Do you know that thing couples do when they send each other memes and tag each other on Facebook posts they think the other would like? Jec and I do that all the time, to the extent that it somehow becomes annoying for others. LOL. Sometimes we send each other jokes, and then there are days that we tag each other on events and other things that the other person is fond of. He has tagged me several times on some body positive photos because that’s my thing, but the other day, he gave me this link to a Facebook page. I thought I was looking at a typical advocacy Facebook page until I realized that the founder of the page (and advocacy) is a fellow Filipina.
I thought it was sweet that Jec would send me something like that. I looked at the page further and got impressed with the posts I saw. It only started recently, but from what I could see, the page’s content already screamed quality. Whoever is handling this knows what they’re doing, I thought. I assumed an advocacy group was handling the page since I thought it was too much work to single-handedly manage that much content. To my surprise, it wasn’t a “they”, but a “her”.
I could very much relate to the stories I read, so I contacted the page owner in hopes of finding more about the advocacy. And here’s what I found out.
What is Queen City Plus all about?
Queen City Plus (QC+) is a platform that promotes self-love and body positivity. It currently makes use of Facebook and Instagram as its platform. QC+ is not limited to women only. However, it was launched using a women’s campaign.
QC+ is a safe and empowering space in the internet.
How did you choose the brand name, “Queen City Plus?”
I chose the name because of two things that I love. First, I love Cebu. I love my city. Queen City resonates that as Cebu is the Queen City of the South. Second, Plus symbolizes positivity and my size. 😉
Who is the woman behind Queen City Plus?
The woman behind QC+ is Bea Alfar Evardone, a girl who loves her city. She once stopped showing love to her city because she did not like her body.
After going through some trials that ranged from bullying and body shaming, her father’s death, and an unclear career path, she has finally found herself. She finds so much joy in overcoming all the trials that she want others to experience it as well.
When she’s not the Queen Bey of QC+, she’s an entrepreneur who runs a marketing firm startup with a friend, a frustrated Master Chef, a Global Shaper, a writer, and a dedicated mother to a beautiful Shih Tzu puppy, Matcha.
How easy/difficult is it to handle a Facebook Page by yourself?
I manage social media pages for a living so handling QC+ is a breeze for me.
Where is the brand based? Who is its target market?
The brand hails from Cebu City and its initial target is its locals. But I know after a few months or years, it will reach netizens outside Cebu. (Although it has been reaching them already but they’re not the target just yet.)
What do people say about your advocacy?
A lot of people have commended QC+ for the positive stories it shares and to the empowered people it features. For me, the sweetest and most touching message I’ve ever gotten was she looks at QC+ as her second home. <3
There are others who think that it’s a pity party for insecure people. I don’t blame them because there is a lack of awareness about what body positivity is. Their remarks challenge me to educate them.
And there are others who simply just want to bash and hate. I honestly don’t care about what they say. I’m too #blessed to care. XD
Who are your inspirations in jumpstarting with your body positivity project?
While I follow a lot of Body Positive blogs, I derived my inspiration to jumpstart QC+ from my friends from College and Global Shapers Cebu. When you surround yourself with positive people who have so much love not just for themselves but also for others, you will really be motivated to be bold.
Aside from that, my cousin who suffered Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia started succumbing to self-harm. All this because of bullying. This happened when she was 16. I cannot allow something like that to happen to anyone. She’s also one of my biggest inspirations for QC+.
How did you come up with the #GuiltyAndProud advocacy?
In College, I’ve always wanted to have a mugshot-themed photo shoot with my friends but I imagined the models to look like drunk and hot girls who committed a crime. I imagined it to be a really sexy shoot. That desire was never satisfied. I never had the shoot.
When I found my love for this advocacy, I revisited my idea of the mugshot-themed photo shoot and I found a way for it to be positive and empowering.
What’s next for QCP after #GuiltyAndProud?
After the #GuiltyAndProud online campaign, I plan to take it on-ground to reach more Cebuanos. I have someone who wants to collaborate and make a series of body positive workshops.
Also, I plan to start writing about the lifestyle of a body-positive person. I’m going to write articles ranging from what kind of music keeps me positive or where I shop or how I take care of my body.
Aaaaaaand, a men’s version of #GuiltyAndProud!
If you could say something to body-shamers, what would it be?
I would say, “Kiss my ass!” but that’s not going to solve anything. (Although it might feel really liberating! LOL.)
I’m just going to invite them to like my page and try body shaming there. I have an army of body positive followers willing to educate you. 😉
To be honest, the first thing that caught my attention when I took a peak at Queen City Plus’s Facebook page were the #GuiltyAndProud photos. Basically, these comprised of women in different shapes and sizes fiercely posing in front of the camera. Included are lengthy captions of these women’s journeys and individual ways on how they countered the negative comments thrown their way, most of which pertain to how they look.
It reminded me of Plump Magazine’s #IAmFlawsome campaign where I also somehow took part of. While I wasn’t part of the photoshoot, I uploaded a photo on Instagram and used their exclusive hashtag. That was my simple way of supporting their campaign. It could be the little things, you know? As a famous quote said, “You don’t have to be great to start. You just have to start to be great.”
As for Queen City Plus, this is one of the ways I can help spread the word about this new advocacy group. While it only started recently, it has already garnered thousands of likes from Filipinas not just from Cebu, but also from different parts of the Philippines. If I’m not mistaken, as of this writing, the #GuiltyAndProud campaign is still on-going. If you haven’t read any of them yet, I urge you to binge-read. It’s perfect since it’s the weekend. 😛
I’m personally excited for the men’s edition of #GuiltyAndProud. I always get psyched with me taking part in something that’s somehow female dominated. I know men get body shamed, too, but we hear more frequently from women. So it’s refreshing to see men taking a stand on body positivity and self-love as well.
You can see more of Queen City Plus on these accounts: