10 Latina Women Who Inspire Greatness
Jennifer Lopez went from anonymous background dancer to international superstar. Working hard and dreaming big, she became the first actress to have a movie (The Wedding Planner) and an album (J. Lo) top the charts in the same week. She's also the face behind her Lopez Family Foundation helping women and kids. “You've gotta do things that make you happy. As women, we tend to give away a lot. We take care of a lot of people, and we can't forget to take care of ourselves,” she’s said.
This sexy Colombian is the standout star of her hit TV series Modern Family as well as a spokesperson for Covergirl, Pepsi, and the creator of her successful clothing line for Kmart. Aside from her hilarious personality, we love how she embraces her amazing curves. “Latin women are very comfortable with their bodies and their sexuality. We aren't afraid to show that off a little bit more,” she says.
Salma Hayek got her start in telenovelas in her native Mexico before moving to the U.S. at age 23. She’s gone on to become one of the most successful actresses, directors, and producers in Hollywood. Through it all, she’s never forgotten her roots. “People often say that 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder,' and I say that the most liberating thing about beauty is realizing that you are the beholder,” she says. “This empowers us to find beauty in places where others have not dared to look, including inside ourselves.”
Throughout Christina Aguilera's successful music career, she’s also become quite the philanthropist supporting a variety of causes, including human rights, fighting world hunger, and the importance of voting. It’s clear she’s proud of her good deeds and Hispanic heritage (her father was born in Ecuador), and has often spoken out about body image and self-esteem. “I embrace my body, and I embrace everything about myself,” she’s said. “I’m embracing everything that I’ve grown to be and learned to be.”
Demi Lovato is proud to be Latina: "It means a lot to me," she’s said. And if there’s one star who is an advocate of fighting low self-esteem, positive mental health, and overcoming self-harm, it’s her. The singer recently published her book, “Staying Strong: 365 Days a Year" talking candidly about her recovery. “Where I am today, I still have my ups and downs, but I take it one day at a time and I just hope that I can be the best that I can possibly be, not only for myself, but also young people that are out there.”
This Colombian cutie has won two Grammy Awards, eight Latin Grammy Awards, 28 Billboard Latin Music Awards, and has even been nominated for a Golden Globe Award. As a devoted mom, media maven, and model for making dreams come true, Shakira is the highest-selling Colombian artist of all time. She’s known to work hard for her rock-hard bod too.
"My Latin roots are very strong. Being Latin is part of who I am and I bring that part to every role," Cameron Diaz has said. And aside from all of her famous films, her seriously fit figure has also taken center stage—something she inspires us with through her “The Body Book.” In it, she shares her formula for becoming happier, healthier, and stronger through diet, exercise, and positive thinking.
Born to Puerto Rican parents, Rosie Perez is known for her outspoken personality and community activism. The fiery actress was fittingly just named new co-host of The View. Despite a challenging childhood, her positivity and grounded nature are truly impressive, especially when it comes to success. “Own it. Just take it and say, 'Yes I will be great, I am going to be great.' Great doesn’t mean being a movie star, great doesn’t mean having millions of dollars,” she says. “Great means being able to be confident, strong, and a solid human being that has dignity and integrity. That is great.”
Hollywood siren Eva Mendes is an actress, a spokesperson for Pantene, Calvin Klein, and PETA, and even launched her own clothing line. But what we love most? “I feel I'll take on the responsibility of showing the world a whole different kind of Latin woman,” she says. “I’m a modern woman in the sense of I take care of myself, I'm fiercely independent, and I'm really ambitious…I'd love for my ambition and will and intellect and sense of humor to define me.”
Actress, philanthropist, and spokesperson Eva Longoria certainly knows the meaning of hard work, but it wasn’t until 2004’s Desperate Housewives that Hollywood really started to take notice. Since then, she’s landed deals with L’Oreal, Pantene, and Bebe Sport. The lucky Latina has always managed to stay close to her roots, saying, "My mother gave me one piece of advice that stuck with me. She said don't forget where you came from."