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Looking at Life Through the Eyes of Jane Villanueva

Jane the Virgin is an Americanized version of the beloved Latin telenovela and tells the tale of Jane Villanueva, a virgin turned mother after being accidentally artificially inseminated by her gynecologist. The show takes the telenovela style of writing to the next level by not only including the classic twists, turns and cliffhangers but also magical realism. Jane, a romance writer, sees the world as if it were a telenovela, which influences the way she sees and interprets the world, and magical realism is used to portray her emotions without words. Inanimate objects come to life, people talk without actually speaking, hearts glow when in love and an all-knowing omniscient narrator describes the thoughts and feelings of the characters. Watching this show for the second time, I find myself starting to take away more than just the plot: a different outlook on life.

I relate immensely to Jane and who she is as a person; a successful, family-oriented woman who enjoys writing, list-making and organizing, Jane and I are a lot alike. What I love most about this show is its representation of the strong, independent latina woman living in the United States, and while I can’t relate to that on a personal level, I appreciate it. The show delves into important topics such as immigration, politics, religion and family ties all while maintaining the drama-filled telenovela storyline. Jane prioritizes her goals as a writer all while being the best mother she can be at such a young age -- she got pregnant just as she graduated college -- and that puts things into perspective for me. If Jane was able to have a baby and still graduate college, then I should be able to graduate just by itself without reaching the breaking point, right? Even more than that, Jane is an optimist; Jane always looks for the good in life, the good in people, and she has hope in all situations. Even when things are at their worst, she has hope inside herself and the support of her family to get through hard times. 

What I love most about this show and what has opened my eyes the most is the magical realism. Sometimes life gets too stressful, too serious, and we lose track of the little things in life that bring us happiness. The magical realism in this show reminds me of how important it is to be creative and see the world almost how children see it -- filled with color and animation. My favorite example of this in the show is the glowing hearts, which are meant to tell the audience when a character is in love. Jane’s heart glows for the two great loves of her life, and the inner softie in me craves that feeling in my own life. Time slows, the music swells, the wind blows and their hearts start to glow; it’s the kind of love everyone wants. 

Jane the Virgin is more than just a show; it tackles tough topics while promoting the idea of family, reaching your goals, being a strong woman and seeing life as if it were a love story. Even though real life isn’t the same as a telenovela, the show is a good reminder to look at the world through fresh eyes. After finishing the show I’ll be left with more than just the satisfying feeling of finishing a show; I’ll see flowers dancing, hear music playing, feel time in slow motion and my heart glow as I kiss someone I love. Jane has taught me a lot, which is strange to say, and I will always have a connection with this intensely dramatic, romantic and powerful show. 

Ally Ford

Virginia Tech '22

About me: a senior at Virginia Tech pursuing a dual degree in multimedia journalism and Spanish with a minor in professional and technical writing who enjoys driving with no destination, watching sunsets on the beach, mint chocolate chip ice cream and writing for Her Campus.
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