It is no question that the Philippines is filled to the brim with diverse and attention-grabbing beauties. In fact, many Pinays find themselves reaching success far beyond the country’s shores. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the Philippine plus-size industry. This is likely due to the stereotype planted in the minds of Filipinos. They typically view fashion models as size 0 figures and often find themselves scrutinizing women with curves.
International plus-size model Katrina Gumabao is well aware of the stigma against women that share her body type. She even has her own share of online trolls that constantly harass her. Katrina is not afraid to speak out her thoughts about the hate she gets online while advising women to be happy with who they are.
Katrina Gumabao: “People have the audacity to make someone else feel bad about themselves”
Katrina Gumabao has found success as a model in the Philippines and in the international scene. She hails from a well-known family. Her younger siblings Marco and Michelle are also in the limelight, with Marco being an actor and Michelle a collegiate volleyball champion. As for Katrina, she recently made headlines by walking the runway of Melbourne Fashion Week Plus, Australia’s first plus-size fashion festival.
Despite her achievements, Katrina has been forced to deal with hateful comments online. What makes it ten times worse is that a majority of these comments were written by her fellow Filipinos. In an interview with Preview magazine, she was candid about her stance on body-shaming:
“What annoys me about it the most, actually until now when I get comments like that, is why do you have to make it seem as if you’re happy about it? They’re trying not to offend you but in reality, they know that what they are about to say is offensive.”
Among the verbal abuse Kat has received are “Ay, ang ganda mo ‘no? Kaso ang taba mo (You’re pretty but too fat)” or “Sayang mataba ka (Too bad you’re too fat).” The fact that most comments lean toward ifs and buts have bothered Kat the most, and she wonders why people have the nerve to leave half comments when complimenting someone.
Katrina has admitted that she remains positive by reminding herself that her beauty is “not equal and not determined by size.” She added this:
“People have the audacity to make someone else feel bad about themselves. I was taught that words are very powerful. They are double-edged swords. They can inspire someone and take them from 0 to 100 really quick. But at the same time, those same words [can be] as fatal as a gunshot straight to the brain, taking someone from 100 to -1000 in a snap.”
Katrina is not afraid to call out mean comments, particularly those that cross the line. She encourages other women to do the same while cautioning about the effects of online bullying. While the online trolls may have had their say, it certainly isn’t stopping Katrina Gumabao from reaching new heights. She hopes to continue modeling abroad with Bella Management, an international modeling agency based in Australia.Katrina Gumabao: Here's How the Popular Plus-Size Model Deals with Haters by Holly