“Beauty is not the number of likes you get on a post. It’s being yourself.”
At just six years old, Jenna Ortega came home from school, turned on the TV, and casually told her mom that she wanted to be in a commercial. Her mom laughed it off, but over the next two years, Jenna’s passion for acting only grew. “I would beg her!” she laughs.
Finally, her mom obliged, and Jenna quickly landed an agent, which meant driving more than two hours each way for what would often be a two-minute audition. Jenna admits that the commute was tough – and so were the bullies who started targeting her at school. “It’s hard because you feel so passionate about something and everybody’s telling you not to do it,” she says.
The constant rejection Jenna faced was difficult, too. “You get a lot more ‘no’s’ than yes’s,’” she explains. “Sometimes I’ve been discouraged and it’s been really hard, but you can’t take the ‘no’s’ personally. You’ve got to keep pushing through.”
And that’s exactly what she did. In 2015, after ten auditions, Jenna scored the life-changing role of Harley on Disney Channel’s Stuck in the Middle. “I’m from a small town where everyone knew each other and so many people tried to put me down,” she says. “Now, I’m living my childhood dream and I appreciate it so much.”
Jenna wants her fans to know that anything is possible when you follow your dreams. “Whatever direction you go in, there’s always going to be haters,” she explains.
“If you truly love something, go for it because you are going to be so much happier in the future. If you work hard, and you’re kind to everyone, you will succeed. It takes time, but you’ll get there.” And Jenna is living proof of that.
But while her life has changed, the core of who she is remains the same. She’ll never let herself get caught up in Hollywood hype or social media status. “Beauty is not defined in the number of likes you get on a post,” she says. “Beauty is being yourself and being genuine. If you’re just yourself, then people get to fall in love with who you truly are and that’s honestly the prettiest thing a girl can wear.”
PHOTOS by Joe Magnani
MAKEUP by Anton Khachaturian (Exclusive Artists Management) using Baby Lips products from Maybelline New York (Baby Lips Color Balm Crayon in Toasted Taupe and Baby Lips Moisturizing Lip Balm in My Pink)
HAIR by Matilde Campos & Sabrina Porsche
STYLING by Robiat Balogun – assisted by Sinai Robles (At Pool: Earrings by Melody Ehsani, Rings by Melody Ehsani & Marrin Costello. Bodysuit by Nicole Miller, Skirt by H&M, Shoes by Asos. Future is Female: Shirt by OtherWild, Skirt by Lotuz, Earrings by Melody Ehsani, Shoes by Lulus.)
#YSBnowGirlsOfSummer COVER STORIES:
Watch the video below and learn how to get Jenna’s #BabyLips looks from the #YSBnowGirlsOfSummer shoot!