Former actress Queenie Padilla is no stranger to social media's dark side. She had been bashed for posting photos of her then-newborn daughter without showing her face, and has received judgy comments about expressing breast milk versus direct breastfeeding.
Like her younger sister Kylie Padillaand stepmom Mariel Padilla, who talked about weight issues during and after pregnancy, she is now also speaking up about how motherhood helped her be comfortable in her own body. Queenie, whose daughter Mustahsina Mikailah is turning one year old tomorrow, July 25, has opened up about the struggles she's had with her shape and figure.
"During my pregnancy, it was scary hearing people say that your body will change," Queenie wrote. It didn't help that she was exposed to the "life of celebrity and the superficial standards of 'beauty'" when she was still in show business, which she says "destroyed" her as a teenager.
She recalled how she almost blamed herself for not having the body of a Victoria’s Secret model. "I was born with a curvy body which meant that I had to work much harder because I would look bigger on camera," Queenie said. It also meant having a hard time finding clothes. She'd often buy clothes one size smaller than her actual size as her motivation to lose weight. That, and also because she was ashamed to buy a size 10 or 12. On top of this, Queenie says she also had skin problems which she temporarily solved with frequent peeling treatments.
At one point in her Instagram post, the first-time mom shared a message she'd like to say now to her teenage self, one that any woman should read and be reminded of from time to time.
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Queenie wrote: "You are beautiful, you are talented, you are intelligent, you are intellectual, and you should stop absorbing negativity. Focus on what you have been blessed with. Nobody’s perfect. Everyone has their strengths and weakness. Embrace them. You are you. Think about the good things you can do to make an impact in the world. Be productive."
"At 27 as a new mother, I’ve become more confident in my own skin. It’s amazing what motherhood can do," the new mom wrote. She hopes that all teenagers, including her daughter, would be confident and comfortable in their own body. "Embrace your flaws and more importantly, just as much as you want to beautify your physical self, don’t forget about beautifying your inner self," she continued.
Motherhood has also given Queenie the confidence to grab the opportunity to achieve her dream. After five long years of doubting herself, she finally launched her own clothing line, which would be celebrating its second anniversary in a few months.
Queenie sells hijabs, midi tops, dresses, and kimonos, which she models for in her online website, under her brand and initials, QP. "I've always been passionate about picking out material and looking at different types of stitching while I shopped for clothes," she wrote in another Instagram post. The website also offers UM (her husband Usman Mir's initials) shirts and hoodies for men.
Queenie recalled how hard it was for her to quit a well-paying career in showbiz and give up a comfortable life with her action star dad Robin for the sake of love and marriage. Thus, even with her husband taking care of her and their family, she chose to pursue a business, too. She had ideas for a clothing line business a few years ago after realizing that there aren't a lot of options for modest clothing available for Muslim women in the Philipines.
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"I didn't expect the overwhelming amount of trust and support you guys gave me. Thank you so much. We reached our two-year milestone in just a few months. I really felt the magic that we have as an ummah (community) if we support one another," Queenie wrote. "All praise is due to Allah!" she added.