It seems that even the most beautiful and successful among us aren’t immune to the snide comments and insidious nitpicking of internet trolls. Imagine having something horrible to say to someone who’s won the title of Miss Universe? What about saying something to a sixty-year-old grandmother with a lifetime of achievements under her belt? For Pia Wurtzbach and Charo Santos-Concio, these are par for the course, things that come with the territory of fame and glamour; the words can sting but from them, a beautiful story emerges.
Beauty has always been a double edged sword for many women. Add fame and the blackhole that is the internet comments sections and it’s no wonder that many females often feel like they’re constantly fighting for the right to own their looks, bodies and perceptions of self. After years of keeping a relatively low profile, Santos-Concio made waves by appearing on the cover of MEGA magazine, looking beautiful as ever, and enviably sexy, even clad in a trench coat. “MEGA started it all,” she says of that time. Other publications followed suit and soon the media executive, television host and actress found herself the target of malicious comments, telling her to act her age. “Ay nako, nagpapa-bagets ka!” she says with a wry smile. “But I wanted to do it.” As a top executive in one of the biggest media companies in the country and an award-winner in her many endeavours, you’d think that Santos-Concio had immunity from all the bashing—she’s a grandmother for heaven’s sake! Yet that didn’t deter people from criticizing her looks, something that she’s learned to take into stride. Her latest role, as a one of the brand ambassadors of Merz Aesthetics’ Ultherapy, the ultra-popular non-invasive skin-lifting-and-tightening treatment, has put her ageless face into the spotlight once again. According to Santos-Concio, she’s tried many non-invasive treatments over the years, and Ultherapy became her favorite because it was the only one that boots the production of collagen, the protein that provides firmness and elasticity to the skin. “Before Ultherapy, there were the lesser machines,” she says. “I tried them all. This is the best.”
Wurtzbach echoes Santos-Concio’s sentiments on Ultherapy. For someone constantly under the spotlight, Ultherapy was a boon. According to Wurtzbach, when one joins a beauty contest, one is bound to hear people nitpick about every little physical flaw. With her willowy build, classic face and an endearing persona, it’s hard to imagine how mean Wurtzbach’s bashers are, but they’re there. Whether it was complaining that she didn’t look Filipina enough or ridiculing her joining the Binibining Pilipinas contest several times, it seems that many people cannot just accept that beauty isn’t bound to an ideal.
Like their fellow Ultherapy brand ambassadors, both Wurtzbach and Santos-Concio love that Ultherapy simply enhances one’s natural beauty—and that the effect is immediate and long-lasting. Due to age, stress and other reasons, our well of collagen gets depleted, causing skin to sag, losing firmness and aggravating the lines around the face. A non-invasive procedure such as Ultherapy, which uses micro-focused ultrasound to lift and tighten skin is one of the sought after treatments by people worldwide. The treatment, which is US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved, focuses on the parts of the skin that show age first, mainly along the brow, under the chin, neck and the chest. Each procedure, which takes about 60 to 90 minutes, is done once or twice a year, with instant, long-lasting results. On top of that the skin gets better months later, as the collagen begins to build up, thanks to the ultrasound’s capacity to penetrate the deepest support layers of the skin. While it’s not cheap, the fact that it’s safe, has no downtime and is popular the world over with over 1,000,000 treatments already performed, makes Merz Aesthetics’ Ultherapy a great choice for those who want to rejuvenate their looks without going under the knife. “My thinking is, I will save this amount for the year and I will amortize it in 12 months,” says Charo-Santos with a laugh. While Ulthera works wonders for older women, younger women, such as those in their 20s, can also benefit from its contouring effects.
For Wurtzbach and Santos-Concio, their achievements, along with their tenacity, graciousness, kindness and intelligence are things that people can all look up to. Despite the challenges and the naysayers, they’ve managed to turn theirs into beautiful stories still.