'I started touching my body': Gina Rodriguez reveals how she won her battle with body image
The pressure to appear a specific way while working in Hollywood is something Gina Rodriguez is talking openly about. The 37-year-old 'Jane the Virgin' alum was a guest on Rachel Bilson and Olivia Allen's podcast 'Broad Ideas' this week, where the topic of body image came up. 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 to.
She explained, "I got an actor's curse because it directly affects your metabolism, you know, you're not producing the hormone that your body needs. 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 star said that she now combats the negative feelings she has about her body by finding gratitude for it. Rodriguez said of her body, "I started, four or five years ago, in the shower, as I bathe being like, I love you. I love you, elbow. I love you, tetas. I love you, neck.' I just started touching my body in an appreciative manner."
No matter how her physique appears, Rodriguez admitted that navigating life in Hollywood is still difficult since there is always some ideal that one is falling short of. She expressed her frustration with Photoshop's attempt to make people look "more beautiful" than they actually are. She explained, "So I have this birthmark on my thigh. It's kind of shaped like a heart. 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 further said, "All of these images are limiting, right? That's all it is. 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 a thin, Caucasian woman, that it could be many things. The villain doesn't have to just look like one thing."
Rodriguez has frequently discussed how her profession affects how she feels about herself. In 2017, the star told Shape that there are "many pressures to look a certain way and fit into a sample size."
She said at the time, "I've got to embrace the fact that when I'm shooting Jane, I can't work out as much. 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."
She admitted to People in 2015 that one of the reasons for her confidence was her father. She explained at the time, "My father was always very honest with us – and maybe crude at times. He prepared us for the game that is society. 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."