SOUL FOOD – Nine Lives by Mikko Mahinay

Globalization, as a result from social media’s uprising has manifested both contradicting results: it has established standards, and at the same time, it has deprecate these standards. Gone are the days when Philippine shampoo commercials only featured the ideological Filipino beauty with long, black & straight hair but has come to embrace diversity; and have come to use ladies with curls and/or with color in their locks. The Kardashians have also come to introduce to society that blue-eyed blondes with alabaster skin do not necessarily get all the fun (& attention) whether or not the infamous sisters from the noveau riche surname had some cosmetic augmentation done. Viral posts on Twitter has shown a deep appreciation for individuals with mixed ethnicity and the world of high fashion has even come to terms with beauties with genetic disorders with the likes of Melanie Gaydos.

However, I can’t deny having several friends frequently asking me to try getting Gluthathione shots to make my skin lighter even if I actually prefer to have burnt red skin with a fine gold undertone (& forever will be) but I also can’t deny the frustration of getting rhinoplasty and get a slimmer nose ridge. I also can’t deny finding it confusing how some people force themselves to look Korean, both in make-up and in fashion, even if their natural features are far from our porcelain skinned oriental counterparts- looking off put, rather than complimentary. Perhaps, beauty is still is trivial and subjective and we’ll all never figure out the mechanisms to truly satisfy everyone’s taste. And we don’t even need to; or at least, to some extent. Add to the formula, Xian Gaza’s recent highly publicized display of affection towards Erich Gonzales which spurred off a frenzy of opinions on the internet which were highly contributed by  our unfortunate archetypal colonial mentality.

In my decade long career  in pseudo-Tinsletown, I have come to know that beauty is skin deep. I have worked with a menagerie of beauties and personalities that even those who are called out to be “it girls” on campus, or homeland turf’s flavor of the month, or that guy everyone has a crush on- doesn’t immediately translate to a photograph unless they have character and personality for them to fastidiously penetrate through the lens or catapult from the pages of glossy print. I always say, contributing something to society whether its thru a talent, a skill, a groundbreaking business, a breakthrough in a sociological or political issue and the like- has and is always something more attractive in photograph and most significantly in person than just being another pretty face or another hot body in the crowd.

One of my favorite people to work with and shoot is Muriel Lumadilla. Undeniably gifted with a voice that could rival icons, even in a global platform- and even worth a platinum certified sale than most people with an actual album released. Confident in her own shape, skin color and racial diversity~ it just speaks volumes of character and personality enveloped in diversity that this generation has come (albeit slowly) to embrace. Truth be told, one of my previous clients disdains the thought of using people of color in their collateral, but I have and would work with Muriel in an instant- at least I’m sure of the output has any actual image that has of great value, and with Muriel’s following, it also has an actual point of revenue than to use just another pretty white girl.

And with her talent and skill, she has proven her value to society that no client ought to cast just pretty white people in their campaigns.


Photography & Styling / Mikko Mahinay for Urban Life Mindanao Gold Star Daily

Hair & Make-up / Muriel Lumadilla

Wardrobe / Plus+ by Gaisano

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

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