A friend and I would often talk about the tyranny of choice—when we come upon a fork in the road, we are barraged with a million questions: If I choose this, what would be the opportunity cost? What would I miss out on? If I choose the other, what would I regret? Which one is the right path, the perfect choice?
I got into thinking about this yesterday at a lunch hosted by a friend who was leaving for Canada to continue his Masters. Soon, another friend is moving there to explore his options. Chalking them up to other friends who have been pursuing their chosen paths elsewhere in the world—in New York, in London, in Paris, I thought about the dreams they once shared with me that are now coming true, the challenges they are now encountering and overcoming, the successes they are now enjoying. The actions they have taken, whose consequences have led them to where they are right now.
I also got into thinking about my own choices, my what if’s and if only’s in life. The person I dreamed of becoming when I was younger and the one I am right now, the paths I’ve taken that didn’t quite align with one another, the dissonant and unfocused thoughts within me that manifested outwardly. There were just too many options!
I guess I’m what American psychologist Barry Schwartz calls in his book The Paradox of Choice, a maximizer. Simply put, a maximizer tends to overthink choices and overanalyze consequences. They like to consider each and every alternative and are worried about making the wrong choices. (The opposite of this is a satisficer, who makes a choice and sticks with it without looking back and worrying that there might be something better.) As a result of being a maximizer, I tend to always have realizations in hindsight: had I picked a different set of orgs in school, or hung out with a different set of people, or chosen a different course of study altogether, it would’ve vastly altered the landscape in which I move today. These thoughts aren’t imbued with hapless regret, mind you; I’m just really fascinated by the impact of one single choice. Knowing this has helped me become more focused and keep my goals aligned these days.
One of my favorite authors, Malcolm Gladwell, talks about how the diversity of people’s identities and tastes gives way to this explosion of choice just as well. He was referring to food marketing, how we can’t always explain what we want, and how there isn’t one Platonic—perfect and universal—way to prepare a dish. But it also applies to everything else. We have so many choices because we are all so different, and we have embraced this diversity more so today than ever. In the past, people simply became what their parents were. Options for what to buy, where to go, which course to study, when and whom to marry, etc. were as limited as the exposure they had of the world outside their boundaries. Now our world is bigger. The forks in the road have more branches. It can be overwhelming, especially with the variety of choices available to us these days. But so long as we know what it is we want, we should be able to make the right ones. ♥
It’s only a week before CloseUp Summer Solstice, the first music festival of its kind to happen here in Manila. If you’ve got your tickets and your date(s) but still haven’t figured out what to wear, here’s one of three outfit suggestions I’ve come up with. A hat to keep your hair in place amid the frizz-inducing heat and breezy clothes you can groove in.
It’s the top I wore here, the hat I wore in the last outfit here, and the same shorts and accessories that I wear, well, just very often. What I’m doing with this trilogy is to mix and match pieces I already own—you could do the same, check out your closet for anything that might work so you can save your shopping money for next time.
I’ve kept makeup and accessories just as fuss-free. Just enough to make a statement without having to worry about them while singing and dancing to the beats. After all, you’re there to enjoy the music, not to flaunt your entire wardrobe. Heh.
My current favorite: wedge sneakers! Skechers named it Skch +3 for the added three inches to your height. I’ve always professed my liking for boots and for wedges—boots with wedges hidden inside them? Yes, please. Especially for a music festival, where you’ll want to stand tall and you’ll need to be in comfy footwear at the same time.
Let me know what you think! Or if you have questions you want to ask me about style, feel free to write. Click here. :) Check back tomorrow for my second outfit idea!
No purchase required. Make an outfit collage showing how you would wear Skechers sneakers for Valentines, and you might just win them for you and your partner! Open to Love Chic followers on Twitter and Facebook 18 years old and above, residing in Metro Manila or otherwise able to come here in case of win.
- Follow Skechers Philippines on Twitter and Facebook.
- Choose one (1) men’s and one (1) women’s shoe from the Skechers x Love Chic album on Facebook. Create a men’s outfit and a women’s outfit for a Valentines date with your special someone. Maximum of three (3) looks per person.
- Send your entry to firstname.lastname@example.org along with your full name, partner’s name, complete birthday and mobile number. One email per couple, so that your looks are submitted together.
- Tweet this: “I just sent my entry to @sephshai x @SkechersPH giveaway. Hope to win his-and-hers sneakers for V-day! http://lovechic.com.ph”
- All photo entries become property of Skechers Philippines and may be used online and in other media featuring the shoes.
To give you an idea, we created these sample entries on Polyvore. It allows you to put together an outfit collage (called “set”) by searching the web for product shots that you specify (i.e. type “mens button down” and click on a particular blue shade). We typed “Skechers sneakers” and “Skechers sneaker wedge” to see if our favorites from the Facebook album were there, and they were.
If your chosen pair isn’t found on Polyvore, it has a clipper option that will allow you to import the photos from the Facebook album to use for your collage. The nice thing about Polyvore is you can use backgrounds and frames, but you’re free to use any application (such as Picasa) or website (such as Fotor) for creating your looks. After all, it’s the outfits that will be judged and not how pretty your collage is. :)
Entries will be accepted until midnight of February 13, Wednesday. We’ll announce the winning couple On Valentines Day, who each get a pair from Skechers Philippines. ♥
…On a graffiti-filled rooftop of an abandoned building. Pity we couldn’t show you just how high up we were—the lower floor is filled with trash and weeds and other unsightly things not suitable for anyone’s sensibilities. When we say abandoned building, we mean abandoned, even by any hope of salvation. We mainly just braved that rooftop and sat on the edge for our own sense of fulfillment.
Anyway, we’re usually a little more subtle now about our matchy outfits than this, but this was for a Valentines PR collaboration with Skechers Philippines (posting only now because we’re Slowpoke like that) so it’s cool.
Besides, it could be a lot cheesier. We could’ve been posing sweetly with the lines of some song sprawled on the picture and the letters L-O-V-E behind us. Oh wait…
Well, still could be cheesier. We could’ve been wearing all red and, you know, have a red heart-shaped balloon or something. Oh wait…
Darn it. All right, we’re cheesy. Still a better love story than Twilight.
We’re both wearing Skechers Go-Runs. Special thanks to Jay Dalisay and Katrina Ong for tapping us for this project. Check out Skechers Philippines on Facebook!
Click pics for other outfit/photo credits.
We had no plans of weighing in on the recent controversy involving FHM Philippines' March issue, but while uploading these photos for just another fashion post, we were reminded of it by word association. Colored background, black and white… It might've been in the back of our heads all this time, as an issue that's close to home for us both. So what the heck, let's throw Lookbook captioning out the window for a moment and throw in our two cents.
Unless you’ve been in hibernation, you probably know that the magazine’s original cover this month featured British-Filipina actress Bela Padilla posing for the camera in a swimsuit, surrounded by five dark-skinned Filipinas in blackface who are either looking down despondently or looking up in awe at this fair-skinned beauty who is “Stepping out of the shadows” (the caption). Guess we don’t need to elaborate on the message this cover clearly sends out. Following a slew of comments from offended netizens, the men’s magazine has recalled the cover and released one with the photo and caption replaced.
All should be well and good now, except it quite isn’t. Because this isn’t the first time we Filipinos have displayed ignorance and insensitivity regarding this, and it probably won’t be the last. Not while the people involved admit outright that they see nothing wrong with blackface, and do not regret having participated in it. Not while again and again, TV shows portray characters in blackface who would be maltreated, ridiculed and hated just for being dark, while becoming lighter-skinned would bring them a better life. Not while we’re okay with how newspapers and magazines continue to paint non-black models black for the sake of art or advocacy without realizing or considering the impact the photos would have, regardless of the accompanying text’s intentions. Not to mention the comments on blog posts about the issue that go along the lines of, “Things are blown out of proportion. What’s so racist about that cover? What’s wrong with painting them black?”
What makes it ultimately tragic is the irony of it all—how we as a people have been victims of white supremacy and racial discrimination for centuries, and yet we ourselves have been participating in it, knowingly, willingly and unabashedly.
Look at Charice. Immense talent, charm, dedication, but with looks that don’t fit the bill as far as Filipino audiences are concerned. She’s been trying to make it in the local music industry but nobody here would give her a break, preferring the mestizos and mestizas with less than stellar vocal pipes. But when Ellen Degeneres gave her a break and the western world embraced her, “Oh, she’s world-famous now, I’m so proud to be Pinoy!”
When I was younger, I auditioned for a TV project. After my turn, I was told flat out by the casting panel, “You’re really good and we want to get you, but the audiences will want something else.” They ended up casting a pretty Caucasian who couldn’t act or memorize lines. The project eventually bombed. Rejection is part of the industry I work in, and it would’ve been fine each time it was because I screwed up or wasn’t right for the part. But what stung was each time that it was because I’m not the typical Pinoy standard of beauty: porcelain skin, aquiline nose, bright-colored eyes.
So when I got to work for a teen magazine and then as producer for TV shows, I made the most of the opportunity: since everyone else was already pitching the standards, I made sure Pinay models and local talent weren’t ignored—those who weren’t just book-worthy because of a foreign-sounding last name or paper-white complexion, but models who actually knew how to pose and project, whose faces were actually for modeling. Talents who actually had talent other than smiling about their easy-earned stardom.
We get to talk often with teens and young adults about their personal issues, and colonial mentality and the insecurities it brings is one that affects us most. We’re happy to notice the changes for the better: morenos and morenas taking the international fashion world by storm, global artists of Pinoy descent proud of their roots, among others. But with something as recent as the cover photo brouhaha, it’s obvious we have a long way to go. We’ll just have to keep doing the little things we can until we get there.
An “anti-Valentines” Valentines post, by request of a reader who just came from a relationship and wanted to see if we could come up with a couple post with our “usual style” but more gritty than lovey-dovey… are we doing it right? Haha.
Got these badass boots from Skechers Philippines. Good thing they don’t make just sporty shoes anymore!
Handmade with Lego blocks by Kat Austria of Built To Wear. Check out her other stuff on Facebook!
Comfy flats from Skechers Philippines are more than pretty—they’re studded with peace signs! So cute.
Our lego necklaces surely got us cracking a lot of heartbreak jokes and puns. But truth be told, a broken heart ain’t no laughing matter, especially since it’s Valentines season. To our reader who wished to remain anonymous, we hope this post made you feel at least a little bit better!
So yes, we read everything and try when we can to incorporate some of the requests we get into our posts :) Feel free to ask, rant, or request away here, or leave us a Disqus comment.
Photos by Jeru Czar, makeup by Ariel Barrios