Let’s deal with matters of great importance.
All I’d like to say is, if you want to look like Boy Abunda , go to Calayan. But if you want to look like Dingdong Dantes and Piolo Pascual, come to Belo.
– Vicky Belo, Showbiz Central, February 22, 2009
Vicki, if you are watching, alam mo kahit kailan, hindi ako namuhunan sa gandang panlabas dahil wala ako noon. Alam mo, namuhanan ako ng sipag, tiyaga, dasal. At Vicky, wala akong ilusyong maganda, wala akong ilusyon. Pero wala din sinuman ang may karapatang manlait sa aking pagkatao.
– Boy Abunda, Showbiz News Ngayon, February 23, 2009
The Other looks at me and as such he holds the secret of my being, he knows what I am. Thus the profound meaning of my being is outside of me, imprisoned in an absence. The Other has the advantage over me… I can turn back upon the Other so as to make an object out of him in turn since the Other’s object-ness destroys my object-ness for him.
– Jean-Paul Sartre, Being and Nothingness
Hmmm… no, this is not an “ugly-uglier-ugliest” series of pictures.
To play a stretch, yes, you can “philosophize” the rift between Boy Abunda and Vicky Belo. It’s a play on othering; showbiz has always been about looks. You have to be beautiful enough – and in many cases ugly enough – to make it in showbiz. Beauty, in many senses of the word, has never been completely subjective. If it were completely subjective, we would not have movie stars and TV stars. If it were completely subjective, we would have no need for a Vicky Belo or a Manny and Pie Calayan. We all came into an agreement that this – insert the name of a movie star or TV star here – is beautiful. It represents the ideal based on what we already have here.
We’ve all been taught to believe that real beauty is on the inside. Yet let’s face it: it never is. Someone out there will decide for us what is beautiful. A barber, for example. The saleslady at the clothing store. A make-up artist. Someone has to be a standard of beauty. Unfortunately, that’s the way the world works. People like Dingdong Dantes, Piolo Pascual, John Lloyd Cruz, Anne Curtis (just had to put her in), Cristine Reyes, and Rhian Ramos will all define for us what we are not.
Like many a showbiz journalist or a showbiz-inclined blogger, I’m just speculating. Boy Abunda, like many of us, cannot be a John Lloyd or a Piolo or a Dingdong; he doesn’t look like any of them. Boy Abunda is not part of the beautiful people at all; the fell and sort-of-implied judgment in Vicky Belo’s comment is to hit a raw nerve in Boy Abunda’s identity and self-concept. The fact that a “pagkatao” is invoked here is He’s not a matinee idol or a heartthrob, yet he ends up endorsing Calayan Surgitech. Marketing is not without ammunition: the pa-awa effect, the “wittiness” of Vicky Belo, the reaction, the overreaction… those are just the technicalities of a summary.
It’s just like dogs licking their balls: because they can, and because they do. Insults into what we look like, and how we look like, happen on a daily basis. We always hold a certain standard of beauty whether we like it or not: the beautiful that we cannot – and will not – be. To echo Sartre, to see, imagine, look, and identify with that Other – that which we are not – is the insult. The Other is our own personal Hell.
I’d like to see how this issue pans out… after I find out the name of that evil dude in Padre Amante Guerrero.