In a world where people are pressured to act or look a certain way, Donnalyn is here to remind us to accept who you are and live your truth.
Beautiful, a word that is staple to many conversations and a stubborn rigor for some. But what does it really mean? They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But often, people deem someone beautiful based on certain standards that have been the norm in society since time immemorial. However, as we all know, society is a diverse place that features people from all walks of life. Beauty shouldn’t just be limited to just a certain standard, which is something that Donnalyn has always strived for.
While a lot has been said about the star, it’s undeniable that she has been at the forefront of being your true self. As a household name, Donnalyn could have easily stuck to a certain path. But time and time again, she has championed empowerment and for people to embrace who they are. Because, at the end of the day, you are beautiful in your own way and deserve to show it off.
TO BE YOURSELF
More than a decade in the industry now, Donnalyn has had her hand in many avenues; acting, singing, dancing, and vlogging. These days, she’s known as one of the top YouTubers in the country (9.24 million subscribers and counting), and has an audience in the tens of millions across her channels and platforms. There’s no doubt that social media has been a great tool for Donnalyn to be who she is, a fact she is aware off. “Social media has been the greatest, but also equally dangerous in expressing myself to the world,” she begins. “It’s a double-edged sword, when used the wrong way, it’s harmful, when used the right way, it’s the best.”
This double-edged nature is seen in how Donnalyn is no stranger to being the talk of the internet, both the good and the bad. But what often doesn’t get said when it comes to Donnalyn is how she has always been unapologetically just herself. Despite what others may say, she is an embodiment of what it means to fully embrace what you got, an aspect that has inspired many of her fans and supporters. “I get inspiration from my supporters. They’re the reason why I work so hard,” says Donnalyn. ”I receive messages saying I help them feel better when times are hard. I know what that feels like, so it gives me purpose to keep doing what I do.”
To many out there, she encourages them to be true to themselves, head out into the world with a head held high, and flaunt their unique beauty. For Donnalyn, beauty isn’t just limited to a certain look or standard. It hits at a deeper meaning, or as she says, “Life. From breathing and all its surprises. From the worst to the best times and how it all happens for a reason.”
The empowerment that Donnalyn has championed is seen in her work, such as in her music with tracks like Kakaibabe and Omo serving as catchy bops for people to let out their inner queen. But this is far from being just a show or a calculated act as some may see it. It all comes from a real place, one where she doesn’t need to try hard for it to come out. “I’m aware that it’s important for me to speak about empowerment, but I don’t always do it on purpose, it just comes out. I want people to feel like we’re all in this together. I want to spread love and stand up for those who need the help, whether it be a simple vlog or an inspiring song.”
EMBRACING YOUR BEAUTY WITH THE TECNO CAMON 19 SERIES
Donnalyn will have even more opportunities to do just that now that she’s the newest brand ambassador for TECNO’s Camon 19 Series. In particular, she’s spearheading the brand’s #YouLookSoGoodTonight campaign. In a time when social media bombards us with how we are supposed to look, the message aims to say that no matter how you look, you are beautiful. “It’s so special for me to represent TECNO’s Camon 19 Series.” TECNO is passionate in getting the message out there that skin color, body shape, and facial features should have no bearing on what it means to be beautiful in the Philippines and all over the world. Their TECNO Camon 19 Series will capture you and put you in the best light no matter what.
The campaign greatly embodies Donnalyn’s beliefs about beauty diversity and inclusivity. It empowers young people to change the way beauty is seen in the this country and be unapologetically proud of who they are. “An empowered person to me is someone who knows how to JUST BE,” Donnalyn expresses. She and TECNO want you to feel that there is no need to pretend to make it. All you have to do is be and feel good about yourself and break free from society’s expectations. “I’ve always wanted to demonstrate being true. Before I started I was afraid to make mistakes but I realized that my imperfections was what made me relatable, helping others realize they’re not alone. Whatever it is they worry about, they are not alone.”
With TECNO’s Camon 19 Series, in particular the Camon 19 Pro 5G and the Camon 19 Pro, anyone can confidently own the night. Both smartphones’ 6.8 inch FHD + IPS display and 120hz refresh rate make it perfect for any stylish go-getter ready to confidently take on the world. Meanwhile, it’s innovative 64MP RGBW camera lens technology lets you capture your best self at any time of the day, even at night. This is a feature Donnalyn particularly enjoys. “I love taking pictures. It freezes moments you will never get back. I think of it as a mission to get people to invest in a phone that will capture their memories of time as clearly as when they were living the moment, day or night. That’s what makes the TECNO Camon 19 special to me.”
The stylish design, with its 0.98mm slimmest bezel, mixes aesthetic with functionality as it’s easy to hold and matches any look with its vibrant colors and matte finish. It also comes in a limited-edition design inspired by renowned Dutch painter Piet Mondrian for that artistic touch. It’s no wonder then that the TECNO Camon 19 Series won at the prestigious iF Award for 2022, one of the most influential industrial design awards in the world. All this and more makes for the perfect companion as you showcase your best and true light, all while not being afraid to capture those moments. Donnalyn also has more plans in the works with TECNO, such as new music on the way that is sure to be another empowering confidence boosting track from the social media star.
THE NEW BEAUTY STANDARD
As Donnalyn and the TECNO Camon 19 Series pushes for more inclusive beauty standards, it’s sadly and inevitable that you’ll come across people who have other ideas, especially for a public figure like her. Being real and not being afraid to speak her mind can lead to some negative comments. But as she sees it, she isn’t letting the hate get to her. Instead, it’s all about learning to become a better person. “Negative comments are different from healthy criticisms. As long as it doesn’t meddle with my private life and their comments are purely about me as an artist, all I can say is I’m thankful. Criticisms help me become a better person. It’s like free consultation! I genuinely appreciate it.”
So, where then does Donnalyn find the strength to be who she is? Believe it or not, it comes from fear, but one that’s born from what ifs. “My fear of regret is so much stronger than my fear of failure. If I don’t act now or if I don’t do now; what will take me closer to where I want to be? I might fail, sure, but if I don’t try I’ll never know…and that scares the heck out of me.”
What you see of Donnalyn on social media is what you get. Despite what some may see, she isn’t putting on an act. She’s being true to herself, an aspect she knows not everyone will like. But what matters to her is that she isn’t doing anything bad. “Being myself and still be appealing to millions is not as difficult as it sounds—It’s not easy either. I am myself and I attract those who I want to attract. I view my supporters as my friends, if they don’t find me appealing, it’s alright. I’m not supposed to be friends with everybody, but I want to make sure I’m not hurting anybody at the same time.”
And besides, playing a character is something Donnalyn only does when she’s acting in movies. In real life, she finds pretending to be someone you are not hard. “In my opinion, playing a character is much more difficult than staying true to yourself. Staying true to yourself comes out naturally, you don’t have to remember a lie, because it’s all true. I can’t say the same for playing a character, unless it’s a role for a movie,” she says with a wink.
This sense of self-love has been prevalent in Donnalyn’s career for years. While social media will always have something to say about her, she will always be proud of who she is as well as her message of inspiring the youth to embrace the many looks, sizes, shapes, and colors of this world. And by the way, when Donnalyn says she built her career from the ground up, she means it.
“I wish people would stop assuming that everything I have came from my ‘wealthy parents.’ Ever since I was 14, I was already working to earn money and not ask for anything from my parents. I’ve even dedicated my youth to help my parents save a fortune by caring for all of my four younger siblings instead of living a normal teenage life. They’ve provided my needs when I was a minor but all the members of our family sacrificed something to contribute to our stability financially, and on top of that, I worked hard to earn the things I have because I don’t want to be a burden to my parents. It’s my indirect way of showing them love.”
JUST BE, AND THE REST WILL FOLLOW
With a new platform provided by TECNO and their Camon 19 Series campaign, Donnalyn can further share her life mantra of showcasing your true self in the best light. It’s a message anyone can relate to, especially for young people who may be afraid to accept who they are or need that extra push to see that beauty in themselves. Beauty diversity and inclusivity will always remain a central tenant to Donnalyn’s content. “Besides giving inspiration, empowerment and raising equality, I hope my content helps with people’s mental health. I hope it makes them happy and forget for just a moment how heavy life can be.”
As Donnalyn continues to build her career, whether it be through her YouTube channel, music, or movies (she hopes to make feature films in the future), know that her strive for a more inclusive society will always be there. If there is anything you can learn from Donnalyn Bartolome’s life, it’s that you don’t need to pretend to be and feel loved. As long as you express and champion yourself through your own colors, there will be people there ready to support you. This is something Donnalyn wishes her younger self knew.
“I would say to young Donnalyn that ‘No’ is a full sentence. Don’t do anything you aren’t comfortable doing. All your patience and hard work will all pay off so keep doing what you love. Don’t let go of your passion, I know you have to pay the bills but keep doing that thing you do when you keep doing more than what you’re paid to do, this way, you will eventually be paid more for what you do. You’ll no longer have to worry about paying for your tuition fee or the electricity bill, you’ll be able to do so much good and you can finally be free to do whatever that makes you happy. Be strong, Donna. Everything’s gonna be okay…and try hard not to keep getting back together with your ex.”
So, wherever your life’s journey takes you on, whether it be a night out with friends or a stroll across town that might lead to the most unexpected of adventures, know that there’s nothing wrong of flaunting your unique light. With the help of the TECNO Camon 19 Series, let your beauty do the talking in your own special way and the rest will follow. “Know that there is power in silence, even more powerful than speaking out if you ask me. You don’t always have to speak to explain yourself to people. There is so much power to JUST BE. It’s peaceful.”