All in Acceptance

Jen, Race2Share


“I started appreciating myself more when I stopped worrying about getting soaked under the sun. The more I spent time outdoor training, the more I got better and stronger! I was very conscious at first because of the comments I would get about ‘being dark,’ but I learned to shrug them off when I started seeing positive results from all the training I had done. Founding Race2Share has been a learning process, with its own birthing pains that eventually translated to gains. This was my most defining moment as a woman: that there is no pre-requisite on gender when you run an organisation -- it really ‘just’ requires full commitment and passion to make it all work! What inspired me to start R2S is the deep eagerness to utilize sports as a platform to reach out to a community and gather individuals to make the sporting environment more inclusive for everyone. One of my favorite moments was when we raised funds (thanks to the supportive community in Singapore!) and send all our Filipino Domestic Worker members to participate in one of the major dragon boat race in SG - we didn't win any medals, but being able to play in that equal field against strong dragon boat teams was a monumental WIN for us.” - Jen, Race2Share


“I’ve always been insecure of my stretch marks because of media beauty standards — fair skin, hourglass shaped bodies, head-turner make-up, toned butts. But I see that nowadays, there are a lot of campaigns where women are proud and they embrace their body, skin color, and where they just love themselves. I got moved and it got me asking, ‘Why am I insecure of things that make me... ME?’ Now I believe that I shouldn’t be insecure about my stretch marks because it’s something natural and it is something that defines me. I’m learning to love my tiger stripes and my body. So this is my progress in my own little way — coming to embrace and love myself. Everyday gains to refine me; I got these stripes to define me.” 

Bia, Film Director

“It’s difficult to be a woman of color in [North] America. I have to fight against prejudice and people keep saying I look so young. That’s great in a way, but I can’t help but feel underestimated for what I can do. It’s been a constant struggle for me growing up—proving myself—but now that I’ve learned so much, I’m still perceived as a child. I try to not let that get to me, in a way it’s like having an invisibility cloak or being the dark horse who suddenly wins the race. I do think I offer a decisive leadership on set that is also respectful and compassionate, which is missing in the world right now. I actually take pride in having a different style. I create the type of dynamic that I wish to see in the world: a crew with women in the key roles, where each person is valued and respected, and I direct films about women. If I want to see that in the world, it has to start with me.”  (c) Apa Agbayani


"A week after I gave birth, I found a tiny bit of pus in my CS wound. It wasn’t a big deal - my husband and I laughed about it after I dramatically proclaimed: my body is a crime scene! But months after, I’ve found myself thinking about this truth. I’ve survived a multitude of violations against my skin and body. From being called brownie by my blonde-haired classmates in kindergarten, to being sexually abused by my swimming teacher in 5th grade, being followed home by a man because he was offended I didn’t thank him well enough after he complimented me, to an old college friend’s horrid excuse that he was taught 'no' actually means 'yes.' It took me 20 years to learn to love myself again, scars and all, and I think I’m getting better at it."