By Hannah Cruz
“I don’t really care,” Xtina Superstar says of that time one of her 140-character missives ended up a Tweet of the Week on a local entertainment website, “but someone tweeted me that some bar in Tomas Morato had a ‘No Cross Dressers’ rule and I was not going to let that pass.” She is young, reluctant to be called an advocate, and laughs when she’s labeled an icon. “It’s really funny,” sniggers the DJ and stylist.
Xtina Superstar is always on the verge of something. At times, controversy; often, adulation. Very rightly so, as she’s in a league of her own. She flares her nostrils in disbelief when I remind her that she’s a media darling of sorts. This is a girl who simply wants to have fun, whether she’s eating bulalo by the roadside or holding a glass of champagne in one hand and her heels in another.
And oh, she’s transgender. That’s always something I always forget to mention first and foremost because once you get to know Xtina Superstar, you realize that she’s just Xtina Superstar.
Where did you get the name Xtina Superstar?
It started with Christina Aguilera during her “Dirrty” era back in 2003. She changed her name to Xtina for a while and I opted to use that. I got the Superstar from the movie Party Monsters. Marilyn Manson was part of the cast and he was playing a character called “Christina Superstar.” I decided to combine Xtina and Superstar; that’s how I ended up with my name.
In Christina’s “Dirrty” video, she was prancing around in a bikini and assless chaps. Is that something you tried to emulate during your B/BLOG shoot?
I actually didn’t expect that I would be wearing underwear during this shoot! I asked what outfits I would be wearing and I was told that the stylist was pulling out undergarments. At first I thought it was a joke, but when I got to the studio I realized that it was real and yeah, my attitude was like, ‘Let’s make this happen, girl!’
What was going through your mind while you were posing? It seemed to come very naturally for you.
I was scared to do it at first! I had promised myself not to do sexy shoots anymore. Based on the photos that I saw during the shoot, it wasn’t too overtly sexy. It was done in good taste. I mixed in my personal style and made the BENCH Body pieces my own. The lingerie I worked with could be interpreted in many different ways. It can be sexy, elegant—you can make it who you are.
How did you learn to jump in heels?
Oh my God! I run in heels! Whenever I’m drunk, I think that’s also a challenge to be in heels, but I survive it! I DJ in heels for three hours straight without sitting. I also worked nine-hour shifts in retail…jumping in heels isn’t something new to me.
Is it something that you often practice in front of the mirror?
I’d be lying if I said that I don’t practice in front of the mirror. Yeah, I do, especially when I’m doing my makeup. I think it helps because you see your look in action.
You really enjoy putting yourself together.
Of course! Getting dressed to go out is the most exciting part of the night.
What kind of music do you listen to when you’re getting ready?
It’s obviously Cheryl Cole’s “Call My Name.” For some weird reason, that song always makes me feel pretty all the time. It’s the most played song on my iTunes, but lately I’ve been into Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse by Mariah Carey. And of course, Regine Velazquez. Hi ate Reg!
How long does it take for you to get dressed, song and dance number included?
Oh my God, my friends can attest to this because sometimes they fall asleep during the entire process. An hour is the norm but if it’s a full-scale production with a song and dance number, an hour and a half is more like it. I can also do my makeup pretty quickly but I’m not as happy as opposed to when I leisurely spend my time by enjoying an hour and a half of getting ready.
So what did you eat the day of your shoot?
Um, I didn’t eat before the shoot. The thing I remember is that I did eat a lot after the shoot because I was so hungry. I had crispy pata before my DJ set later that evening.
Were you nervous?
Not really because I’m very at ease with BJ Pascual. I just feel at home, that I’m in good hands whenever he shoots me. We have a really good working relationship together.
How does it feel to be the first transgender in an editorial involving Bench Body?
I consider it to be a privilege. It feels great because doing something like this shows that I can scale new heights and that it’s about time that we embrace all kinds of beauty. This feature is an example of openness and acceptance.
Did you ever dream of posing in lingerie?
I mean people think that I have a thin body and stuff, whatever, but we all have our own insecurities. I have my own body issues, as well. Yeah, it’s a dream come true and lately I’ve been growing some hips so might as well show them off!
What’s your favorite kind of bra?
I really like pieces that are dramatic, like lace. I don’t prefer heavy padding. A black lace bra is really chic.
What got you interested in fashion in the first place?
I grew up with my grandmother, watching her put her outfits together and going through her wardrobe. I learned how to love dressing up through her. Her style was very ‘70s, which is my favorite era for fashion. She really was a glamorous one. That’s where I got my love for clothes and looking beautiful. I like fashion because it allows me to evolve. Changes in my life are reflected by my choice of clothes.
You used to dress trashy.
And I don’t regret that because I had a lot of fun! I think we all have the right to experiment. That was an experience for me but now that I’m a little older, I dress more ladylike. My look is more mature and cohesive these days. Finding your style is a process. I look back at all my outfits and each one of them is a learning process. One thing, though—before I leave the house, I look in the mirror and ask, ‘Do I look like a basic bitch?’ Basic is a big no-no.
You used to be blonde.
Yes and that was when I would dress really extreme! Like bodysuits and tanggas on the street, as well as avant-garde Filipino designers. I’m greatly influenced by the company I keep. The culture, the music, everything.
What are your style secrets and wardrobe essentials?
Chicken cutlets and hair extensions. As for my wardrobe essentials, always have clean underwear, an attention-seeking sequined number, a long silk gown, and a tangga. I also believe in the staying power of a good pair of jeans and a white button down for the days I need to look presentable. Honestly, though, it’s not about the clothes. It’s about how you own it.
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