When a person finds out you had something “done,” brows usually tend to rise and you had better expect to be talked about the moment your back is turned. Although our society these days outrightly promotes self-love, acceptance and tolerance, the idea that someone had herself enhanced, improved, refreshed or all the other euphemisms for it, can still be a taboo topic.
You are encouraged, even expected to keep it to yourself and pretend you had looked like that all this time. All the positive reasons you have for getting the procedures can be eclipsed and you are branded as someone who has confidence issues, is vain, or worse, that something is seriously wrong with you.
But the ultimate caveat is when getting enhanced means recognizing that indeed you have flaws, that you consider these flaws a hindrance to reaching your ultimate goals, happiness and sense of self; therefore, doing something about it, taking control and correcting it.
Cat Arambulo, a fashion stylist, interior designer, TV and online personality, wife and mother of three, is taking on the role of someone who’s open to enhancing her looks for the right reasons and is not afraid to let the whole world know about it.
“A woman is truly beautiful when she is confident in her own skin, once she’s accepted her flaws, once she knows her strengths, uses and maximizes these. I think the important thing is when she accepts her weaknesses and flaws, but the greatest power is being able to fix them and asking for help when she needs it — I think that’s the crucial part of it,” Arambulo said when she was revealed as the Philippines’ representative alongside 10 women from other countries in the Asia Pacific region in the Merz Aesthetics Serendipity Journey (MASJ).
Conway Rappa, regional commercial director of Merz Asia Pacific, agreed with Arambulo’s views during the recent launch held at the Shangri-La Hotel at the Fort. “Once you have realized what your flaws are, the easier it will be to fix them. Cat is the perfect ambassador because she is very open and ready to talk about it.”
The MASJ is Merz Aesthetics’ way of encouraging women to pursue the best version of themselves as these ambassadors show what they’ve learned about the art and science of aesthetics through the Merz portfolio.
“I think that in this day and age, there’s a lot of stigma and people are still shy to ask for help because they see it as a weakness,” explains Arambulo, who she sees the opportunity to help and inspire other women in the journey to self-discovery.
“I’ve never felt so free in my life. I’ve never felt so good about myself, not only for myself, but I feel that when I help and inspire other women to help themselves, it gives them a lot of power and it gives me power, too. You’ll be surprised how that replicates and snowballs,” she adds.
Arambulo admits that she has been enhancing herself for four years now, even before she signed on as ambassador for Merz Aesthetics.
“I had been doing it for the last four years after my second child because I really felt that I had to. I needed tightening and all that and I wanted to try non-invasive treatments first to delay aging before I tried all the other things. I did those first then I followed up with the injectables,” she narrates.
Arambulo reveals that the first thing she had “done” was her nose. “This was my insecurity since high school. During that time, my mom didn’t allow me to and, of course, I couldn’t afford to pay for it by myself. But the minute I started earning on my own, I said, you know what, I’m going to do it. The funny thing is when I had already scheduled my appointment, I got together with Carlo, now my husband, and I was like, ‘Oh, by the way in a few weeks I’m going to be having my nose done. I’m not asking you, I’m just telling you so it’s something that you’ll have to live with and accept.’ That was in 2010.”
In case you think the procedures are everything you need, Arambulo also puts in effort to keep her skin healthy.
“I use a lot of skincare products — moisturizing, face masks, you know, just to hydrate — because, obviously, not only to look better and feel better. A lot of my work also involves being in front of the cameras, and I do use a lot of makeup so I have to make sure that I also moisturize and maintain it. I tone, I cleanse and I also change products often because I don’t want to get immune and it is also part of my job to review,” adds Arambulo as she emphasizes that taking care of oneself does not come cheap but is an investment.
So strongly does she believe in it that she would allow her daughter to do the same. “Oh my gosh, yes! In fact, as long as she’s doing it for the right reasons. It has to be for herself — it can’t be for a boyfriend or to try to make someone else look good. As long as it’s because she has an insecurity and she personally wants to fix it and is asking for my help. I’ll even be the one to pay for it and bring her to the doctor. I wish that my parents were more open about it because I feel like I could have even been a more giving person if I had found myself earlier in the game, right? Later in life, thank God I discovered it, but I would have been able to help even more people in my journey.”
As ambassador of the MASJ, Arambulo says she is in a better position to encourage fellow Filipinas and show how Merz Aesthetics actually works.
“I’m just so honored to be one of the ambassadors because it has given me a bigger platform to share my story and show people the actual results of what Merz has done for my life. I mean it’s not just they made me feel good today. It’s not just a today thing; it is something that I perceive growing old with. I just think that it’s the perfect platform, perfect relationship and collaboration that I have because I’ve been loyal to this brand.”
For more information on the Merz Aesthetics Serendipity Journey, you may visit https://www.myserendipityjourney.com and Like and Follow My Serendipity Journey on Facebook and Instagram. Also, visit www.merzaesthetics.com.