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Jenna Ortega In Finestkind
Jenna Ortega In Finestkind
Jenna Ortega In Finestkind

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Jenna Ortega Opens Up About the Challenges of Being a Hispanic Child Actress

NOTE: This article is 9 months old and may not include the most recent information.

In a recent interview with Harper’s Bazaar, Jenna Ortega, the actress known for her roles in Scream VI and the Netflix series Wednesday, shared the difficulties she faced growing up in the entertainment industry as a Hispanic child actress. Ortega discussed the pressure to conform to industry beauty standards and the lack of roles available to her because she didn’t fit a certain look.

“As a child actor, there are two jobs that you can get: you’re either the younger version of someone or you’re playing somebody’s daughter – and there were just not many leading Hispanic actors who I could be that for,” Ortega explained. “So a lot of the jobs that I was going for growing up would never work out because I didn’t look [a certain] way. That was really hard, to hear that something you couldn’t change was what was preventing you [from succeeding].”

Ortega also touched on the negative impact that some individuals she worked with had on her self-esteem and confidence. She remembered being told what she should and shouldn’t do and feeling like she didn’t have control over her own career.

“But, over time, I began to love myself again and realized what a positive influence I could be on others,” she said. “I thought, ‘I don’t want other young girls to look up at the screen and feel like they have to change their appearance to be deemed beautiful or worthy.’”

The actress also spoke about the ongoing debate surrounding what it means to be Latina and her desire to represent her culture accurately. Ortega admitted to feeling somewhat embarrassed that she doesn’t speak fluent Spanish and hasn’t spent much time in Mexico or Puerto Rico.

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“I wasn’t born in a Spanish-speaking country, I haven’t spent a lot of time in Mexico and I’ve never been to Puerto Rico – so there’s a feeling of not being worthy enough to be a proper representative,” she said.

Despite these challenges, Ortega is determined to use her presence in the industry to increase Hispanic representation in television and film. “I want all people of Latin descent to be able to see themselves on screen,” she explained. “I want to feel that I could open doors for other people.”

You can read the full interview here.

Trevor Decker
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