If I Were A Hot, Black, Backup FHM Model (Part 1 of 2)

by Marcelle Fabie

Nation, despite the misgivings of yours truly, President Aquino gave an excellent breakdown a few weeks back about his lovelife’s current status.

“Well, we’re seeing each other,” said P Noy, upon being asked about what’s going on between him and Magic 89.9 radio personality Grace Lee.

He then quickly shifted gears and did not reveal much else beyond that, citing his constitutional right to privacy, as he referred to the Bill of Rights under the 1987 Constitution. You know, the one his mom drafted back in the day.

He’s right. He is every bit entitled to his own privacy, but for anyone who ever wanted to have an opportunity to get with the eligible bachelor we currently have for a president, is it not clear that a pattern exists? From Grace Lee to Liz Uy to Shalani Soledad, are we not looking at a bevy of women who have fair, flawless complexions? Why do the dark-skinned women seem to stand no chance of catching the president’s eye and tickling his fancy?

The President’s lovelife got yours truly thinking. Fair-skinned women are no more intelligent than similar dark-skinned women. Yet these fair-skinned women have it much easier in general, locally culminating in a controversial FHM cover that Bela Padilla, the cover girl in question, has apologized for. Internationally (and obviously, less gender-specifically), this has culminated in a brilliant article entitled “If I Was A Poor Black Kid” by Gene Marks, a contributor for Forbes magazine. It would’ve been perfect had it not been obvious that Mr. Marks has never seen “Fiddler On The Roof,” or he would have known better than to write a title like that.

The world seems to not be fair to these dark-skinned women mainly because they have the misfortune of being born with darker skin color, or finding themselves baked in the sun for too long, while a country that genetically leans towards bronzed, tanned complexions is all agog over finding ways, by hook or by crook, to look whiter and whiter with each passing day, while our whiter, Western counterparts actually go to our beaches to look more like us. While Noranians everywhere mourn her apparent fall from Grace, Vilmanians see her enjoying continued success. This discrepancy and favoritism based solely on skin color, be it because of race or class, is a fact. In 2012.

Not pictured here at all: casual race and class discrimination.

One wonders how the hot, black, backup FHM models must have felt while acting subservient to Bela Padilla in the shoot. One wonders how the hot, black, FHM models must have taken being likened unto “shadows” that Bela Padilla needed to “step out” of. Yours truly is not a hot, black, backup FHM model. Yours truly is a quarter-aged mestizo-ish guy who comes from a slightly upper middle class mestizo-ish background. So life was different for yours truly. But that doesn’t mean that the prospects and opportunities presented to yours truly, are completely beyond the grasp of these hot, black, backup FHM models. Unlike them, he does not even stand a chance to ever land on the cover of FHM. Ever.

Yours truly does not believe that they cannot succeed. Yours truly believes that everyone in this nation has a chance to succeed. Still. In 2012. Even a hot, black, backup FHM model forced to act subservient to Bela Padilla.

It takes papaya. It takes glutathione. It takes placenta. And a little help from others. It takes the ability and the know-how to use these products after seeing them on TV endorsed by everyone from Jinky Oda to Melanie Marquez. Like soap. As a person who works for advertising, where we do inevitably sell soap, yours truly knows this.

If yours truly were a hot, black, backup FHM model I would first and most importantly work to make sure that I have the least amount of sunlight hitting me at any given time. It takes a lot of imagination for someone like yours truly to become a hot FHM model, but one can assure you that it is worth the mental exercise to do so. I would make it his #1 priority to be able to bathe sufficiently and to find enough jobs to be able to afford a relentless regimen of skin whitening meant to turn everyone’s heads whenever he would walk past them, because from being a hot, black, backup FHM model, I would now become a hot, fair-skinned, backup FHM model. Even the worst have their best. And the very best hot, black, backup FHM models, even those kneeling in front of Bela Padilla, have more opportunities. They’re already on the cover of FHM, for starters.

If yours truly were a hot, black, backup FHM model, I would turn a blind eye to how racism is quickly sidestepped as an issue in this nation because Filipinos are not surrounded by black people, to begin with; current US Ambassador to the Philippines and the Aeta community notwithstanding. I will acknowledge how Patriotic Filipinos® (Because, if yours truly were a hot, black, backup FHM model, then I am, by default, NOT a Patriotic Filipino.) are not racist at all. While they take pride in their expertise at the English language, poke fun at people with funny accents while speaking in English, and use terms like “beho,” “bumbay,” and “puti,” racism is certainly not a reality in this great nation. There will always be the bad eggs among Filipinos who are guilty of this, but certainly not them Patriotic Filipinos.

Then, if yours truly were a hot, black, backup FHM model, I would kowtow completely to the every desire of this white, white world because I recognize full well that my skin color requires me to be above average at all times while the fairer-skinned among us do not need to meet such impossibly high standards. This is just the way it is, and yours truly will put up with it because this is the way it has always been, and anytime anyone would challenge this status quo, they would be shouted down by everyone else who doesn’t feel affected by this issue, anyways, since they believe the only things worth discussing are only the issues that actually have something to do with them.

Is this easy? No it’s not. It’s hard. It takes a special kind of hot, black, backup FHM model to succeed. And to succeed even with these tools is much harder for a hot, black, backup FHM model to succeed in actually capturing the attention of our current President. But it’s not impossible. The tools are there. The technology is there. The opportunities are there…

Continuation- If I Were A Hot, Black, Backup FHM Model (Part 2 of 2)

(Editor’s Note: The opinions presented here are written to parallel the Gene Marks article “If I Was A Poor Black Kid”. These views do not necessarily represent the views of the editors of Blogwatch, or the POC, or even the author himself.)