Gina Rodriguez Didn’t Let Thyroid Disease Stop Her From Kicking Down Hollywood’s Door

Jane The Virgin’s leading lady Gina Rodriquez has a lovely list of accomplishments, but reaching this pinnacle in her career wasn’t so easy. The Golden Globes winning actress opened up to People about her difficult battle with thyroid disease and how it affected her transition into Hollywood.

“It began when I was 19-years old and I got fired, and I realized keeping my weight down was going to be much more difficult,” she said. Like many women, this caused a deterioration in her confidence. “It was difficult for me to stay in the comfortable zone of my weight. I was very tired. My fatigue was through the roof. When everyone else was cold, I was sweating bullets.”

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Shortly after being diagnosed Rodriquez made the the decision to pursue her Hollywood dreams. However, with her newfound body struggle she felt at a disadvantage: “I was like ‘Okay I want to be an actor. I want to be a leading lady.’ But now I am being told there is no way I can because they are way skinnier, which was very destructive to me because I felt like I was getting curvy.”

Although curves aren’t a norm in the Hollywood scene, she pursued her dreams anyway, something that helped her and the representation of curvy Latinas in general. “For many years I had a daily conversation with myself about how I was going to help make that change,” she continued. “Because there is no way in this world things are only allotted to certain people because of their figure. There is no way that should be possible. There is no way that’s fair. There is no way that kind of limitation is going to help those that don’t fit into that box.”

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Twelve years after her diagnosis, Rodriguez says she wants women going through the same situation to succeed as well. “For women on this journey, have a conversation with yourself,” she advised. “Recognize the voice that comes in but wants to tear down the beautiful amazing human being that you are. You know what? You are the most beautiful human being on this planet. Compared to no one. You hear what I’m saying? You are the most beautiful you. You are the best version of yourself. And when that demon comes in and says your thighs are thick, you say, ‘You know what demon? Yes they are and I am going to work them. I am going to rock the s**t out of my thick thighs and I am rocking this whole damn city with my thick thighs loving them’”

The third season of Jane the Virgin is set to premiere on Oct. 17.