EXCLUSIVE: Isabelle Daza Shares Her Thoughts On Motherhood And The "Glamorization Of Being Busy"
2018 was a year of a lot of firsts for Isabelle Daza. Beyond the clothing line she shares with her friends and fellow It-Girls (the moniker their group has been known for years), Belle has been juggling being a first-time mom to adorable baby boy Baltie, managing a household, putting up a preschool, going back to acting, and preparing for the holidays. Here, she shares how she manages to do it all!
Photo by Ryan Ong
Sometimes your reputation precedes you, but the Isabelle Daza that sat with Metro.Style for her interview was not who we expected. Dressed in a sundress from their sold-out collection with ZALORA Philippines, the__edit, Belle wasn’t standoffish, but wasn’t overly friendly either. She was matter-of-factly, direct to the point, but warm. She was every bit the nurturing, mother figure that the other It-Girls describe her to be. Belle muses, “I don’t know why I am, and it comes naturally. Maybe because I’m also bossy!”
Being in the moment
“I’m slowing getting back to it,” Belle says about her heading back to work. She was working on The__edit with her cousin Georgina Wilson and friends Solenn Heussaff and Liz Uy while she was still pregnant (“I couldn’t be part of the fitting!”), and it took them around nine months to finish everything. “Our names are on the line, and we wanted to present something that we love, like an extension of our closet and ourselves—there’s a vulnerability to put yourself out there, but the response has been overwhelming.”
She is also clocking in taping days for the ABS-CBN show Playhouse, which she hopes will show a new side of her. “I love it because it’s light, no drama. I also asked the director and writers if I could have some punch lines, since I haven’t been given the chance to have that kind of role.” Heading back to work means less time spent with Baltie, which the once stay-at-home-mom found to be quite the paradigm shift. “It’s been really hard to leave them for the whole day. I’m constantly asking for updates on how Baltie is doing. He’s felt the difference with me not being there. He looks for me, and then my yaya, my sister or my mom would say that the whole day he didn’t smile, and now when I came in, that’s when he gets so excited and smiles.”
Even with Belle heading back to work, she came back to it with a new mindset—from being a “human doing” to a “human being.” “You know, I don’t feel the need to show people that I’m so busy anymore. I just want to be present sometimes. I recently learned this phrase, the “glamorization of being busy." Like why is it so important to show that we’re busy? But it’s been an adjustment for me, because I’ve always learned that getting stuff done off your checklist, or being busy is being successful or efficient. My yoga teacher was saying you’re a human being, not human doing. So I’m like yeah, I can just be—I don’t have to prove anything. It’s finding the balance of getting stuff done, and also being in the moment. Before, I would get anxiety when people would ask me, ‘So, what do you do now?’ I try to prove ‘Oh I’m busy with this, I’m doing that’. Now I’m like, ‘I’m a mom, and I love it. I don’t have to prove to you that I’m busy doing something, because I’m happy—and that’s ultimately the most important for me.”
Change is here
Being a first-time parent to Baltie opened Belle’s eyes to a new chapter in her life as well—she’s opening a preschool, in partnership with her cousin who is already in the education sector. You can feel how passionate Belle is about her new center, one that aims to help millennial parents see education beyond being a measure of academic success. “What I want to do is kind of ambitious,” Belle says, smiling, “I want to redefine what success is, with this space highly focused on EQ (Emotional Quotient)—empathy, listening skills—with the parents, yayas, grandparents, guardians, and caregivers highly involved. It’s also going to be a mixed use space where parents can have talks there, where yayas will learn how to do healthy cooking, mommy and me yoga.”
Made this home video cause @adriensemblat didn’t believe that our son knew how to kick the ball. He thinks it’s Balthazar’s reflex and if you put any other toy in front of him he would also kick it. (Which could be the case) So I wanted to put him through a test and demonstrate if he knew the different toys he had and remembered what we regularly did with it. ????
All in the mind
Belle seemed to be doing a lot of inner work lately. She has been speaking up more and more about the pressures, depression, and anxiety that come with being on social media. Ever since she’s given birth, she says that so many people have been reaching out and telling her their stories about their struggles. “Social media has made it easy to compare ourselves to others. But it’s not the villain—it is what you make it, right? I was just thinking about this after I watched this thing about how so many people want to be an influencer, but what is it that you’re influencing? Is it added value to anyone’s life? Of course I also indulge in a selfie when my makeup’s nice—I don’t want to be self-righteous. There are things that I want to post because I like it. Maybe we need to remember that your Instagram is a photo album of what you like—that might make people less judgmental.”
So I’m kinda shy or scared to post this cause I don’t look my best but thats not the point. I’m sharing this very personal, emotional talk because I want to stand up against the stigma that Mental illness is something we should be ashamed about. Also talking about how social media can play a role in developing anxiety and depression. The full version is up on my IGTV. ?? #LetsTalkLetsListen
Belle hasn’t been posting as frequently as before, but when she does, it’s a mix of selfies, work, and family life—aligned with what she said about her Instagram being her own photo album, rather than simply posting to garner likes. Her followers enjoy seeing stories, videos, and photos of anything about her as a wife and a mother—and perhaps it's what made the public connect to her on a different level.
Belle goes into the holiday season, ending the year with the best gift ever: being fully, completely herself. “I think having a baby, I’ve never been so myself than being a mom—I’ve never known myself more. Like in your teens you’re getting to know yourself, in your 20s you’re kind of thinking about what you want to be, late 20s you’re like so sure and kind of cocky, and 30s you’re so, oh my God, like this is what I’ve been born to do.”
Photos from @isabelledaza