'Shadowhunters' Emeraude Toubia is a pageant winner turned stunt goddess with a passion for educating the young
Emeraude loves red roses, books, Ryan Gosling, and pizza in no particular order, and her fans can't help obsessing about the true kick-ass socially woke queen that she is.
As a child, she was a trained dancer of classical ballet, flamenco, belly dance, and lyrical dance. As a teenager, Emeraude Toubia was crowned Miss South Texas, Miss Rio Grande Valley America, and Miss Teen Brownsville. At 29, she is one of the fan-favorite cast members of the widely popular Freeform show 'Shadowhunters', and has been so for the last three years. Yet that isn't all about the whip-lashing, tea-loving, Spanish-romance music enthusiast that is Emeraude Toubia.
Born as an only child to parents of Mexican, Lebanese, and American descent, the stunning actress made her first onscreen appearance when she was all of 10 years old. Within the next 10 years, she had already been featured in advertisements for brands such as Maybelline, J. C. Penney, Sony, Garnier, and AT&T. But her big acting debut happened in 2013 after she had co-hosted the red carpet special for the 2013 Billboard Latin Music Awards.
Fast forward to 2016, and the biggest, most influential project happened to Toubia. She started playing the role of the half-human, half-angel warrior Isabelle Lightwood on the Freeform fantasy series, based on 'The Mortal Instruments' book series by Cassandra Clare. And as fans will have you believe, there could have been no better fit for the character. Why? Simply put, Isabelle is pretty much a demon-slaying kick-ass fighter who isn't afraid to get dirty when it comes to said fights. And our beloved Toubia is passionately into doing her own stunts for the show!
“I do my own whip stunts, and I use a real whip made out of leather," she had shared with In Style a while ago "So every time I come into the set, all the guys run away from me. It turns out that guys don’t really like whips! But I love doing fight scenes. I’ve been a dancer since I was 3 years old, so I think that helped me with the movements. And the way Isabelle fights, it is different from the other characters, Jace and Alec. They fight hard—it’s very intense. But Isabelle fights like it’s nothing. It’s not very difficult for her to do.”
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While to the amateurs it might feel like a giant leap (literally!) to do one's own stunts on the show, to Toubia it's pretty much an outcome of her evolution as a firm believer in the fierceness of the character she embodies. “She is such a femme fatale—and I like that about her,” she had told the outlet. “I think a lot of girls are a bit insecure, and Isabelle really owns her body. She is so in charge of her sexuality and who she loves, and I feel like a lot of girls in society can’t really master that.”
That’s why Toubia hopes fans of the show will learn from her character’s empowering ways. “I feel society has a pressure on who you should love and how you should love, and I think that Isabelle’s mission in this show is to tell people to be free and comfortable in your own skin,” she said. “She really sees people for who they are, and that’s something I hope to learn from her.”
But there is a lot to learn from the seemingly badass lady behind the role who has a heart of pure gold too. A lot of people might be unaware of this, but Toubia also supports the Get Schooled non-profit organization, which is "dedicated to using the power of media, technology, and popular culture to motivate and inspire young people, their families and teachers to improve high school graduation rates and college-going rates."
Passionate about the education of the young, she had even visited Middle College High School in San Bernardino, California, in an adorable and inspiring attempt to meet students and also act as their "celebrity principal" for the day!
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Quite the superwoman right? But a beauty pageant winner turned stunt artist isn't the only way she has been breaking stereotypes.
Speaking of the difference between her heritage, and the role she plays on 'Shadowhunters', she said: “I’m Latina, but this role wasn’t originally written for a Latina girl—it was for a white girl. So by casting me, ABC is breaking the mold. They are opening doors to girls like me, and I hope they keep doing that. And I hope other networks keep doing that to open doors by giving Latina women these strong, powerful characters. Because we are strong, powerful women.”
While the above do qualify as supreme accomplishments, yet there are several other adorably interesting things about the woman who brings Isabelle Lightwood to life. An avid shopper with a penchant for splurging on Louis Vuitton handbags, Toubia is heavily invested in having quirky little game nights with her fellow 'Shadowhunters' cast, which the group hosts in their individual houses by turns. Her other favorite things about social life (technically, social media) happens to be the Clarendon filter on Instagram, which according to her "brings out the black in my hair and makes my skin look brighter. It makes the colors come out more—and I think it just brightens up my picture as a whole.”
So here we have a certified queen - whose beauty is as incomparable and flawless as her passion for giving back to society. She loves her red roses and books, she adores her pizzas and is perhaps a little bit too much into her celebrity crush Ryan Gosling, but that's all the more reason to be a bit too much into her because she is every bit the Isabelle that the 'Shadowhunters' fandom deserves and we can't help obsessing over her in all her kick-ass glory!