The 21-year-old model has become the first Filipino to visit the most fashionable fashion show in the world, the Victoria Fashion Secret Show in New York on November 8.
Kelsey Merritt, a graduate of the Ateneo de Manila University, will become the Victoria's Secret Model, which will be watched by hundreds of millions around the world when it's on December 2nd.
"She feels like a dream," Teen Vogue said in an online interview. And a land possessed of beauty could not agree more.
Victoria's fashion show Victoria's Secret is probably more popular than a beauty show in more than 100 countries, especially among young people around the world who are trying to model luminous pieces of this iconic brand of lingerie.
Merritt joins Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid.
Merritt, who was born in Pampanga province and grew up in Manila, was also a model of Inquirer ToBeYou. She was filming for ToBeYou in Boracay when she was a model of local label Bench, Kashieca.
She began to work freely to become a model. In addition to ToBeYou, she made local polish and billboards and went through Bench track shows.
Before the show, Teen Vogue said: "Getting the show is a dream come true, but it is the first Filipino woman to go to an exhibition so I'm making history. The show is being broadcast in more than 190 countries with models from 20 countries and I decided to represent my region.
Her girlfriend in Ateneu, Nicole Thorp, also a contributor to ToBeYou, described Merritt: "She is kind and hardworking, and she can juggle her modeling in New York and London."
"I'm just me"
Merritt's runway heats the internet and some netizens comment that she is not "pure Filipina" – the mother is a Filipino, her American father – and therefore should not claim her success as an Asian victory because she is "white."
But Merritt has a meaningful and straightforward answer in Teen Vogue: "I'd like to tell them that I'm just me."
She posted on her Twitter account: "Pinanganak as Pilipinas in luminaki as Pampanga." Tinapos ko ang pag-aaral ko Manila bago as a lumipat with US last year. [Pilipinas]. (I was born in the Philippines and grew up in Pampanga, completed my studies in Manila before I moved to the US last year, my blood is more Filipino than those who are "clean" who never went to Philippine soil ). I love my country and I'm proud of where I came from. "
He seems to have a lawyer, mostly a student.
Patrickia Pelayo of the University of Santo Tomas (UST), who participated in the ToBeYou survey, said: "But what is the real Filipino beauty?" Although Kelsey Merritt has Eurocentric features, he still embodies the strong and wild Filipino features. Philippine blood is something we should be proud of when it represents us in the international modeling industry. "
Another UST student, Hasmin Sevilla, added: "Its foreign appearance does not make it less of the Philippines. Besides our blood, the size of our heart is the vast majority of nationality, its beauty and courage should all be proud of us!"
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