"Ay, ang ganda mo 'no? Kaso ang taba mo."
"Sayang mataba ka."
"Ayaw mo magpapayat?"
Katrina Gumabao has had enough of these passive-aggresive comments. The curvy model grew up with everyone around her dropping comments on her body cushioned by a small compliment. She tells us, "What annoys me about it the most, actually until now when I get comments like that, is why do you have to make it seem as if you're happy about it? They're trying not to offend you but in reality they know that what they are about to say is offensive."
IMAGE Melson Bolongaita
Kat admits that she's no longer fazed by the comments as she has long come to terms that her beauty is "not equal and not determined by size." She knows what's more important, which is what's inside her heart.
She still can't help but be puzzled, however, by the fact that people are so inclined to add a "but" or "if" to every compliment thrown her way."Bakit ganon? Ang tao mahilig sa half comments. Sasabihin nila 'Uy, ang ganda niya 'no, kaso sayang maliit siya," or "Ang ganda ng damit mo. Sana color blue na lang." And with this sentiment, Kat strongly calls to resolve this by simply "calling it what it is." "She's beautiful, she's smart, she's brilliant. Why do we always have to put a negative term whenever we try to praise someone else? It honestly speaks of our own insecurities and our own negative thoughts about ourselves," she explains.
"People have the audacity to make someone else feel bad about themselves," Kat adds. "I was taught that words are very powerful. They are double-edged swords. They can inspire someone and take them from zero to 100 really quick. But at the same time, those same words [can be] as fatal as a gunshot straight to the brain, taking someone from 100 to -1000 in a snap."
In her own way, Kat puts in an effort to stop the verbal abuse. She isn't afraid to call someone out and let others know that what they're doing can be hurtful—be it in person or on social media. Moreover, she encourages everyone to do the same. She reminds us to use with caution the power of our words. After all, "You have the ablity to inspire someone."