People & Inspiration

#ChalkGoalGang: Jasmine Curtis-Smith On Being Body-Shamed And How Girls Can Support Each Other

#ChalkGoalGang: Jasmine Curtis-Smith On Being Body-Shamed And How Girls Can Support Each Other

 

 

A quick glance at Jasmine Curtis-Smith’s recent photos on social media will tell you that here’s a girl who has grown a matured confidence when it comes to her body image. From her glowing, laughing selfies to her swimsuit-clad snaps, one may assume that the 24-year-old actress is breezing through her quarter life as far as her self-esteem is concerned.

Yes, Jasmine is at her best. But, no, it wasn’t an easy climb to get to where her mental state is currently at. “To be honest, I’ve always felt that I needed to change something about my body ever since I was a kid,” Jasmine opens up. In her childhood, she was the butt of the joke and experienced being teased about her body (“Ever since I was a child, feel ko ‘yung tiyan ko malaki.”) And when she got into show business as a teenager, she was repeatedly told to lose weight and start working out. As a consequence, she admits, “I did fall into that trap of having a ‘fitness goal.’”

It’s not rare for women to have insecurities and issues pertaining to their body. We were basically born into this kind of struggle as we live in a society that, since the dawn of time, sees our worth based on face value. According to Jasmine, this has resulted to women being unhealthily pitted against each other. “In our industry, if your body isn’t as fit as someone else, especially for girls, we’re made to feel like, ‘Ay, hindi mo kayang sabayan ‘yung ibang babae,’” she divulges. And because of that, a trivial tension brews among females who are supposed to be each other’s natural allies in a world ruled by toxic masculine energy.

So how do we collectively relieve this strain that was epidemically ingrained in us? “It’s a matter of finding comfort in yourself first,” Jasmine suggests. When it comes to a woman-to-woman encounter, she says that it’s important to put our pride down and accept ourselves, so we can accept the other person without any sort of prejudice as well. “It’s a matter of [letting go of our] insecurities,” she explains. “Sometimes, may hindi ka ma-accept sa sarili mo, that’s why it’s hard for you to accept that this person different, but not necessarily better, than you.”

As she turns 25 this year, Jasmine has come to terms with her own set of insecurities. Even after recent controversies targeting her petite frame, she feels at home in her body no matter what shape it’s in. “Now, I’m just all about enjoying myself and making sure that my body gets the rest that it needs and the nutrition that it asks for, instead of listening to what people say I should do about it,” she quips. “Yeah, they may see me as too thin, but actually, this is the best build for my body to be able to exert my 100%.”

Aside from being at peace with her physical state, Jasmine’s source of empowerment is when she’s able to help others. “We’re in a culture na nahihiya lagi. But when you let someone help you, it feels like you’re letting them love you,” she shares. “That for me is empowering because you’re allowing me to be stitched into your life and be part of it no matter the outcome.”

Evidently, Jasmine has always had the heart to reach out to those in need. She’s the national ambassador of World Vision, a global humanitarian organization that sponsors less fortunate children and their families, a cause that she started pursuing when she was only a 14-year-old high school student back in Australia. “When you’re receiving so much, it’s important to give back,” Jasmine says when asked what her advocacy means to her. “Whatever power you have—whether it’s your voice or the number of likes you get on social media—use it for a good reason. If your heart calls for it, then do so even if nothing comes back in return.”

Throughout our interview, Jasmine apologizes exactly three times for giving lengthy answers (“I feel like I’m storytelling!”) But that’s exactly why we love her—her exuberance is enriched with purpose which is both endearing and inspiring. And while the world still obsesses over having that Insta-perfect look, Jasmine has been quietly doing the inner work, nurturing her soul with what she’s passionate about, and shaking the norms in the most authentic of ways. Now, that is what we call #goals.

Photographed by Andrea Beldua
Creative Direction by Madel Asuncion
Art Direction by Mikka Caronan
Styled by Samantha Tidalgo
Makeup by John Pagaduan
Hair by Kierlo Velasco
Video By Spotlight Creative
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Jasmine wears: Jumpsuit by Dona Lim, Silk Top by Dona Lim, Pants by Plains & Prints, Necklace by Heyjow

ALSO READ: In Focus: The Curtis-Smith Sisters Talk Self-Care While Pursuing Their Passions

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