I Am the Woman I Am Thanks to This Advice From My Father

Every time I think about everything that my father has taught me, I get emotional. My father has been the best father I could have ever hoped for. He has always been there for me, even with his busy schedule.

He is the person I turn to when I have problems. He always has some good piece of advice to give me. In fact, he knows I need advice before I even ask for it. Sometimes I listen, and others I don't. I've made mistakes, and through them, I've realized my dad really was always right. He is a wise man and I'm truly honored to share his best advice with you. I hold these nuggets of wisdom dear to my heart — they're priceless and precious.

Have piel de elefante.

My dad taught me that I have to have piel de Elefante — that's what he calls thick skin. Having been in the spotlight for years, he always told me not to worry about what others are saying or thinking about me. You won't ever please everybody.

I got into the acting business when I was very young, and it was very hard for me not to listen to the critics. People said: "Oh, did she get that because she's El Puma's daughter?" I was just a kid, really, and it was hard for me to ignore those comments. It took a while, but I'm glad I learned that you should be truthful and honest to yourself and your values, and that's the only thing that matters.

No dejes que los altos te suban, ni los bajos te bajen.

Things will come and go — the good, the bad, everything. My dad always said that if you stay centered, the lows might not hurt you that bad, and if you don't go too high, then you'll stay really grounded and humble.

I've really tried to keep my head down and be grateful, not taking anything or any moment for granted. But the lows, those are the ones that are the hardest for me. Not getting so low on yourself is tough, especially when like me you happen to be a bit of a perfectionist. When I am not happy with my work, I nitpick and beat myself up, but then I remember my father's words and I do my best to let things go.

Se libre.

In my 20s, he wanted me to be with myself, not getting into relationships just to be in relationships. He always told me to be free and go accomplish my dreams, have friends, have fun, and don't attach myself to things that may not work out.

I now look back at my 20s and I realize, damn, I wasted a lot of time not being free. I should have been living, and enjoying, and traveling, and not having to worry about anyone but myself.

Now that I've come to understand those two words, I am enjoying the heck out of my life. Man, my dad was so right about that! Being with yourself is one of the best things you could do. It's so important to give yourself love and put yourself first. RuPaul says this: "If you don't love yourself, how the hell are you going to love somebody else? Can I get an amen?" Well, amen to that, dad and RuPaul.

Have faith.

My dad taught me to have faith and to love God. He is a super, uber spiritual person, and I love going down that rabbit hole of spirituality with him. To me, it's about getting a message on how to be a better person and stay connected with a higher being.

But it's all about those whispers Oprah calls "aha moments." Find the thing (God or whatever it is for you) that keeps you going in life and gives you purpose. I thank my father for the gift of faith.

Work hard.

My dad taught me to work, work, work. My goodness! He has worked through holidays and birthdays, and I never, ever resented him for that because I knew why he was doing it.

I totally appreciated his hardworking nature and he instilled that in me. He made me want to work. I yearn for it! So when I don't get an audition, I'm like "Oh my God, when is this happening? I need to work. I need to work." It's like this little gene that he gave me. I like to feel useful. I like to be productive. I like to contribute. I like to utilize my brain and creativity.

Love the arts.

If you saw me growing up, it would be no surprise to you why I'm an actress. Of course, my dad is artistic, but that guy watches movies more than anyone I know. He watches movies every day: classics, period pieces, Argentinian films in black and white, or silent movies. The man appreciates movies and I am an actress because of that.


I learned to laugh with him! My father has the greatest, most belly laugh I've ever heard, and he laughs so freely and loudly. I've now noticed, I do that too, and I laugh at everything! I don't hide the laugh or hold it back and that's good — not something to be embarrassed about.

No todo lo que te guste, te edifica.

Sometimes I binge-watching a TV show when I could be reading a book and learning something new. It's about becoming a better person, and that has been my father's goal: to teach me to always strive to be better; a better daughter, friend, woman, and person!

My dad is a strong man, and an important figure in my life. He is a feminist who has empowered me ever since I was a baby. He has never pushed me to be anything, and for that, I appreciate that man more than anything in the world.

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