One day, actress Gina Rodriguez’s father told her to look in the mirror and tell herself “Today is going to be a great day.” He followed by asking her to look at her reflection.
“I looked at myself and I saw everything,” the star of the hit CW show “Jane the Virgin” told an audience of students and faculty at Fresno State’s Satellite Student Union on Friday. “I saw every insecurity, every fear … I saw everything that I wasn’t.”
Seventeen years later, Rodriguez said she still looks in the mirror.
“I’m going to tell you what I see when I look in the mirror now,” she said. “I see somebody that is capable. I see somebody who is strong, Latina, and pretty enough to be a lead.”
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As part of Fresno State’s Diversity Awareness Week, Rodriguez spoke to the crowd about being a Latina actress in Hollywood and how she embraces her ethnicity.
“As a Latina in the Hollywood industry, they definitely like to see us in a specific way,” Rodriguez said. “There is a look.
“The way they view Latinos are, ‘You all look this way. You all act this way.’ ”
“How did I embrace it?” Rodriguez asked the audience. “I made it my mission. I embrace my culture by saying, ‘You know what, if I am afraid of the way they present me, then I am going to change the way that I am presented.”