Important Life Lessons from the Women of Jane the Virgin

Whether you’re team Michael or team Rafeal, I think we can all agree on one thing. We are all team Jane. 

The CW’s 'Jane the Virgin' follows the lead character, Jane Villanueva, as she navigates the crazy curveballs life throws at her - the first being accidentally artificially inseminated during a routine appointment at the gynecologist. Straight out a telenovela, right? Jane lives with her mom, Xo, and her abuela, Alba. Each female lead is refreshingly portrayed as strong, independent, and fierce. They are consistently encouraging each other and proving to the audience that nothing is stronger than the bond of family.

I think we can all learn a thing or two from the way the Villanueva women navigate life’s obstacles. 

(major spoilers ahead)

 

1. Life might not always go according to plan, and that’s okay.

Two weeks after the tragic death of Jane’s husband, Michael Cordero, we see Alba sitting beside Jane on her bed, comforting her. 

“You’ll always feel different, but you will be okay,” she says. “And your life will be beautiful again, just in different ways. Mi amor, you have to trust me.” Alba rises from the bed and opens Jane’s bedroom curtains, letting a small glimpse of light catch scattered parts of the darkness engulfing her room. “Now come. We need to let some light in. Just a little.”

Jane is a planner. The most romantic thing to her was...her shared calendar with Michael. That’s right. A calendar. So you can imagine the overwhelming anxiety Jane must’ve felt when, not only did things not go as planned, but her life was completely flipped upside down (countless times, I may add). But she learned to let some light in, even if it was just a little bit at a time. 

The chaotic unpredictability of life shouldn’t stop you from becoming the person you want to become, because if life were easy, you wouldn’t know how strong and capable you truly are.

 

2. Surround yourself with people who will love and support you during good and bad times.

Despite the men that came in and out of their lives, the true love story remains between Jane and her family. And there wasn’t a problem in the world that couldn’t be solved on that porch swing.

The mutual respect these women have for one another is unmatched, and it’s clear they would do anything for each other. Whether it be throwing a surprise party to celebrate Alba’s new documented status, or helping pick up the pieces of a broken heart, the Villanueva women were there for each other during all the good and all the bad. 

Surround yourself with people who want you to be genuinely happy. People who want to be with you during hard times, not because it’ll be easy, but because they will do anything to make sure you know you’re loved. People who unselfishly want to celebrate your successes. People who compliment you randomly or give you advice you didn’t know you needed. People like Jane.

 

3. Let your love radiate.

After the Season 4 finale revealed the shocking plot twist that Michael was still alive, our hearts broke alongside Jane’s as we learn that Rose, the show’s antagonist, wiped his memory clean after faking his death. Forced to start his life over, Michael explains he didn’t know if he was a “good guy or a bad guy,” so he never questioned what his life was like or who he was before the incident. Jane tries to reassure him, “You were a really good guy,” but uncertainty still fills his eyes. After a couple days of Jane trying to help Michael revive his memories without any success, she tries to reassure him again, “I just want you to know, you’re a really good person, and you deserve a good life.”

“I believe that now,” Michael responds. “I mean, I must’ve been, for someone like you to love me.”

Obviously this is a very extreme example, and I don’t think (and I hope) that any of you can relate to something as crazy as this, but we should all take after Jane. The sincerity of her love pours out of her to the extent that, no matter how long you’ve known her, it’s evident just how good of a person she is. 

For the last four years, Michael remained completely unsure of who he used to be. After just a couple days with Jane, Michael’s entire perception of himself changed. Just because of the simple fact that Jane loved him, he knew he must’ve been a good person.

 

4. Do not let a man define you.

'Jane the Virgin' places equal weight on Jane’s career and her personal life. As entertaining as it is to watch her love triangle with Michael and Rafeal play out, it’s refreshing to see she has a life outside of her relationships.

Jane’s career remains a consistent storyline throughout the show, showing her struggles and successes in becoming a romance novelist. Even after having Mateo, she decides to go to grad school and continue pursuing her passion for writing. Also, threaded throughout the will-they-won’t-they storyline surrounding Xo and Rogelio, we get to see Xo’s dreams come to fruition as she opens a dance studio for young children. 

We love these female characters, not because they end up with the right guy in the end, but because of who they are as a person and what makes them unique. If the only storyline of importance revolved around their relationships with men, why would we care? We care about their relationships because we care about who they are as individuals first. 

You, as an individual, should come first. Your struggles and successes, what you love to do, and your career aspirations should help define who you are as a person. A man should add to these things, not replace it.

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These three generations of Villanueva women prove time and time again just what it means to be a strong, capable woman. 'Jane the Virgin' is a refreshing take on a modern telenovela that can only inspire you to go out and dominate the world yourself. 

If you haven’t seen it, I highly suggest it. It’s a good one. I promise.