The Ugly Truth

Marlou Arizala and Xander Ford. Photo from


News about Marlou Arizala, now known as Xander Ford, is making noises everywhere. If you happen to have been living under a rock for quite some time, the subject underwent multiple cosmetic surgery procedures for apparent reasons. And after the highly anticipated revelation on Rated K hosted by Korina Sanchez, people of the Philippines voiced out their opposing opinions on the controversial overhaul.

Marlou/XF’s story tells us that with respect to physical appearance, an individual has two choices in life: Either to discipline themselves in remaining humble and thankful for what God gave them/how heredity influenced their natural features, or to break free from insecurity by getting surgically enhanced to achieve pleasant looks according to conventional standards.

Sure enough we heard many times that beauty is nothing but a fleeting thing; something old age will claim from us in time. I would agree but whoever came up with that adage, have they spent their lifetime looking hot all throughout and they just wanted to spread kindness among the rest? Or was it conceived from a well-thought out rebuttal so their bullies would hopefully stop?

As a child, I was not fortunate enough to be spared from the deleterious effects of classroom bullying. I lost interest in studies as well as my spot in the honor roll twice in a row because my classmates called me names and assassinated my heritage every Monday to Friday. Something I was not at fault for but still suffered the misery any child never deserved to experience in their formative years. I sought answers to questions that seemed ridiculous to be even discussed and made sense of. I even asked God in my nightly prayers as to why I did not “qualify” as pretty or why I was not as pretty as my other classmates who were consistently handpicked by our teachers for annual United Nations or Mister and Miss whatnot. I was picked on by other children if not ignored.

Basic principles of genetics in fifth grade offered me answers, God did not. Not forgetting what my elders taught me about never questioning God’s decisions and creations, I soon abandoned the impossible inquiry.

Assuming I believe in God and His omniscience, may I say that He saw all of these coming. People are raised with early awareness of what is conventionally beautiful and what falls short of the threshold. What is considered far from visually appealing is typically dealt with because let us “face” it, we can leave our assets alone and manage our flaws moving forward. And it does not stop there; people instinctively admire others for what they were born with and more often than not, realize they want the same features for themselves.

And so some people resort to reconstructive surgery to permanently overcome insecurity.

Pardon me but I am not sure which between cosmetics and plastic surgery came first in the history of mankind. Regardless, we can look it up on Google shortly. But I am certain you get my drift. Enhancements, invasive or not, had long been around even before we were born and there is nothing we can do to reduce them to nonexistence.

But then again, people differ in perspectives and sentiments. Look around you and you can easily tell apart who among your friends are vainglorious because for them, life is too short to be spent feeling and looking equally tragic while there are some who do not give a fuck because they would rather be all-accepting and rewarded in paradise.

Will God punish people like Xander Ford for deliberately changing the shape of his nose? Do you really believe it is his sealed fate in the afterlife? I do not judge people based on how they manage their outward appearance because it is what represents them. XF made a decision because he was sad and all too tired of being infinitely taunted about his looks which he did not have a choice at birth. And the time has come for his rebirth as someone who will pass the conventional standards of pogi.

Industry standards in the Philippine showbiz is obviously biased in favor of what looks drop dead gorgeous, or flattering at the very least. For one thing, an aspiring male actor will have a difficult time attaining matinee or A-list status if his nose took the shape of a macopa fruit or his teeth were crooked.

Xander Ford has an ambition to fulfill. The reality is that he shall never become the heartthrob he aims to be if overhaul was not done. Else, he will forever be confined on-screen as a hellbent stalker whose face only a mother could love, or simply a laughing stock who rolls with the punches but is hurt deep inside.

By Sam

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