A few days after it was announced that model Kelsey Merritt officially got booked as one of the runway models of this year’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, some netizens started to call her out for reasons that she is not a ‘pure’ Filipina, and does not look like a real Filipina.
WE DID IT PHILIPPINES!!!!!! 🇵🇭🇵🇭🇵🇭 What an honor it is to be the first Filipino to walk in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2018!!! Ahhhhhh I can’t believe this!! Thank you soooo much @johndavidpfeiffer, @monica.mitro, @10magazine, and @ed_razek for making my dream come true!! ❤️❤️❤️ And to my agents at @suprememgmt @nomadmgmt @romanyoung @david_kimm @marissasurmenkow thank you for believing in me and being there for me throughout this journey!! 💕🙏🏼 But most of all thank you to all my followers you guys are my rock!!! I couldn’t have done this without you guys. Thank you for your never ending support I LOVE Y’ALL para sainyo to!!!💕🇵🇭🙏🏼 #VSFashionShow
Kelsey, in her defense, expressed through a Twitter post that she is a pure and a proud Pinay. She wrote, “Pinanganak ako sa Pilipinas at lumaki ako sa Pampanga. Tinapos ko ang pag-aaral ko sa Manila bago ako lumipat sa US last year.
“Mas Pinoy pa dugo ko kesa sa mga “pure” na hindi pa nakatapak sa Pilipinas. I love my country and I’m proud of where I came from,” she said.
Pinanganak ako sa Pilipinas at lumaki ako sa Pampanga. Tinapos ko ang pagaaral ko sa Manila bago ako lumipat sa US last year. Mas pinoy pa dugo ko kesa sa mga “pure” na hindi pa nakatapak sa Pilinipas. I love my country and I’m proud of where I came from. ❤️— Kelsey Merritt (@kelsmerritt) September 9, 2018
One netizen also tried to defend Kelsey by explaining, “...having heavy eurocentric features doesn't take away the fact that she (Kelsey Merritt) actually identifies as Filipino & grew up in the Philippines…”
Kelsey Merritt having heavy eurocentric features doesn't take away the fact that she actually identifies as Filipino & grew up in the Philippines. That's a whole lot better than how twitter forces brown Fil-Ams as the token Fil rep when they dont know shit about Filipino culture— Gabe Legaspi (@Gabe_Legaspi) September 9, 2018
People are clamoring for representation in a realm where it’s not necessary.@kelsmerritt got in a fashion show. Not a film where she plays a Filipina, nor a pageant as "Ms. Philippines"— AND YET, she dedicated the achievement to her home country. What more do you want?— Maqui Castelo (@CaliforniaMaqui) September 9, 2018