Forward Friday: Gina Rodriguez

She's an actress commonly known for her role as Jane Villanueva on The CW show "Jane the Virgin": Gina Rodriguez. Gina may be an actress, but she is so much more. She is inspiration, she is strong, she is passionate, and she is the future. Gina Rodriguez is a latina actress, director, producer, and a board member of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund and I believe that if anyone can bring change to our society, Gina provides that great step forward for us all. In fact, I decided to create this blog series based off of one Gina similarly does on her instagram page (@hereisgina), which she calls "Movement Monday." Gina dedicates a post every Monday (literally every single one, it's extremely amazing and everyone should just follow her simply for that) to someone she believes is worthy of giving awareness to, for standing up for what they believe in and demanding change. This is why I love Gina, not only is she a badass woman who insures her voice is heard, but she also uses her platform to help others, rather than soaking up the fame selfishly. Gina Rodriguez is the very example that you can do anything you set your mind to.

 

Gina's goal with everything she puts into her work is to make sure that young Latina, and even Latino children have a chance to see themselves and people like them in the media, without a negative or stereotypical misconception attached to them. She wants these children to grow up believing that there is a chance for them to succeed in this world, that they have a great chance despite unequal pay and despite racial discrimination- they can persevere and exceed this society's expectations of them. Which is why I love and appreciate her as a person in the entertainment industry, because she is the type of woman that I wish I had the privilege of seeing on the screen while I was growing up, but I'm just glad to say I'm lucky enough to see her now and everything she stands for, what she does, and how she wants to make an impact on this society- she's bringing true and raw purpose to her celebrity status.

 

Gina Rodriguez's role on Jane the Virgin is just as full-of-life, comedic, and meaningful as her own persona in real life, which is more than I can say for most people in the entertainment industry. What truly sticks out to me about Gina and her character, Jane Villanueva, is that even though she is in a Hispanic household and there is so much culture and love that flows within her family, she, in both real life and in the show, is much more confident with the English language as opposed to Spanish. In the show, Jane always responds to her grandma in English, meanwhile her grandma speaks in Spanish, which lead to many people to speculate why she won't just speak in Spanish since she is expected to embody the Latina reality. In reality, there are many Hispanic children who don't speak Spanish and are seen as "not Latino enough" and this situation is often looked over, but Gina Rodriguez really brings this neglected situation to life with awareness on Jane the Virgin and I love and understand every second of it because it truly resonates with me and is my own reality. Some Hispanics are just more confident with their English rather than their Spanish, or can understand Spanish better than they speak it and they're often discriminated by their own people for it, so it really warms my heart to know that Gina is shining a light on this, taking from her own life and exemplifying it on her show.

 

Gina is strong. Gina may not have had the socially acceptable body type that sadly all women are expected to have in America, especially within the entertainment industry, but she is beyond beautiful and remains thriving in her confidence, setting to change beauty standards, to say that these ideals are nothing but dreams that cannot always be achieved. But, Gina has pushed through these standards by constantly working out, boxing with her boyfriend, and becoming physically fit, which looks extremely tremendous on her because she is beautifully both strong and healthy. She also cut her hair, while also shaving the side of it. This may have been for her role in the movie Annihilation, but she also stated that a big reason she decided to go for the cut was because she truly recognized her beauty and realized that it does not simply lay within the length of her hair, nor the style. In an interview with Health magazine, Gina Rodriguez explained "What I realized is that I rediscovered my beauty, and it does not live in my hair, [. . .] It doesn't live in makeup and it doesn't live in clothes and it doesn't live in my weight." I love the fact that Gina has stood for transformation such as this and discovered that none of that defines her, her beauty, or her worth because what is most important is her mind, personality, and health, and I believe this is what most people need to realize at such a crucial point in our society. Trust me, there's nothing wrong with partaking in beauty instances such as these, but what matters is the reason you're doing it. You should not be pressured into partaking in beauty "standards" because of other people or what society believes to be beautiful and how you should look, but because it makes YOU feel beautiful and confident. Let's all learn this from Gina.

 

Now that we have learned a thing or two about Gina Rodriguez, I say we give her the respect, love, and admiration she truly deserves! We can support Gina by watching her shows and movies (Jane the Virgin, Annihilation, Ferdinand), keeping up with her, follow her Instagram (@hereisgina), and just be open to everything she stands for, because she is one amazing woman who truly has a lot of wisdom and commemoration to share with the world. Let's give Gina the recognition she deserves and thank you so much Gina, for everything you do!

 

(images via Instagram)