How Pinup Saved Me From My Body Weight Issues and Bipolar Disorder.

Why can’t we all just say “Today I want a 26” waist with full C cups”  then take a shower, steam a little, and when you come out your glorious body has changed into the perfect hour glass figure you ever so dreamed of. Then the next day, if you feel like you want that thick thigh brow and smaller tits, just hop on into that shower and poof. There you have it.

Sadly, God did not give us that magnificent shower that rains holy water for body transformation. He did however, give us the beautiful blessing of making each and every one of us different. It took me a few years to accept that everyone’s body is different. When I moved here to the Philippines in 2005, I was 135 lbs., fourteen years old and 5’6”. An uncommon size at the time.   High school made it harder, since wearing a uniform meant having to get the only sizes the store carried. I would then of course, compare myself to everyone around me. I felt like a crazy giant towering over the average sized Filipina (and Filipino).  The Philippine culture is very judgmental, as hard as we deny it. Filipinos are not afraid to say things like  “Tumaba ka, pero ang ganda mo!”; “You got fat, but you’re still really pretty.”  Regina George much.

By senior year of high school, in one year, I dropped from being 135lbs. to 113lbs. Thin as a fucking rail. I never exercised and I rarely ate. It was horrifying and ultimately unhealthy. I knew it was bad when some teachers were asking me if I was experimenting with drugs (NO. I was not!) , and my best friend came to my prom, grabbed my arm and said “How did you get so thin?” (Not in a positive tone) To tell you the truth, yes it was peer pressure, and it was about a boy. Yes, a boy. I cringe even thinking about it.

2009.
2009.

I have always loved pinup since I was a child. I also had issues with my body type. I have these big hips, small waist and broad shoulders. Making me bottom heavy and insecure. (Ironic? Now it’s all about the booty these days). So when I was searching for a prom dress online, I came about to Pinupgirlclothing and I saw the most beautiful dresses, and not only that the beautiful models. The greatest thing about it was they embraced their curves, and created the clothing to accentuate every part. And not only that! They modeled the same pieces in both regular AND plus size. I began looking into other brands, such a Hell Bunny, Unique Vintage and Starlets and Harlets and they all offered sizes xxs-4xl.

3-horz

The range of sizes made me feel so good knowing that there is a place where they know there is an existence of girls out there who are not “one size fits all“. It really changed my perspective about myself. Especially since this was the most popular thing in fashion at the time:

What was this about?
What was this about?

Once I began college, the freshman fifteen took over. By graduation I was at a healthy 148lbs. I was happy enough with my weight and size, and by that time I had realized it didn’t matter what size I was. I was lucky to have a boyfriend, family and friends who supported me through my “weight gain“. I graduated in 2013 and got my first official job one  month later. Now, I have been working since college. I worked part time as a makeup artist through my last two years of school, I also took two internships in between. So getting a job right away made me feel lucky, yet unsure if I was ready for this. My job was stressful, long hours and did I say stressful? I began to feel overwhelmed, depressed and excited all at the same time. My brain was on a constant creativity mode with tons of rejections.  I have been through anxiety and depression before, so going through this phase with work was something I thought was…just another phase?

It’s hard to explain what had happened, but I eventually had to quit my job and I was at the lowest point in my life. I gained 40 lbs. putting me at 182lbs. Yes. Yes near 200lbs. And when I had an incident that changed my life forever, I knew I had to get the right kind of help. Friends, family, doctors…they all helped me to this day.

IMG_9714
2014

The most unexpected help I got was from the pinup community. I’ve made friends from the past 3 years who are involved in the love of all things mid-century. They are all beautiful men and women who sent words of encouragement and gave my confidence a boost with their lovely shout outs and “likes”. It brought me back to finding my confidence in that “pin up world”. Other girls were also talking about their issues with disorders, and I felt so happy to have people to relate to. They were and still are so brave for sharing, which is why I feel confident in sharing my writings now. They come from all over the world, UK, US, Australia, Indonesia…seriously everywhere.

This is where I went wrong. Because I was comforted by the fact that pinup clothing and community came in all shapes and sizes, I didn’t care about how much weight I had gained while I was working. I was wrong because even if I had gained a little weight, it was unnatural. I was back to that point in my life where I was being unhealthy. Instead of being underweight now, I was overweight. *Why is it so hard to find the middle?* I had high cholesterol, my body fat percentage was off as well as my BMI. Blaming work and my disorder could work, but I only had myself to blame. I was being confused with the idea of being confident at any size, with being unhealthy.

Today, I have changed. I strive for a healthy lifestyle, with getting better every day. It’s a struggle, but then again what isn’t? Each day you grow and each day you learn. There are some things that cannot be explained, or that you just don’t understand immediately. Most days are good, but there are days that are down-right shit. But have a strong support system whether it be from those closest to you, or those half way around the world. It helps me get to the point in my life where I am happy.

DSC_0355
March 2015.

Impact Hub Manila: Wait, why did I even start my blog? Listening to inspiration.

3omHFvY5
Last Monday, I was graced with an invitation to Hubblogathon hosted by Impact Hub Manila. Hubblogathon was a day where 20+ bloggers gathered together to share their ideas, listen to experienced bloggers and  talk with local entrepreneurs who began their businesses with a cause.

Since I am still new to the blogging community it was a perfect experience being able to go beyond my expertise. Meeting writers from all kinds of genres from beauty, travel, urban lifestyle, health, HIV awarness and the LGBT community, and even to cancer awarness. To be honest, I was a bit intimidated being the only fashion blogger. It’s easy to see a fashion blog as superficial, and that is why I am so thankful for going to this event. I was able to bring back the roots as to why I even started this blog. Being inspired by these other bloggers, and the entrepreneurs that I met gave me a clearer vision to the purpose of my writings. You see, never in my life did I ever think I would start a fashion blog.  I began this blog because I have always loved to write. I began this blog because I have always loved to share my thoughts. I began this blog because I wanted to make a change.

Hubblogathon brought several guests to talk about their organizations that benefit the people. From BamBike, Hope In a Bottle, Mom’s Hause of Mushroom, and KKK Coffee among others. Inspiring to see that from the beginning each of these organizations/companies were driven to make an impact on the community.

DSC_0333-tile
Speakers Johan Janssens, Bryan Benitez McClelland, Ami Valdemoro, Jay Martin, Philippe Gaeng, and Princess Manzon
DSC_0319
Check out Bam Bike!

It just so happens that my love for vintage fashion and the pin-up culture became acknowledged through Instagram and one little article on Buzzfeed. People started to notice and I began taking credit. It gave me the confidence to share my knowledge to those who are unaware of how great the pin-up culture really is. I want people to understand how the popularity of the modern day pin-up is playing a role in today’s feminist society. There is a large role of feminism in pin-up culture today; going from body confidence, equality, freedom of expression and so-on. What I’ve learned from Impact Hub Manila is just how important and powerful a blog can be. Even if I reach a small number of readers, those readers are enough for me to be happy that I have been heard. I’ve always wanted to advocate certain aspects of the women in the Philippines. Coming from a country full of corruption, poverty and inequality it can be very difficult for women to understand the importance of gender role.

The event made me push the reset button, and now I am fully inspired and have been brought back to the root of my blog in reaching my goal of showing how pin-up models and the women and men who are into “old fashioned cars, red lipstick, posing in a swimsuit and wear really old clothes” are actually really great role models. I wish to bring this sense of positivity to all women in the Philippines. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to curl your hair, wear a petticoat all day and do your makeup for 30 minutes. That is just a great added factor to being a woman! My future writings will continue to emphasize on fashion, style, vintage videos, movies and inspirations. But, now my writings will be full of new valuable content spanning from social impact, environmental change, and women empowerment. Look forward to many collaborations, exclusives and open forums!

11872586_10152925970022587_273230843_n
Mina Deocareza of Voice of the Youth and Joemar Belleza of baklapoako.com
11846415_10152925970032587_1120589324_n
Riding Clean with coffee entrepreneur Brian Tenorio and fellow blogger Audrey Tangonan.
11846327_10152925970017587_1786389188_n
With beauty blogger Gellie Abogado of http://www.gelleesh.com

I hope you continue with me on this blog not only for the beautiful dresses and old Hollywood starlets, but to understand and get an insight as to why I love this culture so much. I want to thank Impact Hub Manila for the great experience, and for all of you who are interested in social and environmental impact, entreprenureal ideas and guidance, or would just love to become a member for co-working check out on  Impacthub.ph .Each month they invite many business leaders to give talks where you can come in for FREE and listen in on their journey. Talks such as “Fuck Up Nights” where you learn from failed businesses to what they can achieve, to “Nailed It Nights” a talk on sucessful startups. Just check out their Facebook or website for updates on these events.

DSC_0346