There’s no denying that body shaming is a rampant thing that affects almost everyone, but the easiest targets when it comes these harmful comments are celebrities who are always under the scrutiny of the public eye. In fact, 20-year-old ABS-CBN actress and previous Pinoy Big Brother housemate Vivoree Esclito is the latest recipient of body-shaming comments.
Last February 23, Vivoree’s name was mentioned in the “Hide and Sing” segment of noontime show It's Showtime wherein the contestants were revealed to the hosts by guessing different parts of their bodies. The arm of the first contestant was gradually shown and host Jugs Jugueta shouted, “Si Vivoree iyan,” referring to the person’s hairy arm.
The other hosts laughed and said that Vivoree is not even part of the show. Co-host Karylle spoke up and defended Vivoree by telling Jugs, “Grabe kayo! Jugs, ako I’m a very balbon girl also. Ganun lang talaga.” Jugs apologized for what he said towards Vivoree and said, “That was just a joke. I’m sorry.”
Vivoree gets word about what Jugs said about her and later on posts a tweet saying, “When someone makes fun of your looks, let our response be ‘gwapa/gwapo gihapon’ (cool face emoji),” which translates to "still beautiful."
She also retweeted her old post from 2019 about body-shaming comments that she had received. She said, “Ok so I’ve seen some comments about some people body-shaming me. It’s fine with me po, no [offense] taken, but PLEASE do not do it to others. Some people don’t take it the same way I do. Others' bodies are totally NONE of your business. Be sensitive enough to know that.”
Vivoree also retweeted a post from one netizen who said, “You can joke all you want, laugh all you want, but NEVER EVER use someone’s insecurities as your JOKE on NATIONAL TV. What you did may result in normalizing BODY SHAMING as a funny topic to your viewers. NO TO BODY SHAMING.”
As a celebrity and public figure, Vivoree has experienced receiving these kinds of comments and she has been vocal about being against body-shaming since the beginning of her career. In an interview with Preview in 2018, she talked about her insecurities, how she had been bullied because she doesn’t fit into expectations of “beauty,” and how she rose above it:
“Sobrang insecure ako [dati] sa sarili ko because of the way I look, and [the bullying I went through],” she shares. “Pero ngayon, mino-motivate ko ‘yung sarili ko na, ‘Kailangan mag-survive ka sa mundong ito, kahit ang dami-daming negativity and ang dami-dami nang dahilan para sumuko, kailangan mo pa ring tumuloy.’”
“I didn’t let it get me down because I’m a survivor. I rose above the criticism and the judgment, and [I’d like to think] I became a person people could look up to. And [what I went through] honed me to be the person that I am today.”
Well said, Vivoree! You keep doing you.