In an interview with Vivala posted this week, the Dominican-American said she has felt expectations to conceal her Afro-Latina features and was even told she looked “too Latina” for a Latina role.
“We have to be ‘fake Latinas,’” Polanco said. “And here’s the thing about ‘fake Latinas’ – when you look at Latinas who are succeeding in Hollywood, they’re super thin and you really can’t tell if she’s Latina or not.”
Polanco, 34, told the outlet that genetics testing determined that some of her roots originate from the Iberian Peninsula and 31 percent from the African nation of Mali ― and they are apparent, she said.
She said she used to wonder if having lighter eyes and a thinner body would land her more roles. But she doesn’t appear to be hurting for work now.
Polanco has played inmate Dayanara Diaz on “OITNB” since 2013 (Season 5 is now available on Netflix) and wrapped shooting on what Deadline billed as her first starring role in a film in the dark comedy “iCreep.”
“Every day, I am learning how to love myself more,” Polanco told Vivala.
For the complete interview, visit Vivala.