Actress Bella Thorne says she wishes she looked “more Latin” to feel closer to her Cuban heritage.
The 22-year-old former Disney star shared the post on Instagram Friday in a video post featuring her dancing around while wearing a white bra top and pants.
“Being Cuban/Latin in most people’s eyes means having dark eyes, dark hair, and dark skin,” wrote Thorne. “I’m naturally blonde I have hazel brown eyes and I try not to go in the sun because skin cancer runs in my family I put an effect on this video, and looking at it I like me looking tan with darker hair. Honestly I wish I looked more Latin so I could feel more Latin so I could feel closer to my father and be prouder of my heritage...to wear my heritage on my skin. it’s just hard sometimes when no one thinks u are who u are...and everyone wants u to be something else :/ I LOVE MY CUBAN HERITAGE.”
Some of Thorne’s fans were surprised by her post. “You’re Cuban?” wrote someone. “Ima need to see that 23ANDME,” wrote one, referring to the genetic testing company. “I thought you were Italian lol.”
According to Thorne, people have cast doubt on her Latina background. She told Glamour in 2015, “To me, being Latin is about more than your looks—it's how you're brought up. I was raised in a very Latin family. My first language was Spanish, but I had to drop it when I started school because of my dyslexia. I still understand it, though, especially since my mom uses Spanish to tell me to take out the trash or do the dishes!”
Thorne, who is reportedly starring in the upcoming thriller The Uncanny, also shared with the magazine that her background is ingrained in her personality. “I'm spicy! That means I'm very quick and I tell it like it is. Latins will call you out if something is not right, and I think that's important.”
And in 2016, as reported by Seventeen, when Throne shared an Instagram image of Elena of Avalor, Disney’s first Latina princess, with the hashtags #iamlatina, #proud and #cuban,” some commenters said she didn’t look the part. “Ur white not Cuban,” someone wrote.
Years ago, when Thorne was featured on the cover of Latina magazine, she told ExtraTV, “....People think that I’m not Latin because I have red hair and sometimes, mostly, my skin look pale but really, I have really streaky blonde hair and I’m really, really tan.”
She continued, “I just don’t go in the sun because it’s not good for you....but people say that I’m not Latin just because of that, and I think that’s messed up. It’s not about your looks — I mean, look at Cameron Diaz, and there are so many other wonderful actresses that are Latina. And so, yeah, it’s not about having dark hair and dark eyes, it’s about what’s inside...”
Related Video: Bella Thorne Goes Topless in New Instagram Post
Read more from Yahoo Entertainment:
Want daily pop culture news delivered to your inbox? Sign up here for Yahoo Entertainment & Lifestyle's newsletter.