Francia Raísa has experienced a full year of empowerment. Last September, the Mexican-American actress made headlines when she underwent kidney surgery to give her friend Selena Gomez part of her own, and in the months that followed she was cast in ABC’s spin-off to “grown-ish” a television series that has been lauded for its portrayal of a successful, normal upper-class Black American family. Looking back, it’s easy to see that the Latina who once starred in Freeforms “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” has come a long way as an actress and influencer of the entertainment Industry.
In her latest interview, she opened up about the aspects of her life and career she had to come to terms with in order to do so.
In her latest interview, Francia Raísa admits to white-washing herself to get jobs in Hollywood.
The famous Latinas of 2018 appear to be a far cry from the ones most of us saw featured in Hollywood just a few years ago, let alone the ones we grew up watching. They’re unapologetic about their bodies, aren’t leaning into accents they might not have ever had, and they’re certainly not letting their Latina-status be used as a tool to exoticize or sexualize themselves on screen. In fact, a lot of them look quite a bit like Francia Raísa does. They pronounce their names properly, where hoops and nameplates when they want to, and they’re speaking out against the stereotypes Latinas face in casting and in Hollywood.
Speaking to Bustle about the mindset that got her to a point where she could play parts that weren’t stereotypical, Raísa admits that it wasn’t something she did so early on in her career. “Pursuing this career in general, it’s really tough, and there are things that people told me not to do, Raísa says before revealing that when going out to audition for parts she was told to pronounce her name in a way seemed more Americanized. “There were things that people told me to do that, for a second, I was like, I’m not comfortable, but I went off what they told me. Because I was just so desperate to make it, I was willing to do anything.”
Speaking to young women about staying true to themselves Raísa says stepping outside your comfort zone is essential.
For Raísa, breaking rules has been a huge part of her growing experience as an actress, career women, and confident Latina. “So it means being comfortable in your own choices and your needs and wants, and getting out of your comfort zone and going for it — in all aspects of life,” she says.
Learning when to say ‘no’ has been another big aspect of that experience. She says that at one point she learned to say “‘No,’ I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to wear tight, short dresses. I don’t want to pronounce my name this way, because it is pronounced with an accent. Because I am Latina, and I’m very proud of it. And I don’t want to make myself seem more white just because that’s what’s more acceptable in society.”