Actress-surfer Andi Eigenmann shuts down trolls for skin-shaming her partner

<i>Photo: Andi Eigenmann / IG</i>
Photo: Andi Eigenmann / IG

Say it louder for the people in the back.

Actress Andi Eigenmann shut down skin-shaming talk directed at her partner, fellow surfer Philmar Alipayo, because the champion athlete happened to sport a natural tan.

Alipayo expressed some of the difficulties of living with the 30-year-old celebrity in the couple’s vlog, which was posted yesterday.

“It’s difficult because people will come to me, bashing me,” he shared.

Read: The Color of Money: In Philippine TV and film, white still equals green

Eigenmann was appalled at the insults directed at her partner, who shares the same skin color as the majority of Filipinos.

“Why do Filipinos think that [dark-skinned] Filipinos are ugly? Like my partner’s brown-skinned. Hello? That’s a so (sic) nice tan. You have so nice skin,” she said turning to her partner.

“No person is ugly; [bad] manners are what makes you ugly,” Alipayo said.

The actress said Pinoys should reframe how they think about skin color and about people living in the provinces.

“I didn’t expect that we would get haters, or that because of me people would be saying bad or mean things to Philmar just because of his skin color, and also because he’s from the province. I hope that Filipinos would get rid of the mentality that if you’re from the province that you are not successful…because that’s not the meaning of success,” Eigenmann.

Read: Commission on Human Rights urges whitening companies to stop perpetuating colorism

She added that she and her partner feel more fulfilled living in Siargao.

“We’re here because we want to be here, and he never left the island because he wants to be on the island, not because he’s not successful…[B]ut that’s okay because while people are being mean, we’re just living our happiest, awesomest life,” she said.

The actress recalled that during their initial dating period, Alipayo had doubts about whether they fit as a couple because he was “just an islander.” But she shut down the demeaning talk as well.

“[N]ever say just, because, to me, you guys are the richest people on earth to be surrounded by such beauty, nature, and living in paradise like this,” Eigenmann said.

Pinoys, like most Asians, have long been obsessed with fair skin, evident in the number of whitening products being marketed to consumers. Dark skin is perceived as ugly, and television shows even have actors sporting blackface for comedic effect.

Read: Life on the drip: Tapping into a country’s color obsession

Eigenmann, who acts part-time and flies to Manila for projects from time to time, has been living with Alipayo in Siargao since 2018. They have two daughters. The couple are working on setting up a bed and breakfast inn on the island.

 

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