Jackie Cruz wants young women to know they are enough.
The “Orange is the New Black” actress is spreading her message with the help of the clothing brand Wildfang, which is a self-described “home for badass women.” The Portland-based business tapped Cruz to design one of the pins in its limited edition “You Got This” collection, which launched Thursday.
The collection includes pins designed by nine female celebrities, including soccer star Megan Rapinoe, singer Rachel Platten and “Insecure” actress Yvonne Orji. Each pin is being sold for $10 with 10 percent of the proceeds going straight to I AM THAT GIRL, an organization that helps empower girls physically and emotionally.
Cruz told HuffPost her pin design, a colorful cactus with the words “It was inside all along,” was a symbolic choice.
“The cactus is misunderstood and quickly judged,” Cruz said. “It’s symbolism for inner creative nourishment. It took me a long time to realize that all the answers you need and the beauty you hold lie within. You already have both.”
When asked about the most important thing young women need to know today, Cruz said she hopes they know never to limit themselves.
“Never put a time limit on your dreams and start thinking today like the woman you want to be tomorrow,” Cruz said.
The advice she’d give a teenage Jackie is a bit different, however. The “OITNB” actress says she’d tell her younger self to “listen to your mom. Definitely listen to your mom.”
Cruz’s empowering message is for every women, but the star says more work must be done when it comes to creating spaces that empower women of color.
“We clearly need to create more opportunities for visibility for women of color,” she said. “We need to create brands that help and support the ones that already do. Representation is critical for young women of color.”
We couldn’t agree more.