13 Mar – Miss International-Philippines Mariel de Leon knew of the criticisms that would come her way after her recent appearance at the Binibining Pilipinas press conference, which is why she decided to address her body image issue first before others could do it for her.
The beauty queen-turned-actress, who shared a photo on Instagram of her in her Mikee Andrei dress from the event, 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."
de Leon said she knows how it feels like to be bullied and body shamed, and that while it will take a while for one to learn to love oneself, it will one day come.
"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," she added.
She also urged her social media followers to learn to love themselves for who they truly are, and to never be ashamed of themselves.
"It's 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," she added.
(Photo Source: Mariel De Leon Instagram)