Afro-Latina actress Zoe Saldana graces the inaugural issue of Cosmo for Latinas, the glossy’s first foray into trying to tap into one of America’s fastest growing demographics.  In the issue, the Dominican beauty dishes on her early years, the challenges she’s had to overcome, her career, and what it’s like being a woman of color in the industry.

“People think of Latina women as being fiery and fierce, which is usually true. But I think the quality that so many Latinas possess is strength. I’m very proud to have Latin blood,” she told the mag.

The Drumline actress’ life hasn’t always been easy. After her father died in a car accident when she was young, her mother packed up the family and moved them back to the Dominican Republic. But she credits her mother’s resolve for helping her become the woman she is today.

After moving back to NYC to become a ballet dancer in her teens, Saldana says she decided to give up dancing to pursue a different dream–acting.

“I had to quit ballet because it felt like a part of me was dying inside. It takes a lot of courage to face up to things you can’t do because we feed ourselves so much denial…In dance, you use every part of your body except your voice. I wanted to start acting because I wanted to use my voice.”

While I’m glad Saldana is getting some more much-deserved shine, I’m not exactly sure why Cosmo felt the need to have a mag specifically for Latinas. Perhaps if they incorporated a more diverse group of women into Cosmo itself, they wouldn’t have to segregate their readers. Just saying.

Check out the full o interview when Cosmo for Latinas hits newsstands May 1. 

  • http://www.myblackfriendsays.com myblackfriendsays

    I didn’t know she was Latina.

    And I agree with you, Britni–I would rather see women of all colors incorporated into one magazine instead of these offshoots. kind of reminds me of separate but equal.

  • Yb

    Good for her! She looks beautiful in the green dress. I thought there was already a latina Cosmo but I guess it was Cosmo espanol.

    Oh and anybody tell me what “Latin blood” is or means?

  • Dreaming

    I don’t love it, but it’s cool.

    I liked her in Colombiana a lot.

  • Yb

    That “Don’t Tell Mami” cover line is slowly killing me, tho.

  • MsQuita

    My thoughts exactly Britni, Cosmo should include all women…… I have had that opinion for a while now…. but congrats to Zoe.

  • lulu

    she looks nice -fresh faced.. congrats!!!

  • Answer

    Havong latin blood means to be of latin descent.

  • jamesfrmphilly

    is she supposed to be black?

  • binks

    Nice cover and pictures but I won’t be buying it…shrugs

  • CurlySue

    Latina Cosmo exists for the same reason Essence exists, I imagine. To serve a population of women solely interested in reading specifically about their issues and concerns rather than one magazine trying to address everyone equally and ultimately failing. I think it’s a good thing.

  • CurlySue

    She is a black Latina. You can be both, no?

  • Ms. Information

    Post-racialism in a separatist society…o.k.

  • MK

    agree 100%

  • smm

    Maybe she was referring to one of her European ancestors because the term Latino includes almost anyone from a culture with Latin roots…Spain, Italy, Portugal, France, etc. Whereas Hispanic refers specifically to Spanish roots.

  • apple

    I met her as a kid on a movie shoot, she is so nice and flawless in person!

  • Bosslady

    I Likewise agree, and it is also why we have Clutch Magazine, though I do feel Glamour magazine makes the effort to reach out to many demographics.

  • Alexandra

    She looks amazing. I like Ms. Saldana.

  • Kayla

    Essence created specifically for Black women, Cosmo is magazine that’s suppose to be for “all women”. I guess now they just have to make a Black, Asian, Persian version of the mag and then their demographics should be covered.

  • Elle Michelle

    “I would rather see women of all colors incorporated into one magazine instead of these offshoots. kind of reminds me of separate but equal.”

    My sentiments exactly…She looks gorgeous tho!

  • Kayla

    *was

  • http:www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com Chic Noir

    Agreed CurlySue and honestly, just because a magazine it written for a different demographic, it doesn’t stop me for reading it. I read She(Blk West Indian), Audrey(Azn women) and Latina(guess) magazines.

  • omfg

    i’ve never known a dominican to call themselves black unless he/she was getting something out of it.

    just my personal experience.

    i think in the u.s. she might consider herself black – for her roles. but, it’s hard for me to believe that she would proclaim being black while actually in the d.r.

    i could be wrong obviously.

  • H

    Hispanic and Latino or whatever are not races. They are ethnicities to talk about people from Latin America (Hispanic used to include Spain). A Hispanic person can be white( Shakira, Enrique Iglesias, Sofia Vergara, white Spanish people ) or black( Zoe, Sammy Sosa, black Cubans) or of native indigenous tribes or mixed with them (George Lopez, many Mexicans) or any race.

  • jamesfrmphilly

    she don’t look black to me

  • cupcakes and shiraz

    This is nothing new. Cosmo had a Spanish-language version of the mag for as long as I can remember.

    I guess they’re trying to market to the Latinas who don’t know Espanol…A whole new audience that they can pimp their horrid sex tips onto. Pobrecitas. :[

  • dhoensty1

    i knew she was domincan but she plays both roles in movies.. she played a black woman in that movie w/Bernie Mac when she was marrying Ashton Kutcher .. she identifies as a black latina so she plays both roles..

  • LeBraun

    Funny story. A white guy tells his parents he is dating outside of his race and he is dating a Latina. The girl was a Dominican girl that said she was Latina. LOL Of course they don’t say they are Afro Latina they just say they are Latina. Well the white guy brings the girl home & of course she has dark skin and African features. The parents were expecting a Latina like Sofia Vergara or like Selena Gomez. To their surprise it wasn’t what they were expecting. Life’s little surprises Imagine Zoe Saldana or La La Vazquez or Rosario Dawson.

    You can only imagine if it was a White girl and she said she was dating a Latino and the Parents thought that Marco Rubio, Ricky Martin or William Levy was coming home and in walks in Sammy Sosa or David Ortiz or Manny Ramirez. This would be a good movie with tons of laughs

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