Mariel de Leon doesn't plan on hiding her unpopular opinions
MANILA, Philippines – Binibining Pilipinas International 2017 Mariel de Leon said that despite backlash and criticism from expressing her personal views, she remains unfazed about speaking up. (READ: Mariel de Leon 'no regrets' over tweet on Mocha Uson appointment)
Mariel, daughter of actors Christopher de Leon and Sandy Andolong, was criticized for speaking out on a number of topics, infamously getting into a social media word war with Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) assistant secretary Mocha Uson. (READ: Undeserving? Mocha Uson has this to say to Mariel de Leon)
In an interview with FHM, Mariel, the digital cover girl for August 2018, opened up being opinionated
"Growing up, I've always had my own opinion [and it would sometimes be] different from the popular opinion. It's always hard for me to be neutral, especially if I feel strongly about a certain topic," she said.
The opera singer-actress said that even before joining Bb Pilipinas, she was already known for expressing her views. She did admit that she was surprised by the reactions her posts got.
Growing up, Mariel said that her family taught her to be open about what they feel. "We were free to form our own opinions and think however we wanted to and have our own personalities, especially because we're such a big family," she said.
Mariel said she's grateful for her family's support after what she experienced last year. She said her dad took it in stride, while her mom worried in the beginning.
"You know how moms are – they're protective, sometimes [a bit too much]. It really got her but then I assured her that it's only social media. It's not real life."
Mariel also spoke about the comments she got from wearing a dress early this year, which drew nasty comments about her weight.
In the post, she wrote: "I know I look unflattering in that photo. But you know what? I don’t care. I am proud of the woman I am today and nothing will ever shake my confidence and my love for myself.
"I know how it feels. I’ve been a victim of body shaming and bullying. It does take time to learn to love yourself but you’ll get there one day. Trust me. It took time for me but I learned to truly love myself, be happy, and not give a damn about what other people think of me."
I know I look unflattering in that photo. But you know what? I don’t care. I am proud of the woman I am today and nothing will ever shake my confidence and my love for myself. I know how it feels. I’ve been a victim of body shaming and bullying. It does take time to learn to love yourself but you’ll get there one day. Trust me. It took time for me but I learned to truly love myself, be happy, and not give a damn about what other people think of me. Ladies (and gents), its time we love ourselves for who we truly are. Never be ashamed of yourself. Never be ashamed of what or who makes you happy. Its time to show the media and everyone else that we won’t be swayed by their standards and the crazy standards set by society. No matter what color, race, religion, shape, or size. Love yourself, queen. #ConfidentlyCurvy #LoveYourselfQueen
Mariel said that when she decided to compete in Bb Pilipinas, she knew she wasn't the sexiest. But she knew she had what it takes to be a contestant, thanks to her confidence.
"I really believed in myself, that I could win – and that's what really helped throughout the pageant," she said.
"I've seen a lot of women that are physically beautiful but there's no light inside of them, so they don't catch my eye," she explained.
For those who still struggle with body issues and self confidence, Mariel said: "It's all about treating youself and putting your happiness before others. If people have something to say about it, then don't mind it. Your happiness should come first." – Rappler.com