She's no IT GIRL

- Cai Subijano -

MANILA, Philippines - I once worked for an editor who said something along the lines of, “I never wanted to be an It Girl because if I was, it would mean that one day, I wouldn’t be an It Girl anymore!” It was a peculiar thing to say, considering this huge fixation on It Girls.

I grew up watching It Girls in their TV commercials, magazine ads and billboards, and witnessed how the torch was passed on from one to the next. I’ve always noticed how every generation has its token mestiza. As far as I know, my parents had Rosa Rosal (40s), my older sisters' era had the Revilla sisters (80s), and my brothers fawned over Bianca Araneta (90s). When I was an adolescent in the late 90s to early 00s, it was a toss up between Sarah Meier and Nicole Hernandez.

Of all these hugely successful It mestizas, however, there was only one that I had the opportunity to witness first-hand in the transition from being an ordinary pretty girl to this outrageously popular “society girl,” as my mom would say: Georgina Wilson.

All high schools have their own set of popular kids to fuss over (only to fade into the obscurity of “ordinary people” after graduation), but I’m certain none of them was quite like George, as she was known in our campus. I belonged to the batch below hers and she was, without contest, our school’s Queen Bee, in which case, a complex set of mythology came with the territory.

“Georgina Wilson? She was sent by our Economics teacher to all these inter-school Economics competitions and she would win all of them for us!”

“She won Prom Princess and Ball Queen.”

“She used to be fat.”

“Someone told me that she and her best friend threw a parade for their boyfriends on their birthdays!”

“Isn’t she going to be the muse of the Ateneo Blue Eagles?”

“I heard that she had a joint bank account with her high school boyfriend and when they broke up, he locked himself in his room for a week!”

Naturally, it’s difficult to separate fact from hilarious fiction, especially since most of those things didn’t come from Georgina herself. I, for one, believe that that last rumor has no truth to it all — joint bank account? And the parades? Wild! Still, it just goes to show that people, specifically teenage girls, were interested enough to talk, sometimes make up stuff, about her even before she was famous.

Then, as soon as she hit freshman year in Ateneo, she achieved the trifecta of It Girl rites of passage: a Pond’s commercial, a billboard on the way to Katipunan Avenue and advertisements that exploded in different print mediums. The magazine covers soon followed. I’m sure I don’t even have to expound on the rest, as I’m sure you’ve taken all of it in, starting from the moment that you found out that she was Richard Gutierrez’s girlfriend sometime in 2006.

Honestly speaking, we knew it was coming for her, but none of us could have foreseen the magnitude of her popularity. Now, she has her fan club called the “Georgies”, people call her “Ate Georgina” and she’s been being dubbed the “makamasang socialite,” which is, frankly, weird. Even our innocuous high school mythology evolved into national gossip. Just say the name “Georgina” and you instantly hear that "Ah!" of recognition.

That’s probably what sets her apart from all the other It Girls I’ve grown up with. Yes, those It Girls burned bright when it was their turn under the spotlight, but none of them went on to become household names. Bianca, Sarah, Nicole — you could be referring to a number of different girls, really. But if someone thinks of naming their daughter (or unfortunate son) "Georgina" or when a sosyal character with kutis-mayaman skin in a teleserye is given the same name, we’ll only think of one girl.

This leads to only one conclusion: we’re going to have to call her something other than It Girl because she’s transcended that. However, I’m not Tyra Banks, meaning I’m not in the habit of making up my own words haphazardly, as Miz Bankable Productions is wont to do (we have her to thank for “words” like “smize”, “magaline” and “intoxibella”). So my course of action is: I’m just going to stop calling Georgina an It Girl from here on out.

Those other girls supposedly in her league though, can keep their titles.

* * *

You probably already know this, but Georgina Wilson has a lifestyle and entertainment show with Cliff Cole called The Source. It airs every Friday at 8:30 p.m. with primetime encore at 10:30 p.m on Star World.









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