Beauty Gonzalez is a woman comfortable in her own skin.
Her confidence is obvious in her bikini photos.
Her self-assuredness is also apparent in her poses as a sexy bride or a chic '90s woman.
Beauty's aplomb was in full display during her four-layout shoot for PEP.ph Headliner, the digital cover of PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal).
But during the interview, Beauty also showed her bubbly side, telling funny stories from out of the blue, complete with comical facial expressions.
In between takes, after posing this way and that following directions from photographer Charisma Lico, she would break out in stress-relieving laughter that reverberated in the whole Summit Studio.
Beauty has attained success as a lead drama actress, but for all that and the accolades, she is oblivious to attention and has remained unassuming.
When told she was the first PEP Headliner’s digital cover after a hiatus of two years, she graciously told the PEP.ph staff: “Thank you, I’m really honored.”
“YOU HAVE TO LOSE WEIGHT.”
Beauty has not gone beyond seeing herself as an “underdog” despite headlining several drama series that did well in the ratings game.
In fact, her career trajectory has been impressive, given that her potential to be a lead star was not at once noticed when she started in showbiz.
Beauty first became known as a housemate in Pinoy Big Brother in 2008. She landed in the Big Four of her batch, garnering 10.91% of the public votes.
Her PBB stint paved the way for her to show her acting mettle in a string of best-friend roles in teleseryes and movies, such as Iisa Pa Lamang (2008), Tayong Dalawa (2009), Alyna (2010), and Moon of Desire (2014).
She said in the PEP.ph interview that while she enjoyed the early phase of her career, it was tinged with anxiety.
“Ang tagal-tagal kong naging best friend. Parang feeling ko, ‘Bakit ganito?' Dati, kapag best friend ka, di ba, kaunti lang ang linya mo?"
She reached the point when, to juice up her scenes, she would bribe writers to add a few lines to her dialogues.
Beauty recalled, “Nililibrehan ko pa yung mga writers ng kape, ‘Dagdagan mo naman yung linya ko diyan!’ Hahaha!"
She elaborated, “Kapag sinabi ng bida na ‘Tara,’ ‘Tara’ [din isasagot ko], di ba! ‘Lagyan mo naman ng linya!’”
At that time, having gained more experience in acting after doing one bit role after another, Beauty acquired the confidence to talk to ABS-CBN management about the roles she had been getting.
But then, according to Beauty, she was told: “You have to lose weight, you have to look good, kasi this is your puhunan.”
Beauty could still remember the feeling: “Galit na galit ako. ‘Teka muna!’”
Not one to take it sitting down, Beauty resolved to make it big in show business.
But her weight did pose a problem.
Beauty said, “Not only that, I have a lot of insecurities with myself being a fat girl before. Ang dami talagang insecurities, it’s hard to accept rejections."
Again, not one to buckle down easily, she vowed to prove them wrong.
“So noong sinabihan ako ng fat, “Sh*t kayo, papayat ako, teka lang muna.’
“Hindi ako magiging bida? Saglit lang. Yung Starbucks ko? Malayo mararating niyang panlilibre ko."
To show her defiance, in August 2014, Beauty agreed to pose for FHM, the defunct men’s magazine of Summit Media.
Her gamble worked, Soon afterwards, Beauty got her first leading role in the prime-time series Dream Dad opposite Zanjoe Marudo.
From there, it has been a smooth-running journey for Beauty.
After Dream Dad, the then 24-year-old Beauty played the mom of Jana Agoncillo in the 2015 daytime series Ningning.
Her character was considered one of the leads in the show.
But Beauty’s rise to lead roles had to take a back seat when the unthinkable happened: she got pregnant.
After giving birth in 2016, she easily bounced back.
She was given a lead role in the afternoon series Pusong Ligaw (2017), but much to her surprise, she was being offered another mother role.
Even more baffling, the actor playing her son was Enzo Pineda.
Remembering, she told PEP.ph, “Mas matanda pa siya sa akin! Sabi ko, ‘Paano kita maging anak?’”
At the time, Beauty was 25 and Enzo was already 27.
But Beauty took the challenge gracefully, “I took it as a challenge, parang no matter kung anong edad mo, basta it’s how you carry yourself, how you stand up, how you fix yourself.”
Beauty has been added to the list of actresses who have been proving that motherhood is not a hindrance to becoming a lead star.
She is in good company, counting Empress Schuck, Valerie Concepcion, and Jennylyn Mercado, among them.
They also happen to be Beauty’s new sisters at the Aguila Artists Management.
Aguila Artists Management is headed by veteran talent manager Becky Aguila with daughter Kat Aguila.
Beauty reiterated, “Porke’t may mga anak ka na, you cannot post anything sexy? Parang it’s totally different in the States, e.
“It’s how you look, it’s how you deliver yourself. It’s not what your status is or if you are happily married and you have a kid.
“I really want to break that wall kasi naiirita ako sometimes na hindi ka naku-consider sa role kasi ganon ang nangyari sa iyo.
“I don’t like that kasi dapat titignan mo yung talent ng tao at saka work ethics niya.”
True enough, Beauty has proven that she can still be a lead star.
In 2018, she got a major break when she headlined the afternoon series Kadenang Ginto on ABS-CBN. It was a massive success that ran for almost two years.
TV5 then got her to headline two shows: I Got You and Paano Ang Pasko?
Now, Beauty is with GMA-7 where she has a contract on a per-project basis. She has done two mini-series: Loving Miss Bridgette and AlterNATE, and is set to headline an upcoming afternoon show titled The Fake Life.
Beauty is one of the actresses who are lucky enough to find work from three TV networks. Not only that, she is being given projects where she gets top billing.
In the interview, Beauty admitted her "insecurities.”
She said, “I have imposter syndrome where you feel like you only get there by luck.
“That’s why when you tell me, 'How do you feel na you’re well-loved by all of these networks?' I feel happy about it, but, honestly, sometimes parang feeling ko I just got there because of luck.”
According to Harvard Business Review, Imposter Syndrome is “doubting your abilities and feeling like a fraud.” People with this affliction have the tendency to negate their accomplishments.
But then, in the case of Beauty, she has learned to be gentle to herself.
She said, “At the end of the day, I treat myself well na I talk to myself like a kid na, ‘Hoy, you deserve it! Accept it, embrace it, enjoy. In ten years, matanda ka na.’
“I’m very thankful naman siyempre. Ang hirap ng mga rejections, but at the end of the day, gusto kong patunayan na, ‘Sh*t kayo, mali kayo!’”
HER HUSBAND WANTS A HAPPY WIFE
Beauty, 30, of course acknowledged her husband, Norman Crisologo, for his tremendous help in restoring her confidence.
In fact, it was Norman who talked her into looking good and feeling good, which led to her bikini posts on Instagram.
Trivia: Norman takes Beauty’s Instagram pictures!
Beauty told PEP.ph, “Honestly, I am not confident, but when my husband asks me to pose, who am I to say no, di ba?
"But every time he asks me to pose, nag-aaway pa kami. Hahaha! Actually, thankful ako sa kanya kasi he’s very matiyaga sa Instagram.
“Siguro, nako-conscious ako because I was young, may mga camera na sa PBB and [being] the fat kid, iniisip ko lagi, ‘Sh*t, ang taba-taba ko.’
“Pero siya talaga yung masipag, ‘Hey, pose! When you’re 40, pangit na, ganyan ganyan or what!’...
“[Yung iba, sasabihin] ‘Uy, bakit ka nagpu-post ng ganyan, tanda-tanda mo na. You have to be respected. You have to wear something at your age.’
“Siya [Norman] naman, ‘Kung mataba ka, magtago ka na!’ Iyan sinasabi niya sa akin.
“’But for now, maganda ka you should let people see it and your post naman on Instagram, you’re posting na hindi bastos. So don’t feel bad. Kasi yung pose mo classy, e.’
“He really makes me understand kasi napakakonserbatibo ko, takot ako mag-pose ng mga ganun but he really pushes the boundaries, for me kasi yung ibang asawa, bawal ka na magga-ganyan-ganyan.”
As Beauty’s strongest support system. Norman was particularly helpful when she went through postpartum depression after giving birth to their baby Olivia.
She recalled, “Siyempre, I have to give breastfeeding kasi importante yung first milk mo, ‘tapos caesarian pa ako.
“Sabi ko, ‘Pisti, giatay, sakit na yung tahi, sakit pa boobs ko!'
“So sabi ng asawa ko, ‘O, tama na iyan. One month na.’ So, I really appreciate my husband kasi hindi niya ako jinudge.
“Sabi niya, ‘It’s good that you did one month, but I need a happy wife. So tigil-tigilan mo na iyang pagiging pretentious mom mo. Huwag ka na magpadede, okay na iyan basta nabigay mo na iyang colostrum mo.’
“He makes things easier for me, he doesn’t judge me. He really wants me to look good all the time, he doesn’t mind me working out para magpapayat.”
Beauty feels truly blessed and thankful knowing that not all husbands are like Norman.
THERE HAS TO BE AN END
But like all good things, there is an ending in the offing.
About her showbiz career, Beauty admitted, “Honestly, I don’t really plan on doing this for so long. I have a time limit. Siguro after six years I’ll stop.
“Kasi I want to work until I look good, until I still look good. I want to say goodbye in a nice way, and I’m really working hard kasi yun yung goal ko.”
More than the physical aspect of being a celebrity, Beauty said her focus would always be her daughter.
She continued, “My daughter is turning ten in five years, so I want to be there when she’s a teenager, I don’t want na wala ako.
“Yun yung promise ko sa kanya kasi I started working when she was seven months pa lang. Bumalik na ako sa Pusong Ligaw and wala na akong tigil hanggang ngayon.
“So parang I owe her this time kaya every time pagkatapos ng show, lagi kaming nasa beach, lagi kaming nasa abroad, kasi yun lang yung bonding time, e.
“When I go abroad, wala akong yaya, I’m so excited to fly going there but [after], I’m so excited to come home and give her back to the yaya! Hahaha! Honestly.
“I don’t want to be plastic, hindi naman ako yung supermom na ano, but yun yung bonding moment naming dalawa.”
Going back to her career, Beauty is excited for the things to come.
She is under a new talent-management company and has a new series.
She concluded, “Hopefully, people will see na I can be somewhere there.”
Q&A WITH BEAUTY
Q: What is your favorite project?
Beauty: That’s hard.
Q: Sige, top two?
Beauty: Kadenang Ginto, siyempre doon ako sumikat, e. I mean dun yung breakthrough ko na I can lead. I had a lot of blessings from Kadena, naka-ipon ako and I’m happy with Kadena. It lasted for two years. Ano yun, e, it’s very touching for me kasi yun na yung lilipat ako or bumalik ako ‘tapos kailangan kong patunayan yung sarili ko na I’m worth where I am and thank you, Lord, it was a breakthrough.
And also, Loving Miss Bridgette kasi na-break ko yung wall na I can do this, kaya kong magpakilig, kaya kong magka-love team na walang anak. It was special for me and I have young fans, natutuwa ako sa kanila, nakakalimutan nila na wala akong asawa. Hahaha!
Q: What is your unforgettable PBB moment?
Beauty: Yung nasa TikTok, yung nang-aaway ako. Naiirita ako, kailan ba yun idi-delete? Hahaha!
We then reminded Beauty that it was the time she was in an argument with housemate Rona Libby because of siding with house player Shy Runkle.
Beauty: I love Rona. I don’t know what happened at that time, but when I know that I’m right, I’ll really say something, e. Hindi ko na maalala, pero lagi ko lang siyang nakikita sa Tiktok.
And, of course, my fatness in PBB kasi sa loob, hindi ako naniniwala na mataba ako. Kasi di ba, sa likod ng mirrors, may mga camera? So, feeling ko yung mga mirrors, fake, pinapataba lang ako! Yun yung hindi ko makalimutan sa PBB.
Q: What is the best thing about being a mother?
Beauty: Unconditional love. Lots of kisses, lots of hugs. You can see your own future through her. Hanggang one daughter lang ako, hanggang doon lang ako. Ayoko na, masakit, e! Hahaha! At the age of Norman, it’s not a secret na he’s way older than me. I don’t want him na magpapalit ng diapers sa edad niya na ganun ka-edad na. Gusto ko naman this time na kaya niya pang maglakad, travel pa kami, magpakasaya pa kami and baby rin ako, e. So gusto ko rin, i-baby ako. Isa lang.
Q: What is your advice to women going through body insecurity?
Beauty: Talk to yourself like a child, be gentle with yourself. Have a good support system. Lots of prayers, mahirap pero it’s something you have to work on with yourself. Every day is a challenge, but just be gentle with yourself.
Q: Because you are Beauty Gonzalez, what makes you beautiful?
Beauty: Pasalamat ako sa nanay ko, pinangalanan akong Beauty at beautiful ako. Kung pangit ako, isusumpa ko talaga si Mama. Totoo! Hahaha! Like noong bata ako, talaga bang Beauty ba talaga tio? Buti na lang, may hitsura ako, paano kung ngetpa ako? Diyos ko, Lord! Thankful to my mom and dad for the beautiful genes and to my husband for always making me feel beautiful and sexy every day.
Shoot Producer: Nikko Tuazon
Creative Director: Igi Talao
Words and Interview: James Patrick Anarcon
Photography: Charisma Lico
Styling: Charmaine Palermo
Make-up: Denise Go-Ochoa
Hair: Valerie Corpus
Video Producers: Rommel Llanes, Antonio Payomo III, Jino del Mundo
Special thanks to Katrina Aguila and Jan Enriquez of Aguila Artist Management