Friday, December 9, 2011

Real-Life Goddess: Nicole Andrea

Thanks to graduate school and other stuff I'm occupied with, I missed countless opportunities to hang out often with cool people from a particular stage in my life. Let's take Nicole Andrea as today's example. We have a couple of mutual friends in the workplace yet our interactions were just limited to mere hi-hello and love-your-outfit-today exchanges. When I found this particular album of her favorite PostSecret finds posted on Facebook and discovered she's passionately blogging about breastfeeding (link to follow!), I can't help but feel bad that it took that long to connect with a kindred spirit. I've always been drawn to her sweet, smiling eyes and envious of her hips but I have no recollection of verbalizing those compliments in her presence. Here's our chance to get to know her better.

The PostSecret is out!

Lornadahl: How's motherhood and the additional pounds that won't go away?
Nicole: Motherhood has been a blast! My family used to tell me that I would never get pregnant because of my weight, and even my ob gynecologist told me I would have a hard time getting pregnant 'cause I was so big (then) so when I did get pregnant, I was happy. I love kids and my daughter is a huge blessing. The pounds have piled on unfortunately! I tend to go with hearsay a lot so when people used to tell me that by breastfeeding the baby you’d lose the weight, I happily breastfed. Unfortunately no one told me how your appetite doubles while breastfeeding since I have to produce so much milk. I still feel like I’m eating for two sometimes!

Lornadahl: Where can I get those hips?
Nicole: From my genes! I have huge hips and thunder thighs and my ass is huge but I love my booty!

Lornadahl: How would you describe your personal fashion style?
Nicole: Still very fasyon, but in a larger scale! I love wearing off shoulder blouses, or blouses that show my ample cleavage! I used to hate leggings, but now I can’t live without them.
Lornadahl: I've learned to love leggings, too! Which celebrities serve as your style icons?
Nicole: My friends used to tell me I looked like Sharon Cuneta, and even though I secretly agreed, I used to protest loudly. Overall I love looks that are classic and timeless, so Katie Holmes and Audrey Hepburn.

Audrey Hepburn on a PostSecret

Lornadahl: Have I told you our former officemate Tatang would call me Elaine Cuneta? Nothing prepared me for it! What's the best fashion accessory for big women?
Nicole: I love empire-cut blouses, because they tend to hide the flab during the ugh-I-feel-fat days, but I love anything that emphasizes my assets, blouses with deep necklines, or ones that show off my back.

Lornadahl: How do you deal with I'm-so-fat-and/or-ugly days?
Nicole: I stay home! Hahaha.

Lornadahl: Would you agree that guys only chase after skinny women?
Nicole: No! I know guys who wouldn’t go near skinny women with a ten foot pole. They love women with a little meat in them.

Lornadahl: If you were to appear on a billboard or magazine cover, how would you look like?
Nicole: Probably in a well-cut dress to emphasize my curves with the Metro Manila skyline as my background.

Lornadahl: If you were to endorse a local clothing for big women, what would it be and why?
Nicole: I love Tubby! And Maldita. They have nice blouses. I also shop a lot in SM, they have a wide range of brands and sizes.

Lornadahl: What's the secret behind your self-confidence and body acceptance?
Nicole: I feel that if I meet a guy who can’t accept me for what I look like then he’s not worth it because I think I’m pretty fab. There isn’t any secret I guess, there are days I also feel down about myself, but most of the time I love being me. I remind myself everyday that I need to love myself first, no matter how big I am.

Lornadahl: What is beautiful about being big?
Nicole: There’s more to love!!! I love the curves of big women, and the big breasts!! I feel like big women can do anything.

Lornadahl: How do you respond to the argument that obesity is unhealthy?
Nicole: I agree, but then I also say that as long as we choose what we eat, avoid the obvious then we’re just like any other person. There are people who are thin as a rod and yet they’re the ones with health problems. You’d expect that someone my size would have blood pressure problems, but I’m actually pretty healthy, thank God! I just drink A LOT of water.

Lornadahl: Given a chance, would you join reality shows like "Biggest Loser" or "Thintervention with Jackie Warner"? Why or why not?
Nicole: Sure why not? I actually considered auditioning for Pinoy Biggest Loser, but at that time I had just given birth so I wasn’t ready yet, plus I was (and am!) still breastfeeding.

Lornadahl: What do you say to people who say you’re addicted to food?
Nicole: At least I’m not addicted to drugs or alcohol or cigarettes! Haha!

Lornadahl: How do you feel if people stare at you? yell degrading stuff at you? Do you ever experience that?
Nicole: I don’t really care, I haven’t actually experienced that yet, but I have a feeling if I do, I’d stare them down and ask what their problem was.

Lornadahl: Do you believe that thin privilege happens? Which of those apply to you?
Nicole: I can be sure that if I need medical or legal help my size will not work against me. – while I was pregnant we were really concerned about issues that were normally associated with heavy women like gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. Thankfully I didn’t suffer any of these.
I am not identified by the size of my body. – unfortunately, I’ve gotten used to being called “Ba”, short for taba.

Lornadahl: Do you ever confront people? What happens when you do?
Nicole: Not really, 'cause there’s no sense in it. People are entitled to their own opinion. Like one time a radio DJ said he would never date a woman over 200 pounds because obviously they don’t have self-discipline. It’s a matter of adjusting your attitude towards yourself and people like that. If they can’t accept you because of how much you weigh then you don’t need people like them.

Lornadahl: What do fat people want to be called?
Nicole: I’d say normal, because we really are normal people. We like the same things thin people like, we eat, sleep, breathe, go to movies, go to bed, go shopping. We cry, laugh, we get hurt. Everything about us is normal.

Lornadahl: Does a big woman's self-appreciation and self-love root from the culture/environment she's accustomed to? What can you say about Filipinas and their self-appreciation?
Nicole: In my case I would have to say no. Because people really look at being fat as a disadvantage and as something that shouldn’t be, whereas I’ve reached a point that I accept I may not be as thin as my sister and I’m ok with that. I love my sister and love that she’s sexy and gets to wear nice clothes, but I’m comfortable in my own skin also. As for Pinays, I wish they wouldn’t glorify being thin so much and just accept who they are. I’ve spoken to a llooootttt of my friends who are like 4-5-7-10 pounds overweight and they whine about being so fat. I mean, what’s that?
Lornadahl: What would you tell your daughters Bea and Ariana if they ask, "Why are you fat? Why can't you be like other mothers?"
Nicole: I have this thing that I’m trying to raise them to accept who they are, and all the people around them. Basically without seeing what they look like, what they have or don’t have, I tell them all the time God created us equal, especially Bea who’s also a chubbier than normal, I tell her all the time how pretty she is and that she can be whoever she wants to be. I believe in positive reinforcement. I also tell both girls I love them both very much all the time, I even name body parts like I love your tummy or your nose.

Lornadahl: Let's assume that your daughters will turn out to be plus size when they grow up. How will you convince them that it doesn't make them a lesser person?
Nicole: By leading through example. I want to be larger than life, and I want my girls to see that. I try to do as much as I can to show them that being fat or big isn’t a disadvantage. As long as they eat healthy and are both healthy and their weight doesn’t hold them back in reaching their dreams, I don’t care.
Lornadahl: Some big girls are unaware that they're beautiful and sexy. What would you tell them?
Nicole: I’d tell them to look inside themselves, what they look like isn’t who they are. We need to realize that what the scale says doesn’t define us as a person, it’s just a number. So is our jeans size, I don’t let myself be bothered over how many Xs precede the L in the size of my clothes. I’m happy, I’m comfortable with myself. I’m just being me.

***End of Interview***


  1. Love it! Nicole di ba Rica Peralejo ka? Miss you! Good job Porna!
    - Marla ;)

  2. Honga no, may resemblance with Rica Peralejo! Thanks for the visit, Marla! See you!

  3. Honga no, may resemblance with Rica Peralejo! Thanks for the visit, Marla! See you!

  4. Small world! Former team mate ko si Nicole at Chase. Regards! =)