Erzulliesta Em-Em Bunyi is definitely one of the most memorable contenders of TNEI2015. Even though things have been postponed, this woman stuck around and brought us a whole lot of fun and perspective. Speaking of which, we interviewed her about how to “sush” the nay sayers and be finally accepted for who she is --- a hard working plus size woman with mad skills in TV media.
#1 Okay, first up. How do you define, body shaming?
Body Shaming is for people who has mixture of envy and vanity. It is emphasizing a certain thing which some people consider as "flaw" so they'll feel better but unfortunately, people who do body shaming don't realize how insecure and discontented they are.
#2 How do you react about people body shaming other people?
Hmm... I'm still the type of person who shrug off body shaming. I do encourage to stand firm and ignore those insecure people. I am pro-active. Instead of wasting my time on debating with people who body shame, I encourage plus size people to love their body more and be confident with who they are. It's improving thyself than focusing on other people,
I really don’t give a damn to what people say or might say to me but if it's another plus size person, I talk to him or her to ignore negative comments and inspire and encourage her. I don't want to show how nasty I can be so I let my silence kill the heart of people who make fun of plus size people.
#3 As an obviously, stylish plus size woman, do you get negatively critiqued by the way you look?
I already accepted that I cannot please everybody, I think that's what makes me confident to do anything I want be because I already have acceptance. I prepare my heart for whatever I may encounter.
Maybe, people should think that way to because if you want to please everybody you'll just be frustrated with them and worse, with yourself. Somehow, if there's a negative critique, I just listen and digest their words, I review and take what I can take because it might help me to be better person. If I cannot take it, I let it pass and stand on the things I did.
#4 How do you react to other people judging by the way you look? Why so?
Depends on their reactions. Surprisingly, many people like the way I look though some people thinks I am like a drawing or anime. I have blue hair (right now) that changes color almost every 2 months, gray contact lens and I'm a plus size. Those are my choices that's a little bit different in Filipino standards but then, it makes me unique and that makes me happy.
I appreciate any reaction of people who judge my look because it means they give care and you made an impact. That's why "Thank you" is my favorite word to tell whatever people throw on me.
I'm lucky that people are used to my style. They are used that I'm eccentric, eclectic and cute but still they are still surprise if I have "pasabog". I'd like to think that I can influence them to dress the way they are with style. There are times that some says "If Meryl can pull it off, why can't I?. For me, it's good that I can challenge people to challenge themselves to be stylish because dressing up is not vanity, it's a way of expressing, pampering and packaging yourself.
#5 The heavy part --- what was the worst thing people said to you about being a plus size woman?
Hmm... that I don't have self-discipline. I have and erratic schedule that I don't have time to work out but if schedule permits I would do so--- this are the things I would love to tell for every people who tells me why I don't work out. Not everyone knows my lifestyle, so don't judge me. As long as I'm healthy and happy, I'm good.
#6 Do people make fun of you? If yes, how do you handle it?
Not anymore. Before when I started my work at showbiz, some people make fun of me because of my size and my style (I wore hats and hair fascinators most of the time). I already encountered the most offensive question just to make fun of me and even doubt if I can do my job because "I'm fat" back then I just listened to what they say.
I work hard to prove they are wrong. Literally, I run on the set if we need to hurry. I climb mountains, go down to pits, cross hanging bridge, Climb on a 30 feet platform, etc. I do what "normal" people do. After they see what I can do, I earned their respect and trust that I can do anything regardless of my weight and shape. It's a hard work. We cannot impose everything to people but we have to show who we are.
#7 What’s your best advice for the plus size females out there on how to be strong as a plus size woman?
Know what makes you comfortable and happy. Basically, know what your heart desires and follow it. Do what makes you happy but listen to what other people are saying with a grain of salt. Sometimes, they might say constructive criticism that may help you along the way. Although, brutally honest criticism might also help you to fall and stand up again. Just be open that there are complements and criticism.