Confessions is a quarter-sized zine about beauty standards and growing up Filipino with a desire to be white.
Confessions gets right into things with no introduction as such nor table of contents. While I must admit this did throw me at first, the subject matter pulled me right in just as quickly.
The zinemaker writes about growing up with girls who were ‘obsessed with getting their skin paler’ and how it was actually difficult to find cosmetic products that didn’t have bleachers in them. The pressure to be white didn’t only come from peers, however, with the zinemaker’s own grandmother chiming in.
They go on to write about how in the rare instances that Filipinos are in the spotlight, they are often pale with perfected looks.
To put it bluntly, this zine made me sad. But it did so in an important way. I grew up with girls complaining about wanting to be darker – a story so similar to this zine but with the opposite colours involved.
That’s why these stories are so important to share as many perspectives as possible and maybe just come to new, better conclusions.
There are bright notes to be found with the author writing “i honestly think im beautiful” at one point. In a zine that touches on the pressure not only from media but from friends and family to be something else, I found that especially beautiful.
In regards to the contact details, I actually have the zinemaker’s name written down, but at no point in the zine is a name mentioned. I don’t know if thought was actually put into the choice – and I may be reaching with this – but it serves the subject. It gives this zine a feeling of being one story in many – highlighting the problem itself.
Confessions ends nearly as abruptly as it begins, but writing things that way is growing on me. It’s as if someone has dropped a box containing a life experience in front of me and simply said, “deal with it” instead of wrapping it up with pretty beginning and ending ribbons.