Jackie Cruz Explains How She Learned To "Feel Herself" On 'OITNB'


Jackie Cruz is probably best known for playing Marisol "Flaca" Gonzales on Netflix's Orange is the New Black. For six seasons, Flaca has been serving time in Litchfield Penitentiary, while still making sure to take care of herself. In one memorable Season 5 story arc, Flaca hosted a beauty and self-care web show with her best friend Maritza Ramos (Diane Guerrero). Now that Orange is the New Black is about to come to an end with its seventh and final season, Cruz is getting ready to move on to the next chapter of her life. But rest assured, she's definitely taking some of Flaca's flair for self-care with her. The Show influenced her next career steps in a really positive way, and Jackie Cruz's quotes about Orange is the New Black will inspire you too.

Since Orange is the New Black has been a part of Cruz's life for over half a decade, she's gone through several life changes over the course of her time on the show. "I was in a terrible relationship when I first started Orange, really terrible. And that was because I was depending on someone else to feel the love," Cruz explains in an interview with Elite Daily.

Though Cruz was in a tough place personally when she began on the series, getting this role was a big step for her professional life. Flaca began as a small part, but thanks to Cruz's hard work and talent, the role grew. And with her character, Cruz's platform grew as well. In addition to being an actor, she's also a singer and model.

"I just focused on my work, which was Orange because that was a big dream that happened. And I didn’t know how far I could go. I started with two lines and my character’s friendships grew and a lot of wonderful things happened," Cruz explains. "I get to partner up with incredible human beings because of Orange is the New Black because I wanted to continue to make a difference after Orange."

Cruz is making a difference with her new campaign for Schick Hydro Silk, which is all about celebrating self-love and self-care by "feelin' yourself." For the campaign, Cruz filmed a promo video that parodies fan-favorite shows like Love Island and Bachelor in Paradise, only her show is all about loving yourself instead of waiting for a partner to come around.

"I want to inspire people to love themselves and take care of themselves. I’ve been through a lot and I try to love myself always and I'm happy I can be that example and be in this partnership with Schick," Cruz says.

Cruz actually did get to take a solo vacation to celebrate "feelin' herself," and it was her first time traveling alone. She says she loved getting to spend time only dressing for herself and appreciating her own beauty when she looked in the mirror. But Cruz isn't not the only one who'll get to have a self-care vacay. You can apply to win your stay on a private island at FeelinMyselfIsland.com.

"I’m just happy it gives someone the opportunity for self-care because self-care is so important and it’s powerful," Cruz explains. "The whole point is taking care of yourself. You know, go on vacation and have a drink and if you want, meet new people or just be by yourself."

For Cruz, Orange is the New Black and "Feelin' Myself Island" are only the beginning. Her album is coming out later this summer and she's the face of Kat Von D's new mascara line. Cruz is "feelin' herself" more than ever before.