iza_calzado.jpgKeeping it real is a tall order if you belong to the glittery world of show business. Yet award-winning actress Iza Calzado manages to rise above it all with her confident smile and simple lifestyle. Life hadn’t been easy for the Beauty Queen star—her parents divorced when she was young, and her self-esteem took a huge blow after being teased for being heavy—but despite the hardships, Iza eventually started believing in herself and became the strong woman she is today. “I used to worry about every little thing. I used to compare myself to other women,” she said. “When I let go of that, it was freedom.”   

Like Iza, you too can find your inner diva and unleash your fierce self for the entire world to see. Are you worried about losing your identity because of what’s happening around you? Keep your chin up and check out these tips from Iza Calzado herself.

1. EMBRACE YOUR IMPERFECTIONS. They make you beautiful. Perfection is boring.

2. ACCEPT YOURSELF AS YOU ARE RIGHT NOW. Pay homage to your past through the lessons you learned from your mistakes. Forgive yourself and move on.

Eat healthy. Exercise. Allow yourself to indulge once in a while. My favorite indulgences are chocolate and a massage.

4. LIVE A LIFE OF FAITH. Never lose hope no matter what hardships you experience. My hardships have changed me so much. Believe that good things can and will happen.

5. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH PEOPLE WHO MAKE SENSE and who are more knowledgeable or experienced than you are. Ask questions openly.


7. DO THINGS TO MAKE OTHER PEOPLE HAPPY. It helps you gain perspective when you don’t think only of yourself.

8. READ. After I read this quote from Audrey Hepburn—“For a beautiful mouth, speak words of kindness”—I stopped swearing and saying bad things.

9. MAKE A PROJECT TO CELEBRATE YOU.  I’m working on a gratitude journal-scrapbook where I’ve put in pictures of everything in my life that has made me a better person.

10. LOOK AT YOURSELF IN THE MIRROR and imagine giving yourself a kiss or a hug!

(First published in Marie Claire, as "The Incredible Lightness of Iza: What Iza Wants You to Know" by Mari Lim in November 2005; adapted for use in Female Network; photo courtesy of PEP.ph)

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