Romayne Rivera Breaks the Bias Against Different Body Types

Romayne Rivera Breaks the Bias Against Different Body Types

Romayne Rivera gets candid about the struggles she endured to become confident in her size, and how it's still an ongoing journey.

For so long, a woman’s body has been subject to scrutiny and unsolicited advice. Historically, full-figured women were seen as attractive and powerful—as immortalized in Greek statues and Renaissance paintings—and skinny women less so, their size a statement of their poverty.

The tides changed at some point in the 19th century and all the way to modern times, with waif-like girls being celebrated and plus-sized ladies facing challenges in perception and clothing.

These days, there is a growing clamor for inclusivity of women of all sizes, and Romayne Rivera is here to heed the call. She opens up to about her ongoing journey for body positivity and gets brutally honest about how some days are harder than most. What is your experience as a woman with a different body type?

ROMAYNE: It’s pretty weird ’cause a lot of people would say “Oh, you’re so brave for wearing a bikini,” or something like “You should cover up.” I think growing up I have varying guidance from other people, unsolicited advice, and I don’t need that cause it took me a really long time to be comfortable with my own body and to actually love it and appreciate it. So it’s my money, it’s my body I can wear whatever I want. You do you, I do me. How do you overcome the negativity you receive?

Usually, to be honest, the majority of the negativity comes from me. It’s kinda ironic cause I push for body positivity but at the same time, I also struggle with hating my own body.

ROMAYNE: Right now social media is connected to everyone else, so I make sure that I follow the people that inspire me, so that when I look into my phone I won’t wish that I will be someone else; instead, I would want to be more loving and more kind to myself. I think that’s the key, just really acknowledging that you can be toxic at times, but then you have to work at being better for yourself so that other people will look up to you and also say “I want to be like her so I’ll be kinder to myself.” How did you achieve confidence in your skin?

ROMAYNE: I think just really being around people that make you want to love yourself is the first step. Before what I’ve seen are magazines full of beautiful women who are size 0, 1… and then it’s not good because you compare yourself so what I did is that kana, I look up to people who look like me. It’s very important that we have inclusivity in our society.

I really look up to my peers in college like Ate Bea [Evardone,‘s Creative Publisher], Ate Deneb [Batucan,‘s Head of Production], Ate Obal [Hannah Obal, contributor]. Eventually, I went to social media content creators like Tess Holiday who are a lot bigger than me, so I thought, “If they have this love for themselves, why can’t I love myself?” So, slowly just one day at a time until eventually, here I am. What is your message of encouragement to women and women-allies?

ROMAYNE: Women and women-allies have fought so hard to be heard and there are still some people working on that. If you’re someone like me who’s you know, in the plus-size section and we shop out there, we only have one life, so why limit yourself to really boring clothes and boring makeup?

Experiment and find whatever you’re comfortable with. If you want to be wild then go wild, but if you want to be saint-like then I appreciate that. But really, don’t limit yourself, ayaw gyud. Let yourself explore and you know, don’t care about other people’s opinions, as cliché as that sounds. Its very freeing at the end of the day.

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