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Noemi Gonzalez Opens up About Challenging Hollywood’s Unrealistic Beauty Standards

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.

The Young and The Restless Mia Arturo Rey
Gonzalez’s stint in daytime changed her life.Howard Wise/

“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.

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