Gina Rodriguez: ‘I’m not less than because I’m 10, 15, 20 pounds more’

I saw Annihilation over the weekend and was disappointed. Although it was refreshing to see a women-led action/sci-fi movie, the main premise was weak, the special effects seemed comical and parts of it made no sense. I’m not going to give any spoilers but there were major plot holes. Gina Rodriguez’s character, Anya, was truly the standout. She played a badass, similar to what we might see from Michelle Rodriguez (I just realized they have the same last name, no relation), with vulnerability and heart. Her acting blew me away, which was not the case for the other leads, particularly Natalie Portman, who just played it straight. They really should have cast another actress in that role, someone more true to the character.

Gina gave an interview to Self magazine in which she talked about battling Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks the thyroid, causing hypothyroidism. It can cause fatigue and pain and can easily lead to weight gain. She also discussed body image, knowing her worth, and getting better roles as an Hispanic woman. She’s so matter-of-fact and outspoken and I always enjoy her interviews. Here’s some of what she told Self, with more at the source.

On her hypothyroidism
For years after being diagnosed with hypothyroidism at 19 and Hashimoto’s at 26, and putting on weight that wouldn’t budge, Rodriguez preferred to deny what she was going through rather than focus her efforts on doing whatever she could to feel better. “To the core of my being, I know what it’s like to feel like there is no way I can win this, so where do I even begin,” she reflects.

“[Hashimoto’s] affects so many aspects of your life. I’ve had it for so many years…that rebellion of not taking care of myself can’t exist anymore.”

On weighing more vs less depending on the roles she’s playing
“I’m OK in both of those,” she says. “I’m not less than because I’m 10, 15, 20 pounds more.” On the flip side, she knows it’s not inherently better—that she’s not inherently better—when she happens to weigh less, and that her handling of weight doesn’t say anything about her other than that she’s human.

She got better when she eliminated some foods
Five months ago, Rodriguez started working with “a great new nutritionist,” who identified a bunch of common foods that were getting in the way of her health. When she stays away from them, she says, “so many of my ailments are gone. It feels like freedom. This is new. I’m 33. It’s taken me a while.”

On knowing her worth
“I didn’t know my worth [at the start of my career] because the industry had such a specific perspective on what it should be as a brown woman,” Rodriguez says. “I had to start saying, ‘Well, I know if I work hard, I can show my worth,’ and I have been doing nothing but that.”

“Especially women, and especially women of color, really have to fight for equal pay,” she says. “My white sisters definitely have a higher starting point, my black sisters as well. Latinos really do live in the lower end of pay.”

[From Self]

I like how she frames her weight and self acceptance. I can beat myself up when I gain a couple of pounds and I needed to hear that. She said that her boyfriend of a year and a half, Joe LoCicero, “has really helped me have a healthier perspective on [weight], that stupid number that can destroy us and feel like it’s equivalent to our self-worth.

Gina spoke eloquently about Time’s Up, saying that the movement “makes everything easier and clearer and kinder and makes room for more possibility.” As for her comments on Latina women being paid less than both white women and women of color, that’s true. The statistics are rather sobering.

As a next step in her career, Gina told Self that she wants to direct. She said “I’m ready to do my movie. Whether that means success or failure, I’m ready to go for it.” She also wants to create more jobs for woman and particularly Hispanic women.

Gina recently signed to star and co-produce a Netflix romcom called Someone Great. (The Self article mentions that she has her own production company, called I Can And I Will Productions.) It is described as “a woman who, after a heart-wrenching breakup, decides to seek adventure in New York City with her two best friends before she moves across the country for her dream job.” It doesn’t start filming until April, which is too bad as I’m looking forward to it.

'Jane the Virgin' star, Gina Rodriguez, is a fighter on and off the screen. Rodriguez has been a vocal advocate for better representation in media and the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, but what you may not know is that she’s also battling a chronic illness. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Rodriguez, 33, has Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune condition that wages war on the thyroid gland, which produces hormones that influence how your body uses energy. Hashimoto’s can lead to an underactive thyroid that doesn’t produce enough of these hormones, and symptoms can be devastating and wide-ranging, including fatigue, joint pain, memory issues, and weight gain, to name a few. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ At first, Rodriguez says, Hashimoto’s felt like “the curse of a lifetime” and she tried to rebel against what she knew her body needed, but she eventually realized something had to give. “[Hashimoto’s] affects so many aspects of your life. I’ve had it for so many years…that rebellion of not taking care of myself can’t exist anymore," she tells SELF. Link in bio for our full interview with @hereisgina! 📷: Nadya Wasylko (@nadyawasylko) | Makeup: @carissaferreri | Hair: @paulnortonhair | Stylist: @shibonleigh | #TeamSELF

A post shared by SELF Magazine (@selfmagazine) on

Here’s Gina at the Costume Designers Guild Awards last week, which she hosted. I don’t have a designer ID on her spaghetti strap sequin slip dress. I’m not a fan of the cut as it looks like it’s hanging off her. She’s also shown at the Annihilation premiere, in Cristina Ottaviano.


photos credit: WENN and Instagram/Self

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24 Responses to “Gina Rodriguez: ‘I’m not less than because I’m 10, 15, 20 pounds more’”

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  1. Beatrix says:

    What are the foods she eliminated? That’s what I want to know.

    • Celebitchy says:

      She mentioned gluten but didn’t get more specific.

    • ms says:

      A lot of people say their Hashimoto’s improves with a paleo diet. I don’t know if there is any science to back that up, but if you’re looking for symptom relief, maybe you can begin there.

    • elizabeth says:

      There’s a lot of science to back up eliminating certain foods for autoimmune diseases – check out The Paleo Approach, by Sarah Ballantyne which details the AIP diet, which is a more restrictive form of Paleo, that allows you to heal and then slowly reintroduce certain foods. It’s an incredibly informative book!

  2. African Sun says:

    That white Wang hoodie is clean as hell. Very cute.

    • Plaidsheets says:

      Yes! It stood out to me as well.

      Then I remembered I have a kid.

      • dumbledork says:

        Ha! I can’t wait until my kids are old enough and I can incorporate some white back into my wardrobe. And she’s just gorgeous, and it’s refreshing to hear about her struggles. No sugarcoating.

  3. ms says:

    I love her, she’s refreshing.

  4. JA says:

    Love her! We need more Latina representation in movies and television. Specifically we need leading roles where we are not just the maid, the sexy siren with an accent or the go to sidekick. Hope to see more girls like Gina who look like me up there on the screen.

  5. Umila says:

    She is so beautiful. <3 Goals.

  6. hyuigjkbv says:

    ok but heres the thing. Shes not actually fat. maybe a bit more thicker but not fat…or chubby etc. Shes lost weight she looks great

    • perplexed says:

      I don’t think she’s fat. But maybe standing next to Natalie Portman in a movie affects how she views her weight.

    • Norman Bates' Mother says:

      She’s not fat by regular standards, but knowing all the horrible stories about Hollywood, she’s probably treated like she’s obese by producers and casting directors. Those same people claim that Jennifer Lawrence is fat…

  7. Marty says:

    While I like her, I take issue with her stating that black women have a starting point on the same level as white women when that is completely in untrue. We need better representation when it comes to Latinos in film and television that’s for sure, but not by minimizing the opression of black women in the industry.

    • Léna says:

      She does not say white woman and black woman have the same starting point. She says the white woman have a certain starting point, black woman have another starting point and that latino woman have an inferior starting point to both white and black woman.

      • Marty says:

        She literally said “My white sisters definitely have a higher starting point, my black sisters as well”. That’s equating the two groups. She could have easily said ‘my black sisters as well, although to a much lesser degree’, that would be a more accurate, and less dismissive statement. And as a commenter poster below, by making this comment she is completely erasing Afro-Latinos from the conversation.

      • Léna says:

        Thank you for the clarification, as a non native english speaker that’s how I understood her statement but now that you said it I understand better. Thank you! English is hard. So many nuances.

    • Ayra. says:

      I have many many issues with Gina, especially with her dismissal and erasure of black Latinos. She wants Latinos to prosper, which is understandable, but if you actually pay attention to what she says and what she tweets, she wants a certain type of latino to prosper (and it sure isn’t Afro-latinos or the indigenous people). Pay attention to the comments she made after Marvel movies, BP, Girl’s trip, then her “migration of the Spaniards” (aka colonization) comment. Then she blocks everyone and doesn’t want to discuss the colorism within her community either.

      • Marty says:

        Exactly, this is my biggest issue either her. She pushes Latino representation, but only for those who look like her. It’s very close-minded.

  8. IMUCU says:

    I have hypothyroid and an autoimmune disease. I was gluten free years before either diagnosis because of GI issues (which completely waned after being GF). I try to eat paleo/primal most of the time (I do slip up) and find I do feel a bit better when I do — it’s not a cure-all, just part of an additive effect with the other things I have to do to take care of myself. One of the worst things has been the weight-gain because I never lost weight easily, have always been on the “thick” side of things, and now even when I being very strict with my diet and being active, the scale does not want to budge…and I’ve put on weight quickly in the last year with the hypothyroid. It’s kind of depressing but I just try to remember that taking care of myself by eating the right foods and supplements while doing what activities I can is what matters, not the number — but it is hard :-(. My inflammation markers (blood test) have gone down, so at least something has!

    • Switchy says:

      Graves Survivor here! Totally feel this. I didn’t lose much weight with Graves as most people do when they are being diagnosed and the meds actually cause you to gain weight. I’ve heard that for many of us it ends up causing too much weight gain and then we’re hitting obesity levels and risk of having diabetes but the doctors refuse solutions as they don’t want us to stop taking the meds. It can be very frustrating. In the past year I’ve probably gained 30-40lbs because of the meds and I’m still healing from muscle atrophy in my feet so can’t exercise to lose the weight. Super frustrating.