Actress and YouTuber Asia Jackson has created the now-viral movement #MagandangMorenx (literally, “beautiful brown-skin” in Tagalog). “Moreno/a” becomes the gender-inclusive “Morenx,” encouraging Filipinos of all genders to love their brown skin. Since its creation, thousands of dark-skinned, tan, and brown-skinned Filipinos have posted opulent, gorgeous, and glowing(!) selfies under the hashtag.
Growing up half Filipina-American and half-Black made it difficult for Jackson to navigate her cultural identity. In an interview with NBC News, Jackson recounts that her multicultural upbringing contributed to her awareness of cultural representation and empathy toward people of different backgrounds.
(As a result of over 300 years of colonization, the Philippines has a pretty historic preoccupation with light skin. This preference is apparent in everything from the country’s actors and Mestizo/a models to its most famous public figures and celebrities.)
#MagandangMorenx helps give a platform to marginalized Filipinos.
The movement promotes self-love and self-acceptance, and aims to redefine Filipino beauty ideals. The hashtag also deliberately pushes against colorism — an issue long prevalent, but seldom discussed, in Filipino and other Asian communities.
Thousands of Filipinx people are speaking out against the obsession with light skin and posting selfies under the hashtag.
We’re looking forward to more #MagandangMorenx selfies. Growing up mixed is hard, guys — but movements like #MagandangMorenx remind us we’re not alone. They also show the power of social media when it comes to the representation we don’t always see in the media.
The revolution of self-love, acceptance, diversity, and community continues. We look forward to the conversation growing as more Filipinx voices are heard.