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Strength of a Woman
I always, always appreciate campaigns that celebrate women empowerment. Left and right we see women tearing other women down or men mindlessly committing sexist remarks just because we have been so accustomed to such a patriarchal society. Imagine, there was a time when women are deprived of working, of dreaming, of the simple right to vote. Nowadays, women are running the world, owning their own businesses, chasing their dreams and making their marks in the world apart from the traditional role of being an equally empowering supermom and/or wonder housewife who manages the household.
With this, Physiogel has a mission to empower women to break free from the barriers we or society impose on ourselves. #EverydayStrong is their campaign that celebrates women who choose to be better and stronger every day. Their stories will be shared and we’ll start with three successful women: photographer Sara Black, fashion designer Vania Romoff, and creative digital influencer Pat Henson.
Young, hungry, and creative is the towering 22-year-old Patricia Henson. From a boyish high school student to a now bikini-cladding online influencer, social media became her tool to explore, travel and experience more out of life. Getting out of her comfort zone is not exactly a willful decision she made. Her love for ball sports has caused her an injury with a broken collarbone, which prompted the then 16 year old to let go of the sports she loved most. “I was so young, and I had to go through surgery, a titanium plate (which I still have by the way) was attached to hold my bones together.”
Moving into modeling, she was told that projects would be scarce because she’s more on the chubbier side, and she can only be viable for a specific genre. “I told myself, this isn’t really for me. I need to move on.” Pat received a series of no’s before a single, definite yes came in. It only took one person to take a shot at her, but it was really the social media milieu that allowed her to influence people to travel and explore.
A professional fashion photographer for 13 years, making a name for herself in a world where everyone wants to be famed has been an uphill climb for Sara. Coming from a place of sound experience and life wisdom, Sara always decides to be in a state of Joy. “Pain will never really go away. It’s a necessary aspect of life.”
Initially bound to compete at the biggest premium triathlon event in country, Sara had to beg off due to a horrible bike crash that fractured her hips. “It’s painful to be here but I’m choosing to focus on the things that I’m learning: humility, patience, and how to accept help, kindness, and compassion from people. There is always another side of the coin.”
I’ve personally worked with Sara around three times already and she just has that very positive yet very calming and reassuring presence. During shoots, she’s very easy to work with – she studies your angles and directs you pretty well (especially if you’re a non-model like me who doesn’t know how to pose).
The second time I worked her, I didn’t think she would remember me (because who am I compared to celebrities she’s worked with diba?) but she did. She’s very down-to-earth! I even remember her messaging me on Whatsapp because she showed an Instagram post of mine to her friend (and my longtime crush) Diether Ocampo wherein I was fangirling because I saw him in Dean and Deluca, Rockwell. See this tweet here for the said Whatsapp convo (which I had to share talaga because DIETHER OCAMPO SAID HI TO ME GUYSSSS).
Vania’s success is not an overnight wonder. “I use to do fittings and consultations inside coffee shops.” Primed as one of the hottest young designers of her time, Vania Romoff takes her two roles gravely: first as a mom to Emilia Simone, and second high-priority as a designer. Looking back at her trying years, finding her way through the chaos known as the fashion industry, she remembers with delight how selling at bazaars felt like.
This hardworking, modern mom designer can only do so much, especially now that there is someone who inspires her to become a better woman. Motherhood can be just as daunting as starting her first big label, and the struggle of time management can be as painful as growing the business. “Most days there’s barely a room to breathe. But there is strength from the inside that tells you to never stop working towards your goals – no matter what the circumstances are; and that it is always okay to take a step back and reprioritize.”
Are you #EverydayStrong?
Every day, from all walks of life, there is nothing more inspiring than women who have gone through life with battle scars, and has used and turn them into strength. All beautiful stories come with a common foundation – layers of untold pains and hardships. An #EverydayStrong woman is an embodiment of each Filipina who continue to hold their heads up high, take on the world, and create their own strength stories.
“I am #EverydayStrong because I live from the heart. I derive my strength from there and it has never proven me wrong.” Sara inspires women to take care of themselves through healthy living from the inside and out.
In times of drowning social media noise, Patricia wants to inspire young women to see the world and enjoy it. “#EverydayStrong is an invitation to share a piece of yourself, make the story good that others will be inspired to move and inspire others. A rippling effect of strength.”
“Take care of yourself – get sleep, hydrate, wash your face, moisturize, and laugh once in a while.” Vania notes how she cares for herself. “#EverydayStrong is a woman who has faced adversities, and still manages to stand up and become better the next day.”
Vania, Pat, and Sara have shown that strength is more than what meets the eye. Together with Physiogel, they are on a mission to speak up and show that whatever life throws at you – it can be a force to strengthen yourself even more.
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