Jane The Virgin star Gina Rodriguez knows what it’s like to be in the spotlight. With the second season of her hit show on The CW premiering this week, Rodriguez has found great success as an actress – which also comes with a great deal of scrutiny. That’s why she is lending her time to the Be Good to Each Other campaign from Customink, designing a special t-shirt whose proceeds will benefit PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center. In support of this initiative, Rodriguez recently took time out for a Q&A session with myself and several other bloggers to discuss the Be Good to Each Other campaign, her own experiences with bullying, and how families can get involved.
Gina Rodriguez Q&A
Beeb Ashcroft: Celebrities have been on the receiving end of cruel treatment in the media for a long time. Now that smartphones and social media exist, everyone is in the public eye to a certain degree, opening private individuals up to an unprecedented barrage of criticism from strangers. As a public figure, how do you cope with this, and what advice would you give to young people dealing with this kind of unwanted attention online?
Gina Rodriguez: I’ve learned that no matter what the situation, someone, somewhere will likely have something negative to say about it. Rather than focusing on the hate, I try to keep things in perspective and surround myself with positive energy and positive people as much as possible. We should be focusing on the good we can bring and on lifting people up rather than bringing them down. I try to stay true to my values – my family is a huge support system for me as well.
I would tell young people to be confident and embrace the qualities that make them different and unique. Ignore the negative comments and surround yourself with positivity.
Beeb Ashcroft: What drew you to become involved in the Be Good to Each Other campaign, and what are some of the ways this initiative has helped to prevent bullying?
Gina Rodriguez: I’ve always been a huge advocate of bullying prevention so when CustomInk reached out to me, I jumped at the opportunity. I love what the Be Good to Each Other campaign represents and I love that it inspires young adults to take action and unite against bullying.
Shop With Me Mama: Have you ever been bullied?
Gina Rodriguez: I recently received negative comments on social media for an Instagram post and it really surprised me that I could be judged for something so small. I grew up with Spanish being my second language – my parents didn’t want me to be teased for having an accent the way they had been. I didn’t realize I’d be criticized for not speaking well enough in Spanish.
Girl Talk HQ: Why is it important that all of us do our part to stand up to bullying, more than in just one month of the year?
Gina Rodriguez: Bullying has a huge effect on young people and has led to mental health issues, substance abuse, and even suicide. That’s why it’s important to create an ongoing conversation about the topic and making sure that the issue is dealt with year round.
CustomInk’s Be Good to Each Other campaign creates the opportunity to start the conversation and provides the necessary funds to educate parents, students, and communities on bullying prevention.
The “Kindness is Always in Style” shirt designed by Gina Rodriguez is on sale now for $20 and will be available through October 31st in honor of National Bullying Prevention Month; 100% of the proceeds will benefit PACER.