'Paano Ba 'To?!' author Bianca Gonzalez. ABS-CBN
MANILA - In an industry where skin whitening appears to be all the rage, TV host and writer Bianca Gonzalez prefers to embrace her natural skin color and has even been vocal in urging fellow "morenas" to do the same.
So when a company offered her try out its whitening products, Gonzalez had a ready answer. "Thank you," she said in a tweet on Thursday, "but I have no interest in whitening my skin - I'm happy being dark."
The post, seen by Gonzalez's nearly 4 million followers, reached more people as it was retweeted over 200 times with over 200 favorites, as of writing. Hundreds of replies agreed with Gonzalez's sentiments.
"Good for you!" said actress Dawn Zulueta, who has been tagged one of the "most beautiful" in local showbiz. "Lets do away with the skin-color-obsessed culture."
Gonzalez, whose hosting career that started in 2001 got a boost after her "Pinoy Big Brother" stint five years later, has been open about her past struggles when it comes to her complexion.
"Sinasabi nila, 'Negra! Baluga!' Masakit talaga," she said in an interview aired last month, of her experience being bullied. "I was grade two or three. Sila pa 'yung popular kids. Ang pinakamasakit of all, 'yung isang nag-bully sa akin, super crush ko kasi popular kid siya."
She pointed out: "Hindi ko maintindihan. 'Di ba Pilipino tayo? We are supposed to have brown skin. It was a mystery to me bakit binu-bully ang brown-skinned."
When Gonzalez started to excel in fields she was interested in, this further solidified her mindset that skin color is and should not be a factor in being successful.
"As I grew older," she recalled, "mayroon na akong mga skills na nashi-share. It made me feel na may talent naman ako and skills, so why did it matter na maitim ako?"