Gina Rodriguez’s strands are set to stun thanks to John Frieda, but the star’s newest beauty campaign is looking inward to empower others.
The Jane the Virgin actress joins five other inspirational women as part of Clinique’s new Difference Maker campaign, which is aimed at inspiring confidence and empowering women to create change that affects their lives and their communities. The group also supports charities that focus on women’s healthcare and education through the brand’s Clinique Difference Initiative, continuing the conversation with the hashtag #DifferenceMaker. Rodriguez looked to her Chicago roots to help the youth turn education into empowerment by partnering with the brand for a special video.
In it, Rodriguez describes the scope of her upbringing in a “gang-infested” neighborhood with limited means of breaking the cycle of “can’t and won’t.” She notes that she had the “unfair” advantage of her family, who appear alongside her in the clip, pushed her to pursue her dreams, even with the many racial, economic, and social challenges she faced to break into the industry—all by giving her the ticket to success: education. “It pains me because I feel really lucky and thank God I had giants around me to stop that view of life, otherwise my life wouldn’t look as beautiful as it is today. I don’t want to be the only one living that though, ” she explains in the powerful video. And her parents are right! My mom taught me the same lesson from an early age, and it’s helped push me to where I am today and keep striving for tomorrow.
And it’s prompted her to talk to young people who still face those challenges and turn education into empowerment. “There’s a difference between my passion, which is acting, and my life’s purpose.My life’s purpose is to free someone from those invisible shackles because they are invisible; they are an illusion,” she points out. “What do you do? You go back, and you change it. I go and I talk to high school students, grammar school students, I go to universities and talk. We need people to say, ‘listen, I know what you’re going through, I know what you went through. I went through it too, and it sucks.’ Education is the only way to get out. It’s about confidence and self-worth. You can, and you will.”
And it doesn’t take a high-profile to shake up the systems of oppression and make positive changes for the future. “All of us are capable of being difference-makers,” she told the glossy. “All of us have that power. It’s the small stuff that makes the great amount of change. Our voices are so powerful, and I think that’s something we can start giving to our youth.”
Head over to People.com to check out the video clip but keep those tissues handy.