Beauty queen Katarina Rodriguez showed off her pregnancy stretch marks in her most recent update on Instagram, prompting a positive reaction from her fans and followers.
The Miss World Philippines 2018 titleholder, who announced her pregnancy in August, posted a bikini photo on the platform last Sunday, October 17, in which she displays her stretch marks.
"I've been getting a lot of messages as to why I don't have stretch marks, and here is my answer, I actually do have stretch marks," she wrote in the caption.
"They showed up towards the latter part of my pregnancy and yes, they did bother me for a few days because I was bathing in oils and lotions trying to do whatever I could to prevent them," she admitted. "I then learned that stretch marks are genetic and there's not much you can do to prevent them from appearing if it's genetic. So I had no choice but to embrace them."
The picture earned tens of thousands of "likes", as well as positive comments from Katarina's followers, including fellow celebrities, who admired her for keeping it real.
"Real post that lots of people will appreciate," model Margo Midwinter noted.
Fellow celebrity mom Angel Jones said, "I love my pregnancy marks. You're gorgeous, momma," while another, Coleen Garcia, commented with raised hands and heart emojis.
Katarina announced that she is expecting her first child with businessman Nino Barbers last August, through a YouTube vlog titled "We have an announcement."
In the vlog, the beauty queen shared a series of clips documenting her pregnancy journey, including an ultrasound video of her baby, as well as clips from what appears to be her baby shower in Siargao, which was attended by her close friends, including actress Andi Eigenmann.
In a separate vlog she released early this October, Katarina revealed that she and her partner are expecting a baby boy.
Recalling her initial reaction when she found out about her pregnancy, Katarina said: "Okay. So I still thought I was, like, 21 years old, so I lowkey panicked thinking I'm too young. But this lasted for, like, five minutes until I called my kuya and he reminded me that both Nino and I are at the perfect age, and we're both more than ready financially, emotionally, the phase and stage in our lives, like we're both there. And then I calmed down, and I was, like, 'It's now or never.'"
She also explained why she initially decided to keep her pregnancy a secret from the public, saying, "I don't really want to think of it as keeping it a secret but more of keeping it private.
"Nino is a pretty private person and I respect him for that, but I think this decision of keeping it private for eight months was one that I had made from the beginning, from the moment I found out that I was pregnant.
"Because it is my first pregnancy, I just really wanted to enjoy every moment of it. I didn't want to be bombarded with congratulations or questions, or even work stuff related to me being pregnant or me being a mom. When I first found out, I wanted to do my own research and read up myself and, you know, just really, fully prepare myself on being pregnant and motherhood."
Katarina, 28, rose to fame after placing third in the second season of the hit competition Asia's Next Top Model in 2014. In 2017, she was crowned Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental, and later represented the Philippines in the Miss Intercontinental pageant, where she placed first runner-up.
She then won Miss World Philippines in 2018, and subsequently represented the Philippines at the Miss World 2018 pageant.
After ending her pageant journey, Katarina dabbled in acting. Her breakout role was Rio Isla in the hit ABS-CBN series Make It With You, which starred Liza Soberano Enrique Gil.