Maureen Wroblewitz gets real on her new journey of self-discovery and self-care as she writes the latest chapter of her story.
In Florence + The Machine’s riveting inspirational anthem, Shake It Out, Florence Welch brings to life one of the most poignant lines of the song, “It’s always darkest before the dawn.” It’s a lyric many people can relate to, much so for Maureen Wroblewitz. Even since she was first discovered on Instagram as a teenager, Maureen has been a constant presence in the public spotlight. At just 24 years old, Maureen has put on many hats: a model, the first and only Filipina winner of Asia’s Next Top Model, a former Miss Universe Philippines contestant, a host, a burgeoning actress, and more.
Yellow knit vest, denim 501® jeans by LEVI’S®, Patchwork jacket by MOSCHINO from GIVE ME THE LOOT
Yet, if you ask Maureen how the many chapters of her life story have been, she would be first to admit that it’s not all been sunshine and roses. Behind all the glitz and glamour is a young woman who has realized that something fundamental is missing in her story — her real self. But now, she’s ready to take control and speak her truth into the greatest story she’s ready to tell.
JOURNEY TO REDISCOVERY
While Maureen Wroblewitz has never been one to shy away from talking about her feelings, the past few months have been an eye-opener for the model and actress. She’s been an open book, a change that was born by confronting hard truths about herself. “[T]his shift in my self-discovery was definitely me leaving the Philippines and spending two months in LA. That was the first time that I was ever truly alone. I felt like I was not able to do the things that I am so used to,” Maureen reveals.
White button down, ribbed tank top, and baggy 501® jeans all by LEVI’S®
In the past, Maureen could have turned to her friends and family to help her escape that loneliness. But her time in LA didn’t offer her that opportunity. As the days went by, the loneliness and silence pushed Maureen to deal with what was going on inside her. “I felt like I was forced to face that voice inside my head. And when it happened, I went into default, which was sadness or negativity, just because I’ve experienced a lot of trauma and negative experiences growing up. So what felt normal for me at the time was being sad and depressed.”
Feeling like she was in a box was a hard time for Maureen as she had to face the music alone. But after working with her therapist, she eventually found that breakthrough. “[T]hat is when I realized how powerful the mind is. You can change your default. And that was what I was actively working on, changing that narrative of my head from negative to positive.”
Purple rock tee, denim cutoff shorts all by LEVI’S®
Understandably, going from a negative to a positive mindset doesn’t happen with a snap of a finger. Maureen admits this as well. But it was this shift in how she saw herself that led her to that positive breakthrough. “So, of course, I didn’t go straight into positivity. I am so grateful for what I have right now. I’ve learned to love being in solitude. And I think just being out there alone is what pushed me to love myself more.”
Now, with a renewed fiery spirit and a go-getter attitude, Maureen Wroblewitz is ready to push herself as she explores the possibilities the future holds. While some could say that Maureen has lived many lives, her story is far from over. Her new era is upon her, and she enters it with confidence with the help of Levi’s®.
For over 150 years, Levi’s® and their iconic jeans have been there for some of the greatest moments in history. From big victories to small wins, Levi’s® knows what it means to build and tell that story. Maureen breathes new life into the greatest story ever worn, the Levi’s® 501® jeans, as a member of the new generation who isn’t afraid to live their truth and champion what they believe in. Since 1873, the 501® has been all about rediscovery and reinvention. The classic pair can be shown off in a new light, all while retaining the core pillars that make it so loved. It’s a trait Maureen also strives for.
White baby tee, denim cutoff shorts both by LEVI’S®, White ruffled short by STEPH VERANO
After years of putting herself on the back burner, Maureen is ready to put herself at the center of her story and love herself to the fullest. “To love yourself means to prioritize your needs and wants. And so I’ve learned that setting boundaries is not selfish, but protecting yourself. You also have to learn to become your own safe space as well. And to know that, at the end of the day, you’re all that you have, so treat yourself right.”
TELLING HER STORY
While her time in LA was a seminal experience for her journey of rediscovery, this wasn’t the first time Maureen had a fundamental experience with her struggles. It’s a story that goes back to when she was 13 years old, a period in her life Maureen described as her darkest moment. “[T]here were just so many negative things happening, I thought, ‘how could I experience something positive that would change my mind now?’ After experiencing all that I have experienced so far, I felt alone, because, at the time, nobody would really talk about it. I thought that I was stuck there.”
That changed though when her dad gave her a self-help book that transformed the way she saw herself and the world. Looking back, Maureen doesn’t remember those negative experiences with scorn, but with appreciation for how it helped make her a better person. “[T]hat moment taught me to never go back there, to keep pushing. And so that is when I changed my mindset, and a lot of positive things started happening. That’s when my manager found me on Instagram, and when I decided to move to the Philippines. And so I’m grateful for that negative experience. It has led me to everything that I have today.”
It’s safe to say that the Maureen we see now is not the Maureen we first came to know on Asia’s Next Top Model. Now, she’s braver and more assured of the path she wants to go down. It’s a journey she doesn’t hesitate to share on social media, a pivotal tool used by many, especially Gen Z, on their road to self-expression and self-discovery. Maureen admits that social media is a double-edged sword that can be used as a dangerous medium to muddle expectations. But with her new outlook on life, Maureen hopes to use social media as an avenue to inspire others to find themselves.
“I think social media has also been a great tool for self-discovery in terms of people being more vulnerable about their feelings online. I think that has helped people feel less alone. And that has always been my goal, to use that platform to share my experiences and healing. Also, I want to show that even if you’ve experienced all that I have experienced, that doesn’t mean that your life is bad. It’s creating a safe space on social media, and I think that is so important. To help other people just by sharing your healing journey, I think that’s incredible.”
Maureen’s introspective journey is admirable. But naturally, people will say all kinds of things about her openness. As a public figure, she’s well aware that people can say what they want about her. But that doesn’t deter her from speaking her truth. “[N]ot everybody is going to see your intention. But you have to understand that usually, those [people] feel the need to say something negative because they’re also experiencing something in their life. And they’re probably trying to escape that in the wrong way. It’s all about understanding that there’s always a reason for someone’s actions. But what is important is what you do, and that is to always have pure intentions and choose kindness.”
SPEAKING HER TRUTH
After spending years in all kinds of roles, Maureen is ready to enter a reinvigorated chapter that puts herself in focus. Like with Levi’s®, Maureen’s greatest story is still being told. The 501® jeans have stood the test of time with a history of letting people stand at the center of their story. Maureen is on a journey of rediscovery, and she confidently enters it with Levi’s®. And her reinvention isn’t limited to a new career move or acting role, but a shift in perspective that touches upon all aspects of her life. Beyond all things, Maureen hopes that her work helps make a space for people to not be afraid to be the authors of their own stories. “I want to be remembered as somebody who is not afraid to be themselves, somebody who’s been vulnerable with their emotions, has been true to themselves, has always had good intentions, and always wanted to share positive vibes and energy.”
Maureen wants to keep it real because it allows her to break free from her inhibitions. This is something she wishes her younger self would have taken to heart. “I would want to tell her to always be yourself. To not listen to what other people have to say because they don’t know you. Stay strong and see your value and our worth because you’re an amazing human being. Always strive for growth and to know that it is uncomfortable. So, when you feel uncomfortable, you know you’re growing.”
Maureen could have easily kept her head down and not let the world in on her struggles and a new lease on life. But she didn’t because she knows the power and impact of being real. “[E]very human being is unique. And you should appreciate and love your uniqueness. It’s just so important to remember that there’s just one of you in this world. Why would you want to be like somebody else? And so yes, you can get inspired by other people. But always remember who you are.”
THE NEW MAUREEN WROBLEWITZ
What is Maureen Wroblewitz’s greatest story? Only time will tell. Career-wise, the young star already has quite a few projects in the works. But more than just securing that bag and getting her name in the headlines, Maureen sees 2023 as the year for growth. By the time the clock strikes midnight on January 1, 2024, Maureen is hoping not for that blockbuster movie, but a personal redemption. “I hope to achieve a safe space for myself. It’s all about me, and that’s not selfish. In terms of self-love, self-care, and self-discovery, I hope to know more about myself and to have a better relationship with myself.”
When Maureen was younger, she felt as if no one was going through what she was dealing with. In reality, though, the challenges that she has had to face are similar to what many in the new generation go through daily. Her openness to it all has helped other youths feel seen and heard. “Listen to your body. Listen to yourself. And I think a great way to figure out things about yourself is to experience,” shares Maureen on the advice she would give to young people who are also on their journey of self-discovery. “And with every negative experience, there’s always something to learn from it.”
Most stories have a beginning, middle, and end. But how that story is told is up to the author. After years of deviating from her narrative, Maureen is ready to be the author of her story and tell it on her terms. Maureen took the “new year, new me” mantra to heart. Her self-assuredness has allowed her to embrace who she is, which in turn has helped unlock doors to more possibilities in her life. So, whether it be those simple tales or unexpected journeys, we all have the power to tell our own stories. And with the help of the classic 501® jeans, the greatest story is ready to be told. “I think what is incredible is that you don’t even know your capacity unless you try out something new and put yourself in a situation that you’ve never experienced before. I think experiencing things and getting out of your comfort zone is so important to know yourself better and know what you’re capable of.”
PHOTOGRAPHY BY Joseph Bermudez
CREATIVE DIRECTION AND STYLING BY Lyn Alumno
ASSISTED BY Raf Villas
MAKEUP BY Angeline Dela Cruz
HAIR BY Andrei Cruz
ASSITED BY Erwan Dela Peña
VIDEO DIRECTION BY Kenneth Dimaano
SHOOT COORDINATION BY Mika Tafalla
SHOT ON LOCATION AT One Hectare Creative Grounds
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