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Op: Ed "Colonized in Colorism"

Written by Sophia Isma

August 1, 2021

If you go to the blog post on my website, I talk about being colonized in colorism (no title pun intended, hehehe). From talking about representation in Entertainment, specifically in PH Showbiz to my experience with colorism without realizing it was colorism.

Today, let’s continue that topic.

There is a Filipino film that will be released this July called Gluta starring Ella Cruz and directed by Darryl Yap. The film is about an Indigenous Aeta girl who wants to be a beauty queen despite her brown skin. Here are three main problems regarding this film:

  1. Anyone can be a beauty queen, no matter the color of their skin.

  2. Cruz is not an Indigenous Filipino, let alone morena--- even though the controversy centers around Blackface.

  3. Darryl Yap is a problem.

If you refer to the preface of E.J.R. David’s Brown Skin, White Minds: Filipino -/ American Postcolonial Psychology, “Celebrities who often portrayed the villains in movies or the comedic relief characters that people make fun of, tease, or berate were often dark-skinned. They were often regarded as ugly.” (David, 2013).

This is an indication that Filipinos still believe that brown skin is not beautiful.

According to PhilStar, “During the recent virtual press conference of the film, Darryl defended his movie saying he respects everyone’s opinion but will not consider it as a fact.

‘Political correctness is b*s*. If people will say that I'm problematic for making Ella as a black person, then that's their opinion, I won’t consider that as a fact,’ he said.” (Severo, 2021).


Who is Sophia Isma? A Pinay-American, born and raised in Southern California, and in my fourth year as an undergraduate student at California University, Long Beach. Consider me as a Public Relations student by day and Musical Theatre enthusiast forever!What drew me to Public Relations was that it had a broad variety of job opportunities for any career field I desire: Entertainment (Music, Film/TV and Theatre), Fashion, Beauty/Skin Care, Lifestyle and Tourism. Before college, She attended Lakewood High School and was a part of extra curricular activities such as Madrigal Choir, from sophomore to senior year as a mezzo soprano. Junior year was a highlight for me because the Madrigals were fortunate enough to sing back up for Grammy-award winning artist Alicia Keys at WE Day 2017. She loves music, especially musical theatre because you get to act, sing, and dance!

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