If my 27 years of life had to be titled, the title would be:
Am I Even Doing This Right? (Probably Not):
A Journey Towards Acceptance
When I was younger I despised the color of my skin, it almost embarrasses me to say it out loud but I spent most of my pre-teen years wishing my skin was lighter and that fact makes me want to weep for my younger self.
I feel like the negativity I felt towards myself, only heightened once I would turn on the television. Whether it be American or Hispanic television, the reality was that nobody on the screen looked like me. When discussing beauty the common thread seemed to be a light skin color and that fact affected my naive, impressionable brain way more than it should have.
Thankfully, due to some intense therapy sessions and some deep self-reflection, the love for myself has become very real. I mean, of course I have the days where the mirror is my main nemesis and the sound of my voice makes me want to gag but you know what 90% of the time I find myself to be adorable and hilarious as fuck.
One big thing that has happened within the last couple of years that has heavily influenced this new-found and fierce belief in myself; and that’s the discovery of GINA RODRIGUEZ.
I remember the day that I first came across her face: it was 7:30am, I was running late for work (per usual), I was driving up Windward Avenue, I stopped at the stoplight on Pacific and there she was . It was a poster for her show Jane the Virgin and I immediately needed to know more. Truth be told, my memory constantly falters so it was a few months until I eventually made my way to watching the show but the love was instant and it has been a beautiful relationship ever since.
Not only was the show a beautiful and accurate representation of the Hispanic culture but there she was; a beautiful, caramel-colored skin woman who was funny, magical and powerful. I watched interview after interview of hers and the more I learned, the more inspirational she became. Gina, who stands in her truth and powerfully proclaims how amazing she is, has completely changed my life and no amount of thank you’s will ever be enough.
How do you appropriately show appreciation to a woman who has pulled your voice out of you? How do you put into words that her success makes your dreams seem a little more real? How do you begin to explain that you write with the hopes that one day she will reference your writing? I have too many questions and I am without any logical answers.
Ever since I discovered Gina and the powerful being that she is, I stand in my truth a bit more comfortably. I feel the stories inside of me and I ache to make a positive impact in the world. I look at the world and am immediately aware of how much representation truly matters. I want my niece (who is currently One year old) to grow up in a world where she sees the possibilities for someone who looks like her, everywhere! Gina has ignited the fire inside of me and she may never realize the undeniable impact she is making in this world but I felt the need to publicly acknowledge this wonderful human being. How lucky are we to all simultaneously exist?
So there you have it; you can now reference this blog post after you see me accept the Oscar for Best Screenplay. You will witness me get on that stage while I have mascara running down my face as I cry because of course I forgot to wear waterproof mascara and I will mumble something about my supportive parents then say something hilarious about my little brother as I notice that they may start playing me out and I will quickly ramble about the wonder that is Gina Rodriguez and will explain how the Oscar is in my hands because 25 year-old Julie discovered Gina at a time when she felt completely lost and unimportant and I will scream an “I love you Gina” right before the music begins playing me off even though she probably will still not know who I am but it’ll be okay because she’ll probably be winning an Oscar that same night so we’ll party together and eventually become best friends …
Too much? … I mean, a girl can dream.