Orange is the New Black actress Dascha Polano is bursting out of her formerly insecure curvaceous shell and taking the world by storm. The Dominican 33-year-old Brooklyn native and mother of 3 is hell bent on showing society and her babies everybody isn’t a size 0 and that it’s ok.
Recently, during an interview with Vibe she spoke on conquering low self-confidence, how she is going to make waves and lanes for other Latinas that don’t see a place for themselves in this entertainment business and experiencing prejudice from folk with similar backgrounds. Check out some excerpts below.
On getting roles with her full figure:
I’m not a size zero, and I’m very transparent when it comes to that. I’m not your cookie cutter actress. I am full of curves, not sample-sized, so the issue with that is a lot of roles are not designed or designated for a Latina. Or a Dominican. Or a woman like me.
On attending Florida theater conferences and competing with other actors:
I’d go in there and freeze up, I mean I have this Spanish accent mixed with a Brooklyn accent, and I’m in Central Florida where there wasn’t much of a cultural spectrum. I sometimes wouldn’t be able to perform because of that insecurity.
On seeing a lack of girls like her on TV growing up:
You see what is considered acceptable and instead of feeling like maybe I could do this too, I would feel like I don’t belong, like I am not talented enough, I felt very insecure, very scared.
On how she conquered her fears and pursued her dream:
I began to realize that I was only putting a burden on myself, allowing what’s out of my control to affect what I wanted to pursue, So I began to look at the differences that I had as my uniqueness—that thing I could bring to a role.
On experiencing prejudice from her own people:
Latinos don’t f*ck with me, I mean Latino markets ain’t checking for me until it’s time to pull out that card, because we’re trending or something. If I’m not American enough and I’m not Latina enough, then what am I? I’m just nothing.
On why more roles aren’t created for women like her:
I think it starts from the material, the casting agencies, the writers, the directors, I don’t think there is an emphasis in the Latino community about the opportunities that exist in Hollywood. You don’t have to be an actress. You can be a writer, a director, or you can produce. There are so many different fields to go into.
A lot of people are focused on the superficial part of [Hollywood] and what they see on the surface, as opposed to studying the other parts that make up the business.
On what she’s teaching her 3 kids as a single parent:
I instill a lot of self-love in my children. A LOT of self-love. I was a bully confronter because I hated what bullies tried to do to me and others like me, my kids know to stick up for themselves and for kids they see are being bullied.
Click here for the full interview.