I don’t know about you but I love Jane the Virgin. The CW’s loose reinterpretation of Venezuelan telenovela Juana la Virgen is all kinds of zesty: the storyline is dramatic sure (it is based on a telenovela after all), but there’s a smorgasbord of hilarious characters, snappy dialogue, and unique little touches that make me (alongside 1.5 million viewers) tune in week after week.
But the best thing about the show is undoubtedly Gina Rodriguez who plays the title character—both for her refreshing performance and for the work she does off-screen. Ever since her Golden Globes win this year for Best Actress in a Comedy Series, Rodriguez has become somewhat of an activist for diversity in Hollywood. Talking about her role and the importance of her win, she said it “allowed Latinas to see themselves in a beautiful light. When we look into that screen, we change the way we feel about ourselves; we change our perception of ourselves by the way art has created such a ripple effect. And if we can create an effect that shows Latinos like the investment bankers, doctors, lawyers that existed in my own home, I think that will change the way young girls and boys look at themselves.”
And now the actress (and really nice human being) is tackling Hollywood beauty standards. “I work in an industry where I am constantly being told, ‘You’re not skinny enough. You’re not tall enough. You’re not ethnic enough,’ “ she says in People article published over the weekend. “Being constantly told that you are not enough can wear down any woman – any person, period.”
Rodriguez goes on to acknowledging her parents’ influence on her ideas of body image: “[My dad] prepared us to be able to look at billboards and magazines and say, ‘This is not the only body type that is beautiful.’ He would encourage us to find our beauty and love our beauty and accept our beauty as what God gave us.”
It’s damn invigorating to see an actress recognize Hollywood’s brutal beauty standards for what they are: a game. “As a woman in this industry, we are constantly being pressured to look a certain way and to get our hair and nails and makeup done and live up to these images that aren’t conducive to a healthy mind. But I have to remember that this is a game. And if the game says I should be looking like this, then I just don’t play that role. And that’s okay.”
Title image source: stylemagazine.com