Coming of age.
Growing up in the limelight, Julia Barretto, has had it three times harder. As if coping with change isn't bad enough, she has to do it under the watchful eye of the public. "Being part of a showbiz family, people think that you have everything. But you really don't. It's harder. People watch you and some of them wait for you to do something wrong. They will judge you even though they don't know anything about you," says 16-year-old Julia.
But her situation has only made her stronger. Julia learned, through her experiences, that she cannot please everybody and the best thing that she can do is to just be herself. "People think that they know so much about you when they really don't and you just want to defend yourself. But then, you realize, you don't need to explain yourself to everybody because you can't please everyone. So might as well be yourself and do the things that make you happy." She learned to be more comfortable with herself, be more confident, and to love and appreciate herself more. "I try my best to avoid insecurities."
She credits her friends and her parents as her sources of strength. Their support has been invaluable to her. "I had friends who were going through the same things. They helped a lot. I felt that I was not alone. I remember in grade school, we would talk about these things. My family, of course, my mom, my sisters."
10 going 16
Julia first burst into the scene via a commercial for Palmolive Naturals Fashion Girl variant. She was 10 years old. Fast-forward to now, the teener is the current toast of the town, with several endorsements to her name and a teleserye on the pipeline. And just continuing where she has left off six years ago, Julia is now the face of Palmolive Naturals' newest variant, Beautifully Long Shampoo and Conditioner.
Despite all the changes in her life, she considers one thing quite constant: her hair. "I've always had long hair. I guess, I love it because every time I would leave it down, somebody will compliment my hair and that will cheer me up instantly and kahit sa photoshoots or tapings, people would come up to me and say 'Hey Julia, ang ganda naman ng hair mo!' It makes me feel confident. During my graduation, I went up the stage feeling like a super model. I was posing. Projecting. Thanks to my long hair. And because of it too, when we have a celebrity ball, I feel like a princess."
In fact, she believes that her long hair was one of the things that helped her become confident. "It helps. If you have nice hair and you don't have make-up on, I mean, there's still something about you that's nice. I was also able to also experiment with my hair. It was fun having long hair and it made things easy for me, especially whenever there's a special occasion."
Personality-wise, she remained the same 10-year-old Julia, though more mature now. "I am still the same person. Julia, 10 years old was makulit, a little bit shy. Julia now, I think I am still a little shy from time to time but more confident than before. I'm still excited with these kinds of stuff like when I was 10 years old and I had my first commercial."
To kids and tweens who are experiencing these changes, she advises this: "Just hang in there. Everybody goes through that. That's normal. If you feel insecure right now, that's not gonna last forever. You're gonna get over it too. Just try your best to feel confident and to be comfortable in your own skin. And don't ever think that you're not beautiful because you are."
Julia Barretto at the launch of Palmolive Naturals Beautifully Long Shampoo and Conditioner
The 10-year-old Julia Barretto at her first commercial: Palmolive Naturals Fashion Girl variant
Julia has never had her hair colored. But if she's given the chance, she would try brown with shades of blonde.