When we look at women today, what is the strength we see? Is it seen in the clothes they wear, the make-up they put on, the people they are with, or the identities we associate them with? And how do women see the strength within them, when it’s finally their turn to look at themselves?
For me, more than the physical appearance and associations, being strong is how we can get back on our feet and shake off the dust despite life’s challenges. Through our daily experiences, we can always choose to be better, stronger, and rise above.
I must admit, I also have days when I feel down and weak. There are times when I feel I cannot do it on my own or I do not have the strength to do well or accomplish things. First of all, this is totally normal! What is important is to get back on track ASAP! To boost my confidence and to find my strength, I read inspirational stories to motivate myself.
Here are three successful women, Sara Black (seasoned fashion photographer), Pat Henson (creative digital influencer), and Vania Romoff (one of the hottest fashion designers today), who shared their stories on how they choose to be strong everyday. They are the newest faces of Physiogel’s #EverydayStrong campaign.
Physiogel brings forward its mission to sensitive skin, but more so, on empowering women to break the barriers of the self. #EverydayStrong builds up on the message that choosing to be better and stronger is a daily battle, and how women rise above it is the stories that we want to know.
There is something enigmatic about Sara Black. Her eyes breathe depth while her tempered energy brings comfort. And while most people would find it easier to be in front of the lenses, she prefers to look at people through the viewfinder.
A professional fashion photographer for 13 years, making a name for herself in a world where everyone wants to be famed has been an uphill climb for Sara. “When you really love what you do, you work harder every single time no matter what kind of job it is. It will involve a lot of your time, a lot of sleepless nights, and if you’re unlucky like me, even getting confined in a hospital due to fatigue.”
Coming from a place of sound experience and life wisdom, Sara always decides to be in a state of joy. “Pain will never really go away. It’s a necessary aspect of life.” Initially bound to compete at the biggest premium triathlon event in country, Sara had to beg off due to a horrible bike crash that fractured her hips.
“It’s painful to be here but I’m choosing to focus on the things that I’m learning: humility, patience, and how to accept help, kindness, and compassion from people. There is always another side of the coin.”
Young, hungry, and creative is the towering 22-year-old Patricia Henson. From a boyish high school student to a now bikini-cladding online influencer, social media became her tool to explore, travel and experience more out of life.
Getting out of her comfort zone is not exactly a willful decision she made. Her love for ball sports has caused her an injury with a broken collarbone, which prompted the then 16 year old to let go of the sports she loved most. “I was so young, and I had to go through surgery, a titanium plate (which I still have by the way) was attached to hold my bones together.”
Moving into modeling, she was told that projects would be scarce because she’s more on the chubbier side, and she can only be viable for a specific genre. “I told myself, this isn’t really for me. I need to move on.” Pat received a series of no’s before a single, definite yes came in. It only took one person to take a shot at her, but it was really the social media milieu that allowed her to influence people to travel and explore.
“I wouldn’t change anything. From the fracture that broke my heart, to the modeling rejections, and being turned down, all led me here today. I started my own business with Costa Swimwear in which I design everything – from the items to the packaging, printed materials, and even designed several triathlon logos along the way. Pretty cool experience, I must say.”
Vania’s success is not an overnight wonder. “I use to do fittings and consultations inside coffee shops.” Primed as one of the hottest young designers of her time, Vania Romoff takes her two roles gravely: first as a mom to Emilia Simone, and second high-priority as a designer. Looking back at her trying years, finding her way through the chaos known as the fashion industry, she remembers with delight how selling at bazaars felt like.
“A whole lot of patience, perseverance, and resilience. It will take you quite a while to get there, maybe longer than expected, but there is no telling what a young woman can achieve once she puts her heart into it.”
This hardworking, modern mom designer can only do so much, especially now that there is someone who inspires her to become a better woman. Motherhood can be just as daunting as starting her first big label, and the struggle of time management can be as painful as growing the business. “Most days there’s barely a room to breathe. But there is strength from the inside that tells you to never stop working towards your goals – no matter what the circumstances are; and that it is always okay to take a step back and reprioritize.”
It’s very empowering to hear the stories of Sara, Pat and Vania. Despite the obstacles they went through, they chose to be strong which led them to where they are right now. There is nothing more inspiring than women who have gone through life with battle scars, and has used and turn them into strength. All beautiful stories come with a common foundation – layers of untold pains and hardships. An #EverydayStrong woman is an embodiment of each Filipina who continue to hold their heads up high, take on the world, and create their own strength stories.
“I am #EverydayStrong because I live from the heart. I derive my strength from there and it has never proven me wrong.” Sara inspires women to take care of themselves through healthy living from the inside and out.
In times of drowning social media noise, Patricia wants to inspire young women to see the world and enjoy it. “#EverydayStrong is an invitation to share a piece of yourself, make the story good that others will be inspired to move and inspire others. A rippling effect of strength.”
“Take care of yourself – get sleep, hydrate, wash your face, moisturize, and laugh once in a while.” Vania notes how she cares for herself. “#EverydayStrong is a woman who has faced adversities, and still manages to stand up and become better the next day.”
Sara, Pat and Vania have shown that strength is more than what meets the eye. Together with Physiogel, they are on a mission to speak up and show that whatever life throws at you – it can be a force to strengthen yourself even more.