“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,'” reveals Gina Rodriguez, the titular star of CW’s “Jane the Virgin,” in a new interview with People.
Rodriguez, who won a Golden Globe for her lead performance in the series, admits, “Being constantly told that you are not enough can wear down any woman — any person, period.” She credits her parents with ensuring that her sense of self was never predicated on how she looked — and for the reassurance that all body types are beautiful, not just the ones you see on billboards and magazine covers.
“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,” she says. “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.”
The impossible beauty standards that actresses are expected to live up to are nothing new. We aren’t at all surprised by Rodriguez’s admission about what she is up against. Still, we always welcome actresses’ points of view on this matter, as every battle is unique, and it is important to recognize the toll that Hollywood’s fixation with weight and conventional beauty has on women on- and off-screen.
But as much as we appreciate Rodriguez’s speaking up, it’s also a bit flummoxing that she’s becoming the new poster woman for defiant curves. “I may not be skinny enough for [some] roles,” Rodriguez reveals at one point in the interview — even though the actress is undoubtedly a slim woman.
But, of course, that’s nitpicking. The larger point is that there are very few roles Rodriguez could not convincingly play onscreen at her current size, because you don’t need to be size 2 to save lives as a doctor in the ER, teach children in the classroom, defend the accused in a court of law, solve crimes with forensics, or fall in love. Skinny women, muscular women, average-sized women, and fat women do all these things in real life every day.
Though she’s made her name in television, Rodriguez is also eyeing a return to the big screen, where she made her breakthrough in the indie coming-of-age film “Filly Brown.” According to Variety, she’s currently in talks to star in the disaster drama “Deepwater Horizon” alongside Mark Wahlberg. Normally we’d be groaning about the age difference between the male and female leads, but in this case the movie is based on the real-life ages of the actual people involved — who don’t seem to be romantically linked. Variety reports, “Wahlberg will portray an electrician on the oil rig, while Rodriguez is in talks to play Andrea Fleytas, the 23-year-old who was monitoring the oil rig’s safety systems in the moments before the explosion. She testified later that she did not immediately sound an alarm because she had not been training to deal with multiple warnings.”
We are hopeful that “Deepwater Horizon” is just one of many high-profile projects that we’ll see the ultra-talented Rodriguez in.