Meet the strong, beautiful women who are paving the way to a brighter tomorrow.
Related: Girl Power: There’s No Stopping Mela Habijan From Fighting the Good Fight
What do we do now? It’s the big question we’re all facing as the pandemic has radically altered the way we work, socialize and how we take care of ourselves. Gender norms would instruct society to look to men for the answer, but modern women are claiming their space. Refusing to choose between beauty and power, they are changing the dialogue and proving that the two forces—which every female inherently possesses—go together. Gone are the days of a single definition of femininity. Women are now demanding for inclusivity and non-binary views of beauty and femininity. Most importantly, they are embracing their strength and putting value to the entirety of the female experience. Together with Pantene who’s been helping women recharge and come out of the pandemic embodying their full potential, MEGA brought together some exemplary women to talk to them about the future of female.
A woman who needs no introduction. Hidilyn Diaz is proof that when women dream and succeed, they lift a whole nation with them. Her iconic pose in mid-squat, holding a combined weight of 224 kilograms during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics won’t only go down in history as the moment the Philippines won its first gold, but it also officially shattered the barrier that women can’t be both strong and beautiful. “When people say women are weak and are not good leaders, as an Olympic Champion, winning in the Olympics says it all. Women are strong, we can be whoever we want to be,” Hidilyn proudly claims. If women were afraid to try out weight training before in fear of looking bulky, the Olympian’s breakthrough inspired Filipinas alike to be their own definition of feminine.
For her, true power is the ability to give back and inspire with what one can do. She has launched community workshops and weightlifting classes during the pandemic lockdowns with proceeds used to help Filipino families in Cavite and Zamboanga.
“Power is influencing other people to do their best and to not give up, especially during these trying times. We need someone who represents women, hope, and love for the country. Power without a beautiful heart and a beautiful outlook is empty. It feels good to have power with a beautiful mindset that appreciates the beauty that God gave to us,” she says. The country’s golden girl also knows the importance of being confident in your skin, whether it’s the way she always wears a red lip in her competitions or taking the time to take care of her hair, “women of today are more palaban, more risk-takers, carefree and we voice out what we need as a woman,” she explains, “with a lot of things happening in our life, we need to take care of ourselves. It helps improve our self-esteem by improving ourselves.” Never one to quit, she didn’t hesitate when asked about the future of the Filipina. Her answer is straight and simple: powerful leadership. “I see women in political leadership positions, I see women as sports leaders, I see more vocal women heard and respected.”
This power woman list co-presented by Pantene will also appear on MEGA’s April 2022 issue. Stay tuned!
Photography DOOKIE DUCAY
Creative direction JANN PASCUA
Art Direction NICOLE ALMERO
Beauty Direction MIA CASTRO
Makeup JUAN SARTE
Hair CELESTE TUVIERA
Stylist GEE JOCSON assisted by MIKE LESOY, JASON MAGO, and MARKO JEFFERSON MOYA
Photography Assistant MARK CATUNGA and ANTHONY LUMAGBAS
Shoot Coordination KZ FRANCISCO, MJ ALMERO, MAVIC VEDAÑA, AND LOUIS ESGUERRA
Shot on location ROCKEFELLER STUDIOS