Anne Curtis says skin color does not define the Filipina woman

'It’s sad but eventually they will be proud,' Anne says

Precious Del Valle

Published: 5:54 PM September 12, 2018

Updated: 5:54 PM September 12, 2018

SKIN COLOR. Anne Curtis comes to Kelsey Merritt's defense, after the model was criticized for not not being Filipino enough. Photo by Precious del Valle/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – For Anne Curtis, it’s not the color of the skin that defines a Filipina woman.

In an interview with Anne at the Pantene #StrongerNow event Tuesday, September 11, where she was launched as the brand’s newest ambassador, the Fil-Australian expressed regret that personalities were getting criticized for not looking like a traditional Filipina.

“I see the likes of other people getting that now especially when they’re hitting the major [milestone]. You know who I’ m talking about? It’s sad but eventually they will be proud. Alam mo yun? Yun naman ako dati eh.” (You know? I was like that before.) 

Early this week, Kelsey Merritt confirmed that she will be the first Filipina to walk the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. The announcement, however, drew mixed reaction from netizens. With Kelsey being half American, many pointed out that it wasn’t an accurate representation of a true Filipina.

Addressing the issue on Twitter, Kelsey explained that she was born and raised in Pampanga, adding that she was more Filipino compared to “pure” Filipinos who have never set foot in the Philippines.

Pinanganak ako sa Pilipinas at lumaki ako sa Pampanga. Tinapos ko ang pagaaral ko sa Manila bago ako lumipat sa US last year. Mas pinoy pa dugo ko kesa sa mga “pure” na hindi pa nakatapak sa Pilinipas. I love my country and I’m proud of where I came from. — Kelsey Merritt (@kelsmerritt) September 9, 2018

After 21 years in the industry and several balikabayan friend roles later, Anne shared that she got acceptance from the Filipino audience after they got to know the real her.

“I learned the language and I lived here for more than half my life.  More than anything the Philippines my home now and you know what? I think people learn to embrace that. Pinoys learn to embrace you and love you when they get to know the real you.” –