Meet Valery Ortiz, our #WCW – Woman Crush Wednesday! Valery currently stars as Raquel, alongside Kimberly Elise on the hit VH1 TV series, Hit The Floor, but you may also recognize her from Date Movie and Diary of a Single Mom.
Today, Kimberly talks with Valery about her career, coming-of-age in beauty, and the importance of peace within.
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Valery was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and grew up in Orlando Florida, loving and learning ballet and jazz. She was first introduced to acting as a kid when she helped her brother create video projects. Coming from a family of creatives, it’s no wonder why Valery fell in love with performance art.
“When you have that creative thing in you, you always find that outlet somewhere to keep you positive and going in your life outside your career.” she said.
But behind all the glitz and glamor we so often see in Hollywood, the truth is that the life of an actor is uncertain – you never know what’s coming (or not coming) next. To manage these uncertainties, Valery found her inner athlete in running.
“That is how I balance my life outside of my career and how I release my stress. Those are goals I can give myself that are attainable, that have nothing to do with anybody else.”
When it comes to beauty, Valery has felt the pressures of maintaining a particular image in the show business industry and admits she’s felt insecurity creep up on her when it comes to keeping appearances.
Seeing Valery as she is today, you might not guess that she wasn’t always confident in her beauty, but actually, she grew up feeling very insecure.
Valery’s parents were strict and didn’t let her do the things that all her friends did, like shave her legs, pluck her eyebrows and wear nail polish and makeup. This made her feel like a late bloomer and she admits she “had her moments” during middle school, which was very tough for her.
But in hindsight, Valery understands why her parents were so restrictive and can now say she was “never about all that stuff.” She hated it, but because she was forced to wait and do without the beauty rituals until later in life, she learned to accept that she didn’t look like everyone else and that she didn’t need to.
In that, her parents “kind of made me see beauty in a different way, in a way I didn’t want to see it.” she said.
“It’s been a journey, just falling in love with myself and finding that inner beauty and having that confidence, which I think is so important.”
These days, Valery sees that people are constantly focusing their attention on others’ beauty:
“We fall in love with parts of other people, but we should fall in love with ourselves.
There’s a stigma of being too confident, which pushes us away from falling in love with us. and having those things about ourselves that are, like, I do really want to celebrate this one thing I really like about myself!”
To build up that confidence and maintain peace, these are Valery’s words to the wise:
“Find outlets that make you feel happy and complete. Stop comparing yourself, take it one day at a time, and find words of affirmation to motivate you every day.”
Check out 5 lessons from the first season of Hit The Floor
And now, the age-old question: How do you wake up looking like that?
We are so thrilled to share Val’s Natural Beauty Tips with you!
Val’s 4 Natural Beauty Tips
1. Honey and a band-aid is the best for blemishes.
Honey naturally kills bacteria and reduces inflammation – that has been my favorite thing to heal and a band-aid to keep it from getting all over your pillow.
2. Drink more water.
It’s so simple, but it is magic.
3. Put little chunks of garlic in your nail polish.
It will smell funny but it helps your nails grow!
4. A Good SPF is really helpful as you get older
I hated anything on my face, anything with sunscreen when I was younger, but this is now part of my routine.
How does sunscreen help your skin? Check out Sunscreen: the Anti-Aging Secret
Above all, Valery believes that peace within helps you to accept what you have.
“A woman’s spirit, no matter what, shines through, permeates everything, affects everything and touches everything.”
Thanks, Valery, for such an inspiring interview!
Want more articles like this? Check out our other Natural Beauty Digital Summit interviews.