Struggling then, stronger now: True stories of ‘Pinay power’

It is hard to be confident and beautiful when the society always makes you feel not enough. Believe it or not, all women from all walks of life—from superstars to those we see on our daily commute—have had their own struggles to overcome just because they didn’t fit into the mold. 

Struggling then, stronger now: True stories of ‘Pinay power’
Pantene Philippines brand ambassadors (from left) Anna Cay, Chi Gibbs, Gabs Gibbs, Alodia Gosiengfiao, Jasmine Curtis-Smith, Anne Curtis-Smith, Gabbi Garcia, Joyce Pring, Kevin Balot, Stacy Gutierrez, Say Tioco and Dennise Lazaro celebrate their #StrongerNow moments. 
On top of her game

Even Anne Curtis-Smith had to prove her critics wrong before she became the multi-faceted star and sought-after endorser that she is today. 

She started as a foreign-looking little girl who could barely speak Filipino, making it a challenge for her to land crucial speaking roles. There have been times before she skyrocketed to stardom, when she would struggle to lock in a project, making it seem like leaving Australia was not such a good idea after all. 

Still, Curtis-Smith continued to clock in hours and fight for what she was passionate about—performing. 

“It was a slow climb to achieve my dream, but with patience and willingness to learn and speak Tagalog fluently, networks, directors, and producers took notice that I was improving in my craft. From then on, I have never stopped working, and now… I am ANNEstoppable,” she enthused. 

From shy girl to global endorser

Struggling then, stronger now: True stories of ‘Pinay power’
Before Anne Curtis-Smith became the superstar that she is today, she had to improve herself to prove her critics wrong.
In a society obsessed with fair skin, Gabbi Garcia stands out for breaking through beauty standards with her morena skin that she now wears so proudly, encouraging more Filipino women to do the same. 

But all this confidence she has now actually started from a deep sense of insecurity, having to get through criticisms for being too “regular-looking.” She shared she would receive negative comments so often because she did not fit into people’s idea of what an actress should be. 

“I was so insecure with all the other girls, but I tried to hide that. Although it eventually came to a point where I started to question my worth. Am I worth other people’s time and attention?” shared the 19-year-old actress.

She eventually let go of her doubts as she learned to find strength in herself and in others, working toward inspiring people that regardless of what others think, it is important to stay true to yourself.

With insecurities thrown out the window, more opportunities came to her. Garcia was named last year the first Filipino ambassador for Pantene, for which she starred in a commercial shown in 10 different countries.

A queen named Kevin

Kevin Balot is one of the beautiful faces who brought glory to the country. She’s the first transgender Filipino to won the Miss International Queen crown in 2012. But it was not an easy straight path for this queen. 

As the only boy in the family, Balot grew up with expectations from her father that she would be an engineer, but she had other plans for herself. She worked several jobs and joined beauty pageants to put herself through nursing school until Miss International Queen 2012 happened.

She has come out triumphant from her struggles and actually had a crown on her head to show for it, and now, she serves to empower more women like her.

Today she tirelessly works to continue to expand the knowledge of Filipinos about the most underrepresented segment of the LGBT. 

Body positivity advocates

The women behind, twin sisters Danah and Stacey Gutierrez, were not always the body-positive figures people have grown to admire. They, too, had fought their own battles with body shaming, eating disorders, and insecurities that never seem to end. 

Since winning over their struggles, they are among the first women to spearhead the body positivity movement in the Philippines with their blog they started in 2009. aims to challenge the society’s stereotypes on body image by promoting the idea that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.

Confidently beautiful

These stories of women who became stronger because of the struggles they overcame are the stories Pantene Philippines wants to highlight in the #StrongerNow movement. The campaign aims to inspire Filipinas to celebrate every scar, every sweat, every struggle that made them the kind of strong they are now.

Aside from Anne Curtis-Smith, Gabbi Garcia, Kevin Balot, and Danah and Stacey Gutierrez, the hair care brand also tells the stories of Pantene Philippines brand ambassadors Anna Cay, Alodia Gosiengfiao, Chi Gibbs, Gabs Gibbs, Dennise Lazaro, Jasmine Curtis-Smith, Joyce Pring, and Say Tioco.

Coinciding with the launch of #StrongerNow campaign, Pantene Philippines has also introduced the new Pantene Pro-Vitamin shampoo and 3 Minute Miracle conditioner designed to put in more nutrients with every wash, strengthening hair with resilience to take on daily hair stress. 

The shampoo and conditioner come in the following variants: Hair Fall Control, Total Damage Care, Silky Smooth Care, and Color Protect. 

Topics: Pantene Philippines , Anna Cay , Chi Gibbs , Gabs Gibbs , Alodia Gosiengfiao , Jasmine Curtis-Smith , Anne Curtis-Smith , Gabbi Garcia , Joyce Pring , Kevin Balot , Stacy Gutierrez , Say Tioco , Dennise Lazaro

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