Women should be respected regardless of what they wear and not judged based on how they opt to present themselves in media.
This is the strong stance of actresses Andrea Torres and Thia Tomalla in light of the ongoing discussion of #HijaAko, a movement taking on and fighting rape culture.
In a virtual press conference, the two reiterated clothes some people might find revealing don’t mean consent for women to be disrespected, violated.
“Judging woman and saying they are being ‘harassed’ because of the way they dress up, it’s unfair,” Thia said.
Andrea added: “(At) hindi ibig sabihin na nagsuot siya ng sexy ay humihingi na siya ng ganoong atensyon. Maaaring gusto niya lang maging sexy o nagagandahan siya, pero hindi ibig sabihin na nagi-invite siya ng harassment.” .
Playing sexy characters on TV at times, Andrea admitted some people get too comfortable with her, to the point that they tell her green jokes.
“Sa totoo lang, medyo nahihirapan ako. Naba-bother ako na ganu’n yung treatment sa’kin. So what I do, talagang kini-clear ko sa mga tao, na it’s just a character far different from who I am in real life. Dapat alam nila how to separate my roles from Andrea. I’m an actress eh and I do let them know talaga na hindi ako komportable sa ganu’n.”
Both in a relationship and each looking forward to starting a family, Andrea and Thia vowed that should they bear children, they will certainly know the importance of respecting women.
“Dapat matutunan niya yung traditional na pag-aalaga sa babae. Na hindi dapat sinasagawan, laging inaalayan,” Andrea said.
“If ever I see my son disrespecting a woman, I will definitely pull him aside. I would tell him na… imagine that’s me or your sister. Would you do that? I will make him realize na what he did was wrong.”
Thia has competed against other women on stage. In fact, she was named first-ever Asian to have won the Miss Eco International crown in 2018.
But for the beauty queen, it’s all friendly competition and beauty pageants should not be used to disparage women.
“Empowered women, empower women,” she said.
Thia knows competition among actresses is sometimes inevitable. However, she hopes fans know where to draw the line.
“Sometimes nandun din iyon sa mga nagre-react eh. They are the ones who pit women against each other. I understand na minsan nadadala lang sa mga roles we play, but dapat hindi na umabot na pati ang personal life ay pinagko-compare.”
More of these womanhood topics were discussed on “How Do You Feel?: Usapang Artista” by and among Kapuso actors over the weekend. They also talked about how important it is to ably represent women through the roles they portray, and the characters they played that made an impact on their lives.
Produced by acting coach Ana Feleo and Artist Center talents Chynna Ortaleza, Benjamin Alves, and Mikoy Morales, “How Do You Feel?: Usapang Artista” is still on GMA Artist Center’s YouTube channel and GMA Network’s Facebook page. The roundtable discussion is facilitated by Chynna Ortaleza.
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