Whenever self-loathing possesses us, we can always play deaf to the tiny yet repetitive voice in our heads and turn to our closest girlfriends for support and comfort. Just like you, I am grateful to have such - whether nearby, distant or even imaginary - to rely on. I am truly blessed to have an effortlessly beautiful, witty and genuinely big-hearted friend like Angela de la Calzada. We may not be as inseparable as before due to our current conflicting work schedules, but, when in self-doubt, I always recall how she carried herself and dust myself off and crawl out of the cocoon I've imprisoned myself into.
I first met her in the workplace. She's an instant standout with her tall stature, big figure, pretty face, creamy skin, big curls, perfect nose, excellent fashion sense and apparently endless supply of self-appreciation. Although I was intimidated by her strong personality, I was instantly drawn to her. Beneath her attractive exterior lies even more pleasant qualities - her deep faith that she does not push for everyone else to subscribe to, her eloquence and ability to mingle with all sorts of people, her appetite for good times, her reliability during bad times, her wisdom in spite her young age and so on.
She's not even aware of it all. She was clueless why I found it delightful that her family dubbed me as her twin (in terms of body size) behind my back and she was always the last to admit that a cute guy has the hots for her. How could someone be so self-assured yet so meek? And have I told you nobody else gets "featured" here until this
fat lady sings? Which reminds me, she's the best walking iPod in town!
Lornadahl: How would you describe your personal fashion style?
Angela: I guess a mix of trendy (but revised/altered to fit my body) and classic casual. I love jeans.
Lornadahl: How about Angelina Jolie? I thought she's one of your icons. Also, can you specify what made you like Nicole Richie, Ashley Olsen and Serena Van der Woodsen? Diba Ashley Olsen is the one who usually wears loose clothes?
Angela: Mary Kate is the one who wears loose clothes. Ashley is the more classic trendy type. Yes, I love Angelina Jolie she is my icon too, but her fashion is a little too sophisticated for me. I like Nicole Richie because her fashion is a bit on the bohemian side yet at the same time, trendy. Same with Serena. Though not always, but I like Serena's casual looks on the show.
Lornadahl: What's the best fashion accessory for big women?
Angela: Big woman? Big bag.
Lornadahl: Big bag, yes. I notice you're into big earrings and big necklaces, too. Not anymore?
Angela: Yes, I still like big earrings, bracelets, necklaces, even rings! But not because I think it suits my body, I guess it's more because of my personality.
Lornadahl: How do you deal with I'm-so-fat-and/or-ugly days?
Angela: Put a little more effort in my makeup, wear something a little more flattering than a t-shirt and get on with my day.
Lornadahl: Would you agree that guys only chase after skinny women?
Angela: No. Notice, yes. But chase? No.
Lornadahl: Do you think a great number of men appreciate big girls, too?
Angela: They do? Haha! In my opinion a great number of guys like big girls, not necessarily because they are big but because of their personality, sense of humor and the like. I guess you could say they value who the girl is, more than how good she looks.
Lornadahl: What's the secret behind your self-confidence and body acceptance?
Angela: The secret I guess is just knowing that if I didn't like my body, I would have done something about it. And since I didn't, that means I'm okay with it.
Lornadahl: You went gymming before, right? What made you do so? Do you think you would have continued if not for your busy schedule?
Angela: Yes, I tried gymming but more than my busy sched, I was too tamad to continue. Haha. May gana lang in the beginning but after a couple of months nagsawa rin ako. It takes a lot of commitment and dedication kasi, which I don't have.
Lornadahl: If you were to appear on a billboard or magazine cover, how would you look like?
Angela: Embarassed. Haha. I don't know, I guess however the stylists and photographers want me to look. But never in sleeveless.
Lornadahl: Why not in sleeveless? Bigla naman akong nahiya sa mga sleeveless moments ko! Hahaha!
Angela: Haha! Wag ka mahiya! Ako kasi, I can't wear sleeveless talaga because my arms are my waterloo, as my mom would say. Basta I've always had a problem with my arms. They're like my biggest problem. Literally.
Lornadahl: What is beautiful about being big?
Angela: I don't know about that, for me kasi it's more of how you are and who you are despite your size. For me, if you know how to look your best and have a great personality to boost, you are beautiful.
Lornadahl: I so agree! How do you respond to the argument that obesity is unhealthy?
Angela: I would have to agree. Unhealthy in the simplest terms, meaning you are more susceptible to certain sicknesses and diseases like diabetes, etc.
Lornadahl: Given a chance, would you join reality shows like "The Biggest Loser" or "Thintervention with Jackie Warner"? Why or why not?
Angela: No! Because I'm camera shy. Also, I don't want people I don't know knowing my business.
Lornadahl: What do you say to people who say you’re addicted to food?
Angela: I think I am, in a way. Maybe not addicted, but I do love food. Obviously. I wouldn't say addicted, because that sounds unhealthy but I have to admit food is something I know how to appreciate.
Lornadahl: How do you feel if people stare at you? yell degrading stuff at you? Do you ever experience that?
Angela: I either feel pretty, or I check if I have something on my face. Haha. When they yell degrading stuff (which hasn't happened to me since I was in high school yata), I just ignore them. Well of course I don't feel great about it, who does naman. But I don't get hurt. What can I do naman if it's true, right? Parang I want to say, "I know, I know".
Lornadahl: Do you ever confront people? What happens when you do?
Angela: Nope. One time yata a street kid asked me, "Ate, bakit ka mataba?" I answered, "Hindi ko nga rin alam eh". But I've never confronted anyone talaga. I guess it's because I know naman it's true, but I still have friends and people who love me so I don't think it really matters what my weight is.
Lornadahl: What do fat people want to be called?
Angela: I don't know about others but for me, big is okay. Just not o-bes, mispronounced pa. I hate that. Mang-iinsulto ka na lang, mali pa. Haha!
Lornadahl: I know you've traveled everywhere. 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?
Angela: I wouldn't say everywhere, I haven't been to Europe for example. But yes, I do think our self-appreciation and self-love roots from where we grew up, more than the country we live in, our home. Everything you are naman is rooted from there eh, whether good or bad. If you grew up in a home where you are loved and appreciated no matter how you look or how much you weigh, it's easy to shrug off the negative comments outside, because you know deep down that you are appreciated and loved everywhere else. Filipinas have good self-esteem if they grew up in a loving environment. Doesn't matter what country you're from, it all starts at home.
Lornadahl: Some big girls are unaware that they're beautiful and sexy. What would you tell them?
Angela: Hey girl, you're beautiful. Haha. Well, sometimes naman they're panget right? And I don't mean in a physical way, but they have bad attitudes and are so defensive over how they look. But I think a nice thing to tell them would be to relax and accept how you look. Otherwise, go change it then!
***End of interview***