You can sense how positive she is through her posts—with the way she shares her travel experiences and personal anecdotes to her followers. Her photos don't lie—she is one confident Filipina who radiates real beauty. :)
We are so happy to have her featured on our blog as an anniversary special. Get to know how awesome Paula is, as we talk about a little bit of everything about her—from body image, to fat discrimination, to personal style—and putting body shamers to what she calls her "shallow people" folder.
What's your size now? It ranges from L-XL for tops, depending on the brand. For bottoms though, my hips don't lie. Haha! It's normally a size 12 US.
You used to be thin during your teen years. Is there any change with how you view your body now compared to before?
I honestly don't think of my body. Haha! So, I have no answer for this.
What were your body-image issues growing up? How did you overcome your issues?
Growing up like in school or in the family, none really. But when I was a teenager in show business, no body was really thin enough. Looking back at my photos, I can say I was sooo thin—but back then, they thought I was fat. I went on crazy and unhealthy eating habits, but there were times I'd rebel actually. I would intentionally gain some weight and eat more to annoy my manager. Hahaha!
How did you feel about gaining weight?
Oh, losing weight and gaining weight have always been on and off for me. When I was in showbusiness, weight was such a big thing to people—every one pound seems like a hundred to them—so I ended up subscribing to unhealthy eating habits. There was one year that I hardly ate anything but toasted bread and grapes! And still, I felt I was so huge. So I did those 7-day crash diets, and that's when I realized how much more you gain back when you go back to your normal eating. Losing weight was much harder after that. At first, I was in denial—in the sense that I didn't want to let go of my already small clothes because "they will fit me someday". But after a while, I realized that gaining weight does not have to compromise the way you present yourself to others. So I started investing on clothes my size and felt much better.
Do you believe there is health at every size? Yes, and I also believe you can be unhealthy at any size.
What are the activities you enjoy to keep your body healthy?
I always tell people, "Even though it doesn't look like it, I am a vegetarian." Hahaha! So I think that generally, my food is healthier than many people, especially now that I'm married, because we can tell our household genius Daday to shift to healthier choices like more veggies, less veggie meat; use olive oil as much as possible; bake or steam instead of fried, etc.
I don't go to the gym, but my husband and I like walking a lot especially when we travel. We also do hikes/ climbs, swimming activities and the likes, sometimes.
Who's your style icon?
Hehe, none actually.
How would you describe your style?
Just classic with accents here and there (see this post). I'm a scarf and necklace hoarder. LOL :)) Oh, and pretty sandals, too! And well, sunnies. I love "branded" sunnies. That's the only thing I really spend on. You can't make me buy expensive leather bags, or super expensive clothes, but I will save up for sunnies.
Old Navy, Gap, J. Crew, Zara, and Uniqlo!
3 things that big girls must have in their closet?
- Scarves or necklaces
- Pretty sandals
Are you happy with your body?
Hmmm, I'm sure I can improve. Given that I have a back problem, losing weight will benefit me greatly. But will I join all those famous diets people subscribe to today? Not anymore. Though when I tend to gain some more weight which I feel through back pains, I lessen my intake of calories.
Yes, but honestly, I hardly give it a thought. Whenever I see people making jokes about big people or very physical, they are reduced to my "shallow people" folder, so, they're the ones I don't bother to spend my time on. I sometimes see/hear people making jokes about being fat, and I just sigh at the superficiality and cruelty of it all. At the end of the day, it says more about them than the people they talk about.
Do you ever get negative comments about your weight? How do you feel and respond to this?
Yes. I just either laugh with them, or congratulate them for being educated and kind beings (the world needs more people like you!) [awww, thanks! ♥♥♥ ], or thank the people who raised them because it seems they were raised well. Haha! Just a few weeks back, someone commented on my Instagram post on vegetarian food and said something like, "Vegeterian ka pa sa lagay na yan eh mukha ka nang inahing baboy?" And someone commented in my defense, to which I replied something like, "In fairness naman sa kanya, hindi ko alam kung negative comment or compliment yung sinabi niya, kasi ang cute kaya ng inahing baboy." LOL :) Honestly, I don't get offended cause I think I'm just really too happy in life to care about what they think about me physically, and actually, I also feel happy in a way because that's the only "negative" thing they can say about me. Now, if they start to bash me for my attitude and the way I treat others, then I will start to worry and get affected.
Where do you get your confidence from?
Happiness, contentment, and gratitude. They always remind me I'm blessed and lucky in many ways. Also, I think my being part of show business helped me a lot. I used to be super shy so people thought I was suplada. But slowly (and with great help from mIRC also hahaha!), I learned to talk to people (or chat) and to see a waiter and a president of a company in the same manner—that they are both persons worthy of my respect and my time. So I never felt the need to "impress" someone. Everything I do, I do because I want to—not to impress someone. If people appreciate it, cool. If not, I didn't do it for them anyway.
How important are other people's perception of you to you?
The "negative" perception is not really important to me, maybe unless there comes a time that what people are spreading is true. I've surely heard stories about me that are not true to maybe to make me look bad to people who don't know me personally, but honestly, I just pity those people who spread cause the time and effort could have been used somewhere better and more productive. But of course, when people say they look up to me or I inspire them, it makes me happy that I make a difference in my own way, too!
What really matters to me is how I am as a person. Am I improving in a good way? Am I becoming someone I wouldn't want to be friends with? I never enjoy competition even in sports—the only person I compete with is myself. I think who I am each day is all that matters, and if I did wrong today, it is important for me to change that.
Message to other Plump Pinays:
The only weight that matters is your confidence. :)