Salma Hayek’s Story Proves That It’s Always Worth Fighting for Your Dreams
Being sure of your value and ability to face any situation is the way to measure confidence in yourself. Or at least, that’s what has made Salma Hayek, an unknown Latina actress who faced rejection, never stop believing in herself to achieve everything she once dreamed of.
At Bright Side, we believe it’s important to share inspiring stories, and that’s why today we’re going to tell you about Salma Hayek, an example that proves you should always believe in yourself, regardless of what other people say.
The beginning of her dreams.
The beginnings of Salma Hayek’s career sprang from her native country, Mexico. The actress was at the peak of her career after having starred in the telenovela Teresa, and in El callejón de los milagros. The latter earned her an Ariel Award nomination, a sort of Mexican BAFTA. But she wanted more. She thought of taking things a step further, even if that meant risking it all. And that’s how she made her way into Hollywood.
Hayek started by moving to Los Angeles, California, to study acting. After making a few small appearances, she landed her first starring role. Along with Antonio Banderas, she starred in the film Desperado, which was the first in a series of opportunities to work alongside other well-known celebrities such as George Clooney, Will Smith, and Penélope Cruz.
“We are unstoppable girls.”
Back in the day, it wasn’t easy for Latina actresses to find their place in big productions. In an interview with actress Drew Barrymore, she shared that during her career she received negative comments about her low chances of getting a starring role.
Once, an executive stated that she could not be a star because of her Mexican origins, regardless of acknowledging her great talent: “No matter how beautiful someone thinks you are, no matter how good an actress you are, when you open your mouth, the public will only remember their maids.” But these comments did not stop her. With Drew by her side, she said, “We are part of the generation of actresses who also became entrepreneurs and producers, we are unstoppable girls.”
“Women can do absolutely anything.”
In 1999, she founded Ventanarosa, a production company that has worked on films and television series along with other major companies. In 2002, Salma produced and acted in the film Frida, for which she received two Oscars and a nomination for Best Actress.
At the launch of the series Monarca, which she produced, she talked about how she used to think about herself when she was younger: “When I look at pictures of me in my 30s or in my 40s, I see myself more beautiful than I saw myself at the time. I used to criticize myself so much.”
“Breastfeeding is a shared experience.”
Salma is an advocate of breastfeeding and has promoted its benefits for babies. On a trip to Sierra Leone, taking advantage of her motherhood, she breastfed an African baby: “I was weaning Valentina, but I still had a lot of milk that I was pumping, so I breastfed the baby. You should have seen his eyes. When he felt the nourishment, he immediately stopped crying.”
She has also posted pictures on social media with captions promoting the importance of breastfeeding, all this despite her busy schedule: “When I was shooting 30 Rock, I was still breastfeeding Valentina. I did it until she was 14 months old. The benefits of breastfeeding are immeasurable for babies!”
“A good leader”
“Having her support and what she believes in and to be a mother and to not be afraid to love, to make mistakes, or to be vulnerable. These things are incredibly brave things and qualities a leader must have; a good leader.” Those were the words of the director Chloé Zhao when she cast Salma as the new superheroine of the Marvel world. Hayek announced she is in the starring role as Ajak in Eternals, where she plays the leader of the superheroes who will save humanity.
This role represented a great achievement for the actress, who emphasized that a door had been opened for all Latinos who have been waiting for such a moment. In tears, she described the emotion she felt when she put on her costume: “I saw my brown face in a superhero suit; I saw my face as a little girl, who had a lot of courage to dream big. I saw the face of all little girls.”
“Work hard. Prepare.”
After forging a great career as an actress, producer, activist, and entrepreneur, in November 2021, Salma unveiled her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. During her speech, she recalled that she was repeatedly rejected for leading roles: “Why don’t you go back to telenovelas? You’ll never find work here.” Salma kept repeating to herself: “Nobody wants me here. They want me in my country.”
Despite the disappointment and sadness, she did not give up. She chose to fight for her dreams and said, “Work hard. Prepare. Don’t care what anybody says. But most importantly, don’t listen to yourself when you bring yourself down.”
What has been the biggest dream you’ve fulfilled? How was the road to achieve it? We want to know your story.