There’s a great online interview which sheds light to the body image and size issues of the Philippine society. The interview was done on August 2003 but it’s still relevant today. Here’s an excerpt.
Claire: Body image is a big issue with me. Many clothes stores are sizist because “Filipino sizes” are small. There are some efforts to put up plus-size clothing stores, some more stylish than others, but it’s hard to assume that people have the same taste. Women’s magazines and teen magazines sell thinness as the ideal.
Shirin: But even this “plus-size” business means that we assume that the standard size is thin!
Claire: I’m still trying to decide whether plus-size-ness is tokenism. What bothers me is the slant. Even if one is plus-sized, the emphasis is on “flattering clothing.” Sure, everyone wants to look presentable, but flattering? What’s there to disguise? As if I can’t be proud if I’m big, and I am, so I have to make concessions by allowing my clothes to flatter my figure? Whatever!
Emily: I think the media makes everyone wants to look the same, like Britney Spears basically. And Britney is so boring. I think business is just as responsible. Much of what we buy is chosen by corporate interests, and we all end up looking the same. I think creativity is in danger.
Amara: Problem is, girls go for Britneys and Barbies. Any effort to curb these dominant images does not sell, so, media doesn’t take it on. It’s also because young women are at a point where they want to belong. Since we are bombarded with images of what we should be like to be accepted, we go for it, with no questions asked.
The rest of the interview tackles about feminism in the Philippines, Australia, US, and Australia. The rest of the transcript is at isiswomen.org.