Cliché: How did you first become involved with dance?
Sienna Gomez: I started dancing competitively five years ago for a studio in my hometown. I took recreation dance classes for several years before being asked to audition for Company (the competitive program). I made it that first year and didn’t look back! I’m no longer part of Company just given how crazy my schedule is right now, but I try to get onto the dance floor and train at least a few nights a week in either my hometown or in LA, depending on where I am.
Competitive dancers often face a lot of pressure to have a certain body type or look a certain way. How did you learn to embrace yourself and your differences in that environment?
In 2019, I was called on stage during awards at a regional dance competition by one of the judges, Wyndee McGovern. She presented me with a coveted award unique to that competition for my stage presence and power – each of the judges could call out one specific person from the competition. She told me, “You were born to stand out. Have confidence in who you are and what you bring to this stage because I promise, you will be a star.” I literally cried on stage because here was this woman who zoned in on and called out my biggest insecurity: I had spent years comparing myself to my tall, thin friends and always felt so short and big next to them. That day – her words on that stage in front of all of my peers – released me from whatever that insecurity was. That’s the moment I started embracing what made me different – my skin color, my big muscular legs, my curvy figure – and started really loving myself for who I am. I think just being seen and validated and encouraged among the hundreds of dancers there was the fuel I needed to really start on this journey of self-love.
You went viral on TikTok for your body positivity videos. What message do you want to send to your followers about body image, especially now that you have such a massive platform?
The biggest message I want people to take away from my content is that they are beautiful just the way they are and that we are all struggling in our own ways – meaning, no one is “perfect” despite what is depicted on social media. Because I’m on a journey of finding self-love and body confidence myself, it only makes sense that that’s part of what I post on TikTok. I think many people feel alone in their struggles – whether that’s struggling to accept themselves or their body, eating, friends, etc. I want people to feel like they aren’t alone – that we are all more alike than we are different – and that it’s super empowering to put your real self out there.
How does it feel to be chosen by TikTok as both part of their Top 100 list and as one of 12 Trailblazers in the Latinx community?
It fills me with pride. Just a few weeks after my first video went viral, TikTok reached out and told me they would like to include me as one of 12 “Trailblazers” in the Latinx community. I only had 1 or 2 million followers then, and they said they had no doubt that I was on my way to becoming one of Gen Z’s Latinx digital entertainment leaders. Then in December, they recognized me again as a “Voice of Change” in their 2020 “Top 100” list. Both designations mean so much to me. The Trailblazer award really made me feel validated, like I had “made it” on the TikTok app and was representing for so many other people. The Voice of Change designation made me feel proud. It’s not easy being vulnerable on TikTok but that’s what I try to do with my content: to show that you don’t have to be “perfect” to be powerful, or be skinny with a face of makeup to be beautiful. Being considered as a trailblazer and voice of change for our generation is something I definitely do not take lightly.
Tell us about your partnership with Maybelline! Why did you decide to partner with them?
I am so honored and excited to be Maybelline’s newest ambassador. It’s the first time in Maybelline history that they have enlisted a Gen Z, Latinx, digital-first talent for a long-term partnership. I’ve been using Maybelline products since I was a little girl in musical theater, so partnering with them was such an easy decision. I love that they are okay that I like being a little more “natural” looking and also appreciate that our very first campaign together was angled more at teaching young girls how to properly apply makeup vs. assuming that they already knew how (with celebrity makeup artist Ariel Tejada
on Maybelline’s YouTube channel). My values and Maybelline’s also really align: that you are beautiful the way you are.
What was it like learning to do your makeup with Ariel Tejada?
Amazing – he is literally so talented and kind! Ariel and I still stay in touch and text often. He is one of my very favorite people, and I know we will work together again soon.
What projects do you have coming up with Maybelline?
I make regular content with Maybelline products, which is super fun for me. I’m also really excited about hopefully attending New York Fashion Week this year. I love getting dressed up and going to events, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it happens! And I recently partnered with them on their global cause initiative around mental health, called Brave Together. I’m looking forward to supporting that initiative however I can.
How can we all learn to be more confident in ourselves?
I get this question a lot. There’s no magic pill for confidence, it’s just something you have to work on every day. I have to work on it every day! I think the most important thing centers around learning to love yourself, whether that’s your body or mind, or both! You only have one body (or mind) and learning to love it or at the very least accept it, even when it’s not perfect, is step one to being happy. Every person in the world has both flaws and strengths but it’s so much better to focus on what you like vs. what makes you feel insecure. If there are things about your body (or mind) that you want to work on, then do it in a fun way. But most importantly, I would focus on what you love about yourself and pour all of your energy into that. Self-love is an awesome step toward confidence.