All the rage, quite literally, on social media these days are the advertisements of skincare products that play on Filipinos’ inferiority complex and colonial mentality.
Specifically, these products are marketed as magical solutions to make Filipinos conform to conventional notions of beauty—fair, instead of brown.
And while there are those who are proud of their darker skin tone, sadly there are many who still believe that fairer is better and would do anything to become it.
Unfortunately, instead of building self-esteem and pride in one’s natural attributes, these companies find it more rewarding to play on these misplaced insecurities.
After all, they stand to reap the benefits.
But the ill effects of such feelings of inferiority go beyond the choice of skincare products. On a grander scale, it also makes us less assertive at claiming what we rightfully deserve.
It makes us content with the dismaying array of political names we have to choose from in next year’s elections. Because we don’t believe we are entitled to anything better, we settle for what is familiar even though time and experience have told us otherwise.
Politicians exploit this feeling of inferiority by not holding themselves up against a stricter standard of performance and behavior. They see public office as an entitlement and as a way to settle scores.
This inferiority also makes us think twice about asserting ourselves against neighbors that we perceive to be more powerful than ourselves.
Here, for instance, an increasing number of other nationalities are taking job opportunities that should go to Filipinos, and are behaving rudely in our own territory. Such is reflective of what is happening geopolitically in the seas surrounding our land.
National pride does not only come into play when there is a compatriot who makes it big on the international scene. It is avoiding the trap of believing we are not as good, or do not deserve as much, as the next fellow.