Gina Rodriguez On Her Clinique Campaign, Making A Difference & The Cause Close To Her Heart
Just one small change can have a big impact. That’s the philosophy behind The Clinique Difference Initiative. The beauty brand has always been about creating products that inspire confidence in women by making a difference in their skin and appearance, like their iconic 3-Step System, which includes a cleanser, exfoliator, and Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion. “There are certain things that instantaneously make a difference in your life and 3-step is one of them,” says Janet Pardo, Vice President of Product Development at Clinique. “This system has been tested for instant benefits more than anything I’ve ever done. If you use 3-step, you don’t need as much makeup, and your makeup goes on better and it lasts longer. Just take care of your skin and everything else follows.” Now the brand is taking that a step further with six ambassadors from around the world who are sharing their stories about how they’re making a difference by supporting charities that provide education and healthcare for women. With Clinique, they’re spreading their message to inspire others to do the same. Three of the women from the campaign—Gina Rodriguez, the “Jane the Virgin” star who grew up in a gang-dominated Chicago neighborhood and fights for others to have the same opportunity she did when it came to getting an education; Eréndira Ibarra, the Netflix series “Sense 8” actress, who campaigns for freedom of speech and human rights; and Jessica Nkosi, a South African actress featured in the TV show “Isibaya” whose mission is providing healthcare and support for children—share their stories.
On why they joined Clinique’s Difference Makers campaign:
Jessica Nkosi: “I was attracted to the authenticity of it and the fact that it’s not just about me. It’s about empowering others. We live in a world where it’s about me, me, me. Yes, there are beauty products, but also what’s on the inside means a lot. I wanted to be a part of something groundbreaking, real, meaningful and different.”
Gina Rodriguez: When Jane blessed my life and created opportunities for endorsements, I always wanted to align myself with brands that were using their magnitude and power for good. What is the message that you’re giving out? We all understand that a product needs to be sold, but how are you selling it? And what kind of communication are you having with your consumer? I love that the communication Clinique is having with their consumer is you’re beautiful—we see your beauty. And I’m not talking about your outer beauty—we see your character; we see your strength. You get a product because you feel good about yourself and you want to do something that makes you feel good about yourself. But now what can we do to make a difference outside of oneself? I want to live in a world where I’m accepted for who I am and I want to feel good in who I am when I wake up in the morning. There’s a strength in that and it creates more strength, and it just builds this beautiful domino effect, especially when Clinique is doing a campaign about encouraging others to make a difference. And that difference definitely starts right here. So let’s talk about it. Let’s do something.
On how the smallest effort can make a difference:
GR: To me, it’s the simplest things. It’s as small as when you walk into a hotel and you say hello to the bellboy. It’s as small as giving the awareness that someone notices you. You are present, you are a participant in society, and we are all equal. It does not matter if you are opening someone’s door or running a company. We all participate in this world; we do not live in this world alone. That’s one of my favorite things my father told me: Help others succeed and you too shall succeed. And that idea of if you can lend a hand, why aren’t you lending a hand? It has a ripple effect and it doesn’t end. You make someone’s day. If you see someone without a smile give them one of yours and they give somebody else a smile and it continues to perpetuate a beautiful cycle of positivity. It can be as small as that or it can be as great as helping someone financially because you know they need it; it can be as great as giving somebody all of yourself.
JN: No matter who you are, there’s always someone less fortunate than you. You can always do something for someone. Sometimes it doesn’t cost any money. You can impact change even if you don’t have a global campaign. It’s you at home, at school—it’s little things.
EI: I’m from Mexico City, a city that has 30 million people. You’re driving down the street and you have people asking you for money and there are kids running in front of your car and you could go the entire day without looking at them. And I think that one of the changes is to recognize yourself in others because that’s equality, empathy, and solidarity. We have stopped collaborating. We don’t even look at each other. We just move through the day and it’s important to recognize yourself in others and be humble enough to know that everyone is living through their own revolution. And even a smile, a hug, or just recognizing that they exist can change someone’s life.
On fighting for their causes through the campaign:
GR: For me, growing up in the inner city of Chicago in a low-income family that was very challenged financially, education was the means to creating opportunity and overcoming my circumstances. My parents did not graduate college, but they made sure that each and every one of us did. I am a product of that success because even as an actress, should I not have been able to get technically trained or become educated, I wouldn’t be sitting here today. I know there were kids that I grew up with in my neighborhood that were limited, that are still limited because they have no means of escape. They can dream of a secondary education but have no resources to actually go after it. The one thing that nobody can take away from me is my education and that education will create more opportunities. Should I fall or fail or tumble, my education will get me back on my feet. No child is different; it’s just the opportunities that they’re given. Everybody gets the same claim. That’s what me and my sisters (sic) all want to do together. We have a foundation called The We Will Foundation to give others what we were given, thankfully. A lot of families are coming from other countries, and they’re coming for the same dream for their children, but they just lack the access to resources, so we’re going to bring that resource. That’s what breaks my heart.
JN: I lost my dad to cancer. It was very prematurely because had we just known that when certain things start showing in the body, certain symptoms that you see, we would have known to get it checked. I was too young to understand what was going on. My dad loved kids, so he passed that on to me. There are children who are infants who get cancer. So if we can just make sure that if parents understand that whenever a child is sick, they can go to a clinic, they’ll do an operation, and everything will be back to normal. You don’t have to wait 10 years when it’s all over the body and it’s too late to do anything. It’s going out there and educating people in the rural areas in South Africa that when your child gets sick, please, please take them to a clinic.
EI: My mom was an anti-war activist and my dad was a war correspondent and part of the guerrilla in El Salvador. I was raised to feel in your heart in the deepest way possible any injustice in the world as if it were your own, and to be of service for others. My father was fighting for justice and for the well-being of a whole nation, and giving a voice to those that had none, and my mom was always giving more than she received. She was literally this living giving tree, constantly volunteering at schools and taking us to Habitat for Humanity to build houses and teach us the importance of service and volunteering. I always believe if we redefine justice as love, the moment that children learn the word, they understand that justice is something that we practice every single day. That’s why I support Gonzo Soccer and Children International and I was a part of Amnesty International because I believe profoundly that if we teach children human rights, they will be the politicians that change the world.
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