Cai Cortez is happy to say she grew up in a home where being "fat" or "mataba" was not considered a negative trait.
The actress credits this kind of upbringing to her parents Rez and Candy Cortez.
Cai says in her guest appearance on TV5's Chika Besh on September 26, 2020: "Siguro kasi iyong role models ko, iyong tatay ko, laging nilalaro tiyan ni mommy. Pinaggigilan niya. Gusto niya.
"Doon pa lang, with the confidence of my mom and the love that I see from my dad to my mom, nakikita kong you don't have to settle for someone na sasabihin, 'Uy, alam mo, kung papayat ka, liligawan kita.'
"Ang mga taong ganoon is not meant for you.
"Kasi kung simula pa lang gusto ka nang baguhin, what more kapag nasa relasyon kayo."
Cai, who is now a mother herself, lives by this belief: "If you believe you are beautiful, you will be beautiful.
"And if you take care of yourself, and you have respect sa sarili mo, people will see that, e. Mararamdaman nila iyon."
Embracing her body figure
Cai has had her share of bashers in the past, but she has noticed that these naysayers have gradually disappeared over time.
Still, if a snarky remark about her weight comes her way, Cai is ready to handle it in a humorous way.
The actress-model says, "Siguro kasi kapag sinasabing mataba ako, gusto kong sabihin, 'Day, may salamin din kami. Alam ko mataba ako, oo.'
"Hindi rin gumagana iyong sasaktan ako para sabihing mataba. Parang, ''Tapos?'
"Matangkad, maliit, short hair, long hair, mataba. Bakit ko ide-deny iyon kapag totoo? At anong masama doon?"
Cai turns serious as she says people need to stop shaming others about their weight in the guise of being concerned about their health.
"Other people naman, kunwari they mask their bulliying by being, 'Ay, ano, concerned ako sa iyo kasi unhealthy magiging mataba.' Wala kang alam sa buhay ko para sabihing unhealthy ako o hindi," the actress remarks.
"Puwede ako sobrang model-esque and sexy, pero nagyoyosi ako sa CR kapag hindi mo ako nakikita.
"Ang daming mga plus-size model like si Lizzo and Ashley Graham na araw-araw halos nagwo-work out, pero mataba sila.
"And it's none of your business."
Cai points out that she still deals with insecurities about herself from time to time, but she chooses not to dwell on them.
"Of course, may insecurities pa rin minsan. Hindi mo na matatanggal sa tao iyan. Pero bakit mo dadalhin iyon sa araw-araw at oras na bigay sa iyo ng Diyos?
"You are more beautiful than any label anyone can think of."
Cai is a mother to two kids: son Hbib and daughter Carmen.
She is married to Wissem Rkhami, a Tunisian national.