For those of you who don’t know, Gina Rodriguez is the funny and talented badass that plays Jane on Jane the Virgin. Coming off a win last year, she has been praised by critics and fans alike and was recently nominated for her second Golden Globe. That being said, I have absolutely no interest in standing in her shoes.
Let me explain.
If you saw her acceptance speech at last year’s Golden Globes, you will know that she draws a lot of inspiration from her family. “Wake up every morning and say, ‘Today’s a great day, I can and I will,” her dad always told her. “Well dad, today’s a great day, I can and I did.” Spoiler alert, this is when everyone cried their eyes out and wanted to give this woman a damn hug, or a high five, or both, definitely both.
I was late in discovering the quirky wonder that is Jane the Virgin. Netflix gave me an early Christmas gift this year by recommending it on a day when I just needed to laugh. When I was about halfway through the first season, I looked up Gina Rodriguez online to see if she’d been in anything else I would know. This is when I rediscovered her acceptance speech and got a glimpse into the wonderful human being that she is. I flipped through her social media profiles and read magazine articles, all of which were flooded with inspirational words for young girls. It was clear that she is a natural born role model, though not one you find every day.
At some point during my research (cyber stalking), I came across a tweet that a girl sent her, phrased as a letter to God, asking to be turned into the 31-year-old actress. A perfectly average and acceptable reply could have featured a few loving emojis or some short words of gratitude, it was just a loving note from fan, something I’m sure she receives thousands of on a daily basis. But Rodriguez took the time to really read this message and notice its subtle self-deprecating nature, replying with, “I can’t wait until you grow into your beautiful self and know how lucky you are to be you.”
Amazing, right?! Who wouldn’t want God to turn them into this woman!?
Spoiler alert: this was the exact moment I decided that I had no interest in becoming Gina Rodriguez.
Call me crazy, but it’s really her you have to blame. She’d gotten through to me, straight to the core, and my mind was clear.
I didn’t want to be Gina Rodriguez because there already is a Gina Rodriguez and she kicks ass.
I didn’t want to be Gina Rodriguez because then there would be no one left to be me.
The truth is none of us should wish to be Gina Rodriguez because it would be a disservice to the world to rid it of our own uniqueness.
I’m sure there have been points in her life when she had no interest in being Gina Rodriguez, but I know that I, along with many others, are extremely glad that she is. And I hope one day I can be a role model, just as she is for me, who inspires someone not to be just like me, but rather to be the best version of themselves, because even if they don’t know it, that person kicks ass too.