These Morena Stars Overcame Rejection Because Of Their Looks

The prejudice was real.

Rejecting someone for their skin color? We could never.

Related: 12 Morenas You Can Look Up To For Beauty Inspo

With thousands of islands, the Philippines is home to a diverse collection of people from different backgrounds, beliefs, and looks. But it’s no secret that Philippine society has the toxic trait of favoring people with fairer complexion over those with a darker skin tone. This is why, sadly, it’s not hard to find microaggressions against morenos and morenas who are judged just because of their skin color.

This judgment is one that some of today’s biggest stars are all too familiar with. During their early days in the showbiz industry, they had to deal with the dreaded “no” because of the stigma surrounding having a darker complexion in the country. Luckily, they all managed to bounce back and prove that there’s no shame in embracing who you are. Here are some local stars who weren’t immune to getting judged for being morena.


Morena Star - Kathryn Bernardo

Can you imagine that there were people in this world who passed over Kathryn Bernardo because she’s a morena? In the past, the superstar has been open about how she used to be nervous in castings as she felt that the fairer-skin auditionees were getting roles over her. There was a time when Kath worried that her skin color would get her rejected. That time is long-gone now considering how she’s one of the most in-demand actresses in the country.  


Morena Star - Gabbi Garcia

Gabbi Garcia is a champion of inspiring people to love and embrace the skin your in. And this is partly brought about by the fact that Gabbi once felt insecure about her skin color. On an episode of Updated With Nelson Canlas, the Gen Z star shared her experience getting passed over fairer skin models during VTRs. “Out of 50 VTRs na masipag kong pinuntahan, siguro mga tatlo lang na-book sa’kin. Lahat ng mga nakukuha during that time, mahilig sila sa mga foreign blood.” Those rejections didn’t stop Gabbi though from pursuing her dreams. Now, she’s a top celebrity endorser, A-list actress, and advocate for body positivity.


Morena Star - Nadine Lustre

Aside from being a top-tier actress, box office star, and environmental advocate, Nadine Lustre is also a proud morena who isn’t afraid to clapback at bashers who say she should bleach her skin. But despite her billboard-gracing beauty, people have told Nadine that she was ugly because of her looks. “Before I would go to auditions and VTRs and I would get rejected because of my skin color. Like, even with my skin, I always get bashed [for] it because I’m naturally Morena. People would say na, ‘Ay she’s dark, she’s not beautiful,’” she once said in an interview.

The rejection particularly hurt the star as she was just a young girl at the time, affecting her self-esteem. “You know, as a young girl who was going through that, it made me feel na I was ugly and I wasn’t worth it.” These days though, Nadine has made her naysayers eat their words.  


Morena Star - Vivoree

Before Vivoree became the multi-hyphenate star we all know and love, she used to be a teenage girl in Bohol. And it was during this time that Vivoree faced criticism back home because of her morena looks. During an interview on Magandang Buhay, the young actress revealed that she dealt with heavy cases of bullying.

“I went through traumatic experience sa bullying and ‘yung low self-esteem po talaga, because I looked different way before.” When she was in PBB, Vivoree memorably had a makeover that did more than just bring out her beauty. She expressed that her time in PBB was a way to help herself and face her fears. Clearly, it worked as Vivoree has grown into a strong and confident young woman who proved her bullies wrong.

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