Actress Noemi Gonzalez shared her opinions on Hollywood beauty standards and how her run as Mia on THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS was a very difficult time in her life. “I decided I was going to rebel against the norm simply by existing wholly as I am,” she wrote in an op-ed for ET Online. “I wasn’t going to lose my curves, drop weight in order to fit a certain mold. Was it more challenging? Yes. Did I lose jobs because of it? Probably. But I wanted to find fulfillment in my work and in my public presence on my terms, nobody else’s.”
In November 2018, Gonzalez made her debut as Mia Rosales on Y&R, a role she played until May 2019. “I loved Mia,” the actress said. “I would play her again, but only if I time-traveled to the ‘80s when there was no social media. Because what I do not miss about portraying Mia is being bashed and ridiculed publicly for not being skinny, manufactured, or white enough for the soap opera demographic.
“I began to second-guess my self-love, body shape, and what I found to be beautiful about myself,” Gonzalez continued. “I was shaken. I stayed quiet. I kept my head down, stayed in the work. It was a very challenging time. But I am thankful for the growth, experience, and the fans I have gained who knew I did it all for them.”
At the same time Gonzalez wrapped up her run on Y&R, she auditioned for SELENA: THE SERIES and landed the role of the iconic singer’s sister, Suzette Quintanilla, in the upcoming Netflix series. “For this role, I cut my signature long hair, changed my overall appearance, and learned how to play the drums — it was a full transformation if you ask me,” she revealed. “But I was ready to step up to represent Suzette and our beloved Selena.
“Stepping into this role was different,” Gonzalez added. “And, without my long hair as a security blanket, I was really relearning what I loved about myself. I have a theory that because I was already aware of society’s unrealistic beauty expectations, my transformation was a journey of more self-love. Not having long hair and putting on extra body weight allowed me to feel liberated. I began receiving more compliments than I expected and overt praise with how I was handling such a drastic transformation with grace. I’ve never felt more fulfilled and beautiful.”
You can look for Gonzalez in SELENA: THE SERIES, premiering Friday, Dec. 4, on Netflix.