Lena Dunham and
Gina Rodriguez on
the Power of Activism

If you’ve ever tuned into Lena Dunham’s podcast series, Women of The Hour, then you’ll know what to expect—honest, yet often hilarious, conversations about everything from sex and friendship to body image and spirituality. It’s the ultimate girl talk, tackling real issues women face in the modern world, with the humor and wit that makes Lena so listenable. Her celebrity guests show up ready to talk about what’s important to them without the distraction of looking camera-ready. Her audience tunes in to hear what they are all saying, not to check out what they are wearing. The end result is a conversation that’s similar to the ones you have with your best friend when no one else is listening. No-filter. Real.

Lena’s latest topic: Activism. Her guests: Gina Rodriguez, Los Angeles based Golden Globe winner and star of the hit series Jane The Virgin, Erendira Ibarra, Mexico City based star of the Netflix series Sense8, and Jessica Nkosi, actress and model from Capetown, South Africa. They are also celebrated in Clinique’s #DifferenceMaker campaign, which aims to inspire confidence in women and empower them to make a difference in the world.

“These actresses are also passionate activists, which isn’t always easy when you’re a public figure. Particularly one who’s expected to always look nice, say her lines well and shut the heck up. But don’t we, as public figures, have a social responsibility to use our platform to listen, to amplify and to speak out when we see injustice?” says Lena as she introduces the discussion. “They are women who are eager to use their reach and their gifts to make a difference in their communities and in the world.”

Gina Rodriguez talks about the challenges she faced growing up in a low income neighborhood, and the gratitude she has for her parents who made a commitment to providing her and her sisters with the best education possible. “They knew the importance of getting an education and giving us the equipment to pursue our dreams. One of my sisters runs a private equity firm, the other one is a doctor. They’re monsters. Looking at where we came from, it’s all because of education,” says Gina. “We will help. We will serve. We will be kind. We will be hopeful,” she says.

Gina also discusses her personal journey to finding confidence, inside and out. Her rise to success has truly been on her terms, turning down roles that perpetuated the stereotypes of Latinas, while also facing the challenges of not being the stereotypical Hollywood starlet, i.e. rail thin with blonde hair and blue eyes. “I discovered that my beauty really derives from my character. I started to embrace my beauty and know it’s not about if the jeans are tight. It’s about feeling strong, with and without makeup,” says Gina. “That’s what we have to teach our kids—to love their bodies. Love the lives they were given and how to create more opportunities for themselves.”

Of course, Gina reveals her Clinique must-have to face the world with confidence: Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+. “I love that moisturizer. It makes me feel like I’m glowing. It creates that glow that women get when they are pregnant that I want to steal. It’s the invisibly pregnant glow. I’m wearing it now!”

Download the Women of the Hour episode (it’s free) to hear Gina’s story, as well as Erendira talk about the importance of free speech in Mexico and Jessica on helping children in South Africa fight disease. To close the episode, Lena brings Clinique Global Brand President Jane Lauder into the conversation to talk about the driving message behind the #DifferenceMaker campaign, which is to empower more women to have to confidence to make a difference, big or small. “I love that all these women were chosen by Clinique not because of what they look like, but because of what they are doing,” says Lena. Jane’s response: “When I think of a woman as being beautiful, it’s when she is her most confident.”

Photos: Michael Simon Photography | Words: Rachel Hayes

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