Deliciously Plump Pinay Rocks Beauty Standards
Interview by Ruth Alfonso Alarcon.
Ed. by Hamida Bisnar.
The essence of beauty is no longer boxed to a specific standard set by God-knows-who. But sisters Danah and Stacey Gutierez, the Plump Pinays, can pin down the culprit. It’s the media that “bombard very unnatural images that make us want to change every bit of our bodies,” says Plump Pinay, speaking from personal experiences and tragedies.
As of this writing their site at www.theplumpinay.com has 822,876 hits and still counting. Their own personal blogs tell their fans (“who patiently hung on our word when we said we’ll be back”) that they both went on hibernation for a year and now ready for a comeback. And yes, twin sisters Stacey and Danah are back for their fans and the tandem will continue to advance their advocacies and inspire everyone to stay healthy and love their bodies while being fab and positive. The twin sisters are the force behind the country’s leading website advocating health and body love and acceptance among female teenagers and ladies who are young at heart, the Plump Pinay. These two are the source of inspiration for young and hip Pinays who are suffering either from depression, social exclusion, poor sense of self-esteem because of weight and body mass challenges.
Danah and Stacey admitted once, like most of us, thought that to be beautiful and sexy you have to be thinner like those models in the covers of various fashion magazines abroad. But Danah and Stacey are positive and up for the challenge on this oblique standard of beauty proliferated by selfish consumerists strategies and social conditioning. Hip, funny, at times funky Plump Pinay is serious when they encourage their fans “to tackle the true beauty of the Filipina women” through the concept of body acceptance. They would like to inculcate to their readers to nurture that positive feeling about themselves through their bodies. “We want you to love your body ‘cos it’s the only one you’ve got. We want you to work with it and not fight with it. We want you to share as we share, vent as we vent, about the struggles we’ve all had…”
The very essence of Plump Pinay is to showcase beauty that outshines any challenges, any stereotypes and the society’s notions of ‘fat’, ‘sexy’ and ‘the beautiful’. Plump Pinay is meant for Filipinas who undergo challenges and yet, still have the desire to radiate and show the world who they are. The website showcases the latest fashion trends, blogsites advaocating heath and body love and acceptance, restaurants, boutiques, and even personal testaments from fans. Danah and Stacey share their adventures, their most personal sentiments and experiences to inspire their readers. The site also displays various glam shots of the twins complete with their chic wardrobe and stylists.
Pinay.com had the chance to meet the sassy ladies of Plump Pinay, Danah and Stacey Gutierrez, for an interview and they shared to us some of their secrets and perspectives.
Pinay.com: How do you define sexy before Plump Pinay was born?
Plump Pinay: Of course it was typical–how the media defined sexy was what we believed to be sexy because there was only one body type advertised as desirable everywhere; so sexy to us meant being slim.
Plump Pinay: No, we did not. And because of this I went through extreme dieting and calorie counting while Stacy suffered from an eating disorder (anorexia-bulimia). We’ve always felt the pressure from society that in order to be considered beautiful/attractive, we must be a certain size.
Pinay.com: Are you naturally full bosomed or frail when you were younger?
Plump Pinay: Our mom and dad are big-boned and my dad stands 6 ft. tall. We’ve been full bosomed ever since.
Pinay.com: What were you thinking when you created Plump Pinay?
Plump Pinay: With my sister recovering from Anorexia-Bulimia and the both of us becoming more open to body acceptance and fat positivity, we just really wanted to share the body love gospel and also our experiences to women to make them feel good about themselves.
Pinay.com: Did you create it (The Plump Pinay) purposely to inspire other buxomly women out there or was it just originally for Danah and Stacy?
Plump Pinay: We created the blog with the objective to inspire and inform, of course. We wanted our experiences to be lessons to women and we want to let them know that they don’t have to go through the body acceptance journey alone. We don’t just blog for the sake of blogging. We blog for a purpose.
Pinay.com: Given society’s current standards, how do you make the case that plumpness can be pretty?
Plump Pinay: We show them how it’s done. Haha! Kidding aside, we really try to practice what we preach, so with our confidence levels high and lips painted red, we try to rock everything we do with passion, gusto and excellence. We always tell women that how you see yourself will determine how other people will see and treat you.
Pinay.Com: Obviously, you are proud of your body; but given a chance, would you rather be slim? Why?
Plump Pinay: Nope. We’d rather focus on health and fitness than our girth and weight. Thinness/slimness doesn’t equate healthiness.
Pinay.com: What were the challenges in creating a counter-culture to the common belief that it is the slim and sexy women who are lovely?
Plump Pinay: Our challenge then was our credibility. Our advocacy has a lot of out-of-the-box, unheard of principles and topics so we had to be honest and believable people to be pioneers of such an unconventional and novel advocacy.
Pinay.com:Have you ever been discriminated because of weight issues? How did you address the problem?
Plump Pinay: Of course. I (Danah) have been stopped from joining modeling/casting events because of my size. I’ve been bullied and mocked because of my weight too. I used to ignore them because I was TOO nice. But eventually, I learned that sometimes you have to draw the line and really stand for yourself. Put people in their place. So now I always have a witty retort that shuts them up whenever discriminatory messages about weight are being thrown around.
Pinay.com: Your blog site undoubtedly contributed to the growing confidence of “plus size” women about themselves, how do you think you have helped them? Do you have any future plan/advocacy that you would want to address/tackle on your blog site?
Plump Pinay: We think we have helped them to realize that there is no standard in beauty and that diversity makes each of us beautiful.
We think it’s making them feel safe and adequate in their skin. As for our future plans, we plan to put up our feel-good plus size clothing line that will really bring out the glorious curves in every plump Pinay.
Pinay.com: In our society, do you think slimmer women fare better than curvaceous women in getting or attracting a potential partner; or do you think that is all changed now?
Plump Pinay: In our experience, we’ve attracted a good number of guys (we say this without being conceited) at our size. Though there are guys who prefer skinny women, there’s also a bunch that prefer the softness of chubby girls. We strongly believe that women shouldn’t rely on their physique to attract a partner. There is so much more to us than how we look, and we have so much more to offer than our bodies. We’ve come to realize that if you don’t let your weight or your size get in the way in being yourself and exuding your personality, then it wouldn’t matter to the opposite sex too. If you’re comfortable in yourself, people will be comfortable around you too, and that’s one factor that can really draw attention to you from different people.
Pinay.com: What have been the reactions of women to your site – both positive and negative? How did you respond to them?
Plump Pinay: To be honest, 9 out of ten comments are positive. We always respond with honesty, clarity and sincerity, of course. Top all of that with gratitude.
Pinay.com: What is the ultimate goal that you want to achieve in behalf of all plump Pinays who found inspiration and encouragement in both of you?
Plump Pinay: To keep inspiring women to be strong, intelligent and beautiful individuals who live purposefully—may it be in our business or writing.
Thank you for the Pinay.com interview, Plump Pinay and Ruth A. Alarcon!