal updates, follow me on my IG Stories - @francesampersales - because it's masaya and chismis-y there!

Today on the blog, I want to talk about how such high-profile women doing so much good and looking so good in the process aren't projecting confidence and power. 

Look at how Madam Duchess was covering her body. People speculated she was hiding her baby weight. Ako naman feeling ko hindi lang yun. I feel like she was hiding herself, hence the coats in not-chilly New York. After all, she's the target of so much online hate and this was her first time to be seen publicly since March 2020. I can imagine the fear.

But even when she wasn't a royal yet, diba parang lacking siya ng absolute confidence when she's in public. In photoshoots, yes, galing niya mag-project (refer to TIME shoot above). But when she's meeting people IRL, may air of terror siya. Also may people-pleasing air about her (like Kate). That's not a bad thing, okay! I'm just saying she kinda looks like she's hindi pa siya sure sa nangyayari sa kanya. Even at her wedding.

Eto naman si Kate same din. My goodness. She looked AMAZING! Absolutely amazing. But hindi niya carry yung dress. She's not used to that level of high fashion. Yes, she's worn many designer clothes but she's always chosen the elegant, the safe, and the boring. This is the first time she wore dazzling and while she had the face and body and stature for it, she didn't have the attitude for it. She didn't wear it; it wore her. She couldn't even walk properly in it. She kinda shuffled along when such a dress needed its wearer to glide, stomp, and strike a pose. 

I know you'll disagree but celebrity watching and entertainment journalism used to be my job. I'm professionally trained to study how celebrities carry their clothes and project themselves on the red carpet. And, no she's not a Hollywood celebrity so she's not trained in glamour but gosh, it's not so hard to study glamour. She can watch a few red carpet events or she can study her own mother-in-law! 

Diana knew how to wear a dress. And she also knew how to charm the public and the media. She had this signature move - as she's about to enter the venue, she'd pause, turn back slightly to look at her adoring public, and smile. Connect with your audience, show another angle of the dress, smile for the cameras. That's a celebrity. She had the confidence to know she looked good and that everyone was there for her. She knew how to bask in that glory of adoration.

And that's what's bugging me about me. Nag-start ito a few weeks ago when the Venice Film Festival happened. I loved how all the stars were owning that red carpet. Like I said, celebrities know how to bask in glory. And I was enjoying the show until I saw this:

That's Zendaya. I have always loved how stylish she is. She's always had fun with fashion (no safe and elegant with this woman). And she's so young but she has always had this innate sense of self. She's so aware of her body and how it looks crazy good in clothes. She has a confidence that should've come from years and years and years of living life. But she's always had it. 

I don't have that. Si Kate and Meghan din, obviously wala. Can you imagine the duchesses with the Zendaya attitude? Nope. Hindi ko sinasabi na dapat magsuot sila ng ganyan. Not even saying they should pose like that. Just the attitude of "I'm supposed to be here. This is my space. This is my time." Yun ang wala.

I wish I had that. too. A couple of weeks ago, I attended the Lean In Circle Session (join us at Lean In Manila!) of Awaken Women. I spoke with the ladies about how to be visible. It was a talk inspired by my book, Not Invisible. At the start of my talk, I said it's not always good to be seen. I mean just look at Kate and Meghan and the unforgiving scrutiny they get. Do we seriously want that? It was my attempt to reassure everyone that invisibility isn't always a bad thing, that it's okay to be a nobody sometimes, and I said I'm okay with diminishing myself.

But their Circle leader Charl Banzal, who is a life coach and digital entrepreneur, asked me why someone like me still feels imposter syndrome. Someone like me? Charl listed down all I've achieved and hearing her say my long list of accomplishments sounded so good. It also sounded like she was describing another woman, not little old me.  

Argh. I just denied myself. What a betrayal. Why am I like this? Did you know that every time a brand asks me to work with them, my first thought is, "Me? Why me? I'm nobody." Even when I was putting my book together, every time I promote it now, I agonize with thoughts of insecurity. And I hate feeling this way. I'm so proud of my book! I think every mother and everyone who has a mother should read it. My attitude should only be: "I'm supposed to be here. This is my space. This is my time."

I read somewhere that our first thought is the voice of the people who raised us. So if your first thought is racist, sexist, homophobic, hateful, self-defeating, then be aware that you can own that thought, dismiss it, and change it. You don't have to let the voices of your childhood be your own. So whenever I think, "I'm a nobody, I'm not worthy of anything," I immediately arrest that ugly thought. Then I have to tell myself, "I'm amazing. I'm so smart. I'm gorgeous. I have the best life. I have accomplished so much. I got this!"

That usually gets me out of my insecure thoughts. But I don't do it all the time. It's exhausting to life coach yourself haha. But when I do, then the public me comes out. The public me is my alter ego - The Journalist. When I'm on The Journalist mode, I'm curious, sociable, and conversant. Yes, like Beyonce, I have my own version of Sasha Fierce. I'm very much an introvert. Any and every social setting gives me anxiety. But when I'm on journalist mode, then I transform. I'm very good at what I do so I let my "woman who works" alter ego take over. Yes, even at family reunions! That's still me anyway. I'm not being fake, I'm just being another version of me. 

But I do wish I don't have to pep-talk myself all the time anymore. For heaven's sake, I'm a middle-aged woman! Hindi bagay sa edad ko. I want to be Zendaya 24/7. Or JLo. Rihanna. Charlize Theron. Beyonce. I suspect even they have a public persona, though. Can they really be owning it 24/7? I guess every one of us has an alter ego. Do you? 

I don't want to have to keep calling on my alter ego all the time, though. I want to own my success and be proud of what I've achieved and who I am. I want that version of me to be the default me because that is me. I worked so hard to get here. I'm supposed to be here. This is my space. This is my time. This is mine.

1 comment:

  1. Hay naku, your posts always speak to me. I'm crying at 4 AM because at 36 and working in an industry that I love to be in, I still get really insecure.

    Recently, our head finally assigned us assistants(someone to help us with our load and also someone to mentor) and I was so nervous that my Gen Z assistant would not learn anything from me, and would discover that I'm a fraud. I shouldn't be here working on a dream job. Sino ba ako? Di naman ako graduate ng UP or Ateneo. Di naman ako cum laude noong college. Wala naman akong connections anywhere.

    My job also calls for someone who is firm; a "boss" type person, someone intimidating, someone who walks in a room and takes up space. I'm bungisngis, I talk slow, and whenever I walk into a room I beeline to where the crowd is.

    I am still learning to appreciate that I am, indeed, good at my job. I would not have lasted almost a decade in a competitive industry if I do not have what it takes...right? Haha! I am slowly appreciating that there is strength in my patience, quiet confidence, and grace under pressure. That I am supposed to be here. This is my space. This is my time.


Thanks for dropping by my blog! It really means a lot that you spare the time to read... and comment!