Gina Rodriguez is opening up about the pressure to look a certain way while working in Hollywood.
This week the Jane the Virgin alum, 37, sat down with Rachel Bilson and Olivia Allen on their podcast Broad Ideas, where the conversation turned to body image. Rodriguez, who has Hashimoto's disease, an autoimmune condition that affects the thyroid, said that she struggled to make her body look the way she wanted it to.
"I got an actor's curse because it directly affects your metabolism, you know, you're not producing the hormone that your body needs," she explained. "So you, at times, it can feel like you have a loss of communication with this thing, that spacesuit that you're in, and you're just like, 'Why don't I have a grasp on shifting what this physical being is?'"
The I Want You Back star said that she now combats the negative feelings she has about her body by finding gratitude for it.
"I started, four or five years ago, in the shower, as I bathe being like, I love you," she said of her body. "'I love you, elbow. I love you, tetas. I love you, neck.' I just started touching my body in an appreciative manner."
She shared that it's still challenging to navigate life in Hollywood, no matter what her body looks like — because there's always some standard one is failing to meet. She explained that she's frustrated with Photoshop trying to make people the "more beautiful" version of themselves.
"So I have this birthmark on my thigh. It's kind of shaped like a heart," she explained. "To others, it may seem like an imperfection, right? And on Jane, it would always be like, 'Hey, can we get makeup to get that thing on her leg?' I would always be like, 'No! It's my birthmark! No, it's a birthmark! No, it's fine! You could just leave it, it's fine, it's a birthmark.' Yeah, but I would make a joke. I'm like, 'I'm sure somebody's going to say something about the birthmark. Gotta cover the birthmark.'"
Rodriguez added that despite how far we have to go, much progress has been made.
"All of these images are limiting, right? That's all it is," she said. "It's just limiting, and so it is nice to see how much more, even in our industry, people are understanding that 'ingenue' doesn't just have to be thin, Caucasian woman, that it could be many things. The villain doesn't have to just look like one thing."
Rodriguez has long spoken about how her career affects her body image. In 2017, the star told Shape that there are "many pressures to look a certain way and fit into a sample size."
"I've got to embrace the fact that when I'm shooting Jane, I can't work out as much," she said at the time. “My body is going to look different, and that's OK. I'm not willing to wring the joy from my life to kill myself in the gym."
In 2015, she told People her father was one force behind her confidence.
"My father was always very honest with us – and maybe crude at times. He prepared us for the game that is society," she said at the time. "He prepared us to be able to look at billboards and magazines and say, 'This is not the only body type that is beautiful.' He would encourage us to find our beauty and love our beauty and accept our beauty as what God gave us."
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