Olivia Lopez (@lusttforlife)
Growing up, were you ever made fun of for being dark?
The only prejudice I’ve ever experienced occurred when I first moved to America, and my first grade school friend approached me at the handball court to tell me that her mother thought I was too dark for her to hang out with.
Best part about being morena?
Women in Europe and the States spend a significant amount of money on bronzers, toners, and tanners to achieve a summer glow-one thing I’ll never have to do as my skin tans easily.
The more I’ve traveled and worked within the beauty industry, the more I’ve began to appreciate and become completely comfortable with my skin. The worst part of being “Morena” occurred to me only during the pre-social media days, where there wasn’t a diverse acknowledgement of beauty on television and the magazines. But the internet has truly democratized the perception of beauty, and there’s much more demand for women of striking features of all different shades of the spectrum.
Do you have any morena beauty icons?
Bianca Jagger, Laura Gemser and Cassandra from Wayne’s World.
Your work has taken you all around the world, how has this affected the way you see beauty?
Traveling the world has completely altered and expanded my perception of beauty – beauty is not a specific shade or shape, and ultimately I appreciate and celebrate when women sing to their own tune of beauty. I grew up with cross cultural references, born in Manila, raised in the States but spent my summers frequently in Europe to visit extended family in Germany. It was my summers I spent in Europe that I realized how vastly different Western Europeans viewed and valued complexions from Asia. Europeans associated tan skin/morena beauty with exotic travels and beach escapades, while in Asia lighter skin is associated with social status. But living in a Coastal City, there’s definitely much more open-mindedness to Morena beauty – in California it’s almost the beauty standard.
What do you think is the global standard for beauty and how does being morena fit in?
I think beauty has become a lot more open-minded, with the influence of personalities playing a greater role on what makes a woman beautiful than before. What’s unique about our generation is that we value movement and a well-traveled eye, and it significantly plays a role in bringing back morena beauty. Women of all skin tones should be celebrated, and the more you’re exposed to different standards of beauty, celebrating and defying the industry standards and beauty norms is what makes morena even more unique and striking.
VIVIEN RAMSAY, Soumak, Bormaheco Condominium, Metropolitan Ave, Makati City. BASIC MOVEMENT, basicmovement.ph. TOPMAN, PowerPlant Mall. SIMONE ROCHA, Univers, One Rockwell.
Styling by Vince Crisostomo
Hair by Jing Monis Salon
Makeup by Don de Jesus of MAC Cosmetics
Styling assisted by Paulo Deoferio
Art direction by Mags Ocampo
Produced by Andrea Ang