“Tumaba ka” (You put on weight) is a typical greeting among Filipinos who haven’t seen each other in ages.
Who wants to be told that they’ve packed on a few pounds? Nobody—especially not celebrities whose looks and every move are under constant scrutiny and criticism by an unforgiving public eye.
What to say when someone notices your love handles and batwing arms before you? These five celebrities had the perfect clap back. (Read: 3 Ways to Avoid ‘Cancel Culture’ in Social Media)
When photos of the full-figured actress surfaced in June 2020, many were quick to embrace her curves and call her beautiful inside and out. Apparently, the actress has had spine surgery, affecting her movements and quite possibly her ability to stay active.
Others were not as kind, including a teacher from Department of Education (DepEd) Occidental Mindoro, who included a mean and grammatically incorrect statement about the actress in a module. (Read: Real-Life Darna: Angel Locsin raises P11 million to provide tents to hospitals)
Angel responded not by addressing the insult but by the message sent by the teacher. “What bothers me most is apart from teaching incorrect grammar to the students, DepEd seems unaffected that the said teacher is teaching bad conduct and sowing discrimination among the children,” she said in a report. “What will happen to the youth’s future if they are taught to be rude and judgmental?”
DepEd has since apologized to the actress and the teacher behind the module has been placed under administrative investigation by the department.
Body-shamed celebrities: Jessica Soho
In 2013, the highly respected broadcast journalist was the punch line of a cruel joke by comedian Vice Ganda, one involving her weight and gang rape. Fans told the public not to take it personally or seriously, but many netizens did, calling Vice’s anti-women and rape jokes “tasteless, below the belt, and simply unacceptable.”
After thanking those who came to her defense, Jessica reminded everyone in a statement sent to GMA New Online that “rape is not a joke and should never be material for a comedy concert. I thank all those who shared my hurt and expressed their support, but this should not be about me but about rape victims who suffer tremendously from this terrible crime. The horrors they go through are unspeakable and should never be taken lightly, especially by way of a cruel joke.” She later accepted the comedian’s public apology.
Body-shamed celebrities: Janella Salvador
December 2020 was a special time for the actress. Two months earlier, she gave birth to Jude, her son with actor Markus Paterson. The couple was celebrating Christmas in England, where their baby was born, when bashers body-shamed her.
“Filipinos are the worst body shamers,” she tweeted. “Let me enjoy my Christmas pudding in peace!” (Read: 5 Celeb Babies Who Were Born in Pandemic Year 2020)
Body-shamed celebrities: Vivoree Esclito
Body shaming isn’t limited to weight. This the Pinoy Big Brother: Lucky 7 alum realized when It’s Showtime co-host Jugs Jugueta laughingly identified the reality star for the hair in her arms in a segment called “Hide and Sing.”
Co-host Karylle pointed out that she too was balbon (hairy), to which Jugs said he meant it as a joke. (Read: 5 Celebrities Share Their Biggest Realizations While In Quarantine)
But it was no laughing matter to Vivoree, who took to Twitter to address insensitive commenters. “PLEASE do not do it to others. Some people don’t take it the same way I do. Other’s bodies are totally NONE of your business.” (Read:
Body-shamed celebrities: Kakai Bautista
The comedienne shut down body shamers and the toxic Filipino culture with a fierce Tiktok video and statement about loving our uniqueness.
“I do believe that food is very much essential in our lives. I LOVE TO EAT. And…pak all that Toxic Filipino culture that says chubby is not sexy and healthy. Black, Brown, Morena, kayumanggi is not beautiful…We can never appreciate other people’s beauty if we don’t appreciate ours.”