After her diagnosis, the "Jane the Virgin" star learned to shut down her inner critic.
In a new interview with People, Gina Rodriguez opened up about her struggles with a thyroid disorder, and how she refused to let it get in her way as she chased her Hollywood dreams.
The Jane the Virgin star began to experience symptoms 12 years ago, when she was just 19: "It was difficult for me to stay in the comfortable zone of my weight. I was very tired. My fatigue was through the roof. When everyone else was cold, I was sweating bullets," she said.
Rordiguez was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, meaning her thyroid gland wasn't producing enough of the hormones that help regulate weight, energy, and mood. (Years later she learned she has Hashimoto's disease, an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks the thyroid gland.)
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Rodriguez told People that the diagnosis was a blow to her self-confidence: “I was like, ‘Okay I want to be an actor. I want to be a leading lady.’ But now I am being told there is no way I can because [leading ladies] are way skinnier, which was very destructive to me because I felt like I was getting curvy.”
She wasn't about to give up, however. Despite odds that seemed to be stacked against her, Rodriguez was determined to make her mark in Hollywood, even if it meant challenging the industry's narrow-minded perception of beauty.
"For many years, I had a daily conversation with myself about how I was going to help make that change," Rodriguez said. "Because there is no way in this world things are only allotted to certain people because of their figure. There is no way that should be possible. There is no way that’s fair."
In a culture where unattainable beauty standards are the norm, Rodriguez’s body-positive message is a reminder we could all use. In the interview with People, she encouraged women who struggle with self-critical thoughts to shut down that little negative voice in their head.
She even offered a script. "When that demon comes in and says your thighs are thick, you say, 'You know what, demon? Yes they are, and I am going to work them, I am going to rock the s--t out of my thick thighs, and I am rocking this whole damn city with my thick thighs, loving them.'" Yep, that should take care of it.
Whatever you do, these lovely words from the inspirational star are worth keeping in mind: "You are the most beautiful you. You are the best version of yourself."