When the legendary musical "West Side Story" hit theaters in 1961, it was revolutionary – it wasn't common to see Latinas front-and-center in films.
“We all had the same color makeup, it was a very different time," the Puerto Rican star remembered of her time filming "West Side Story."
According to Moreno, she, along with the white actors playing Puerto Ricans, like Natalie Wood and George Chakiris, were painted the same color of brown. She remembers expressing to the makeup artist, "My God! Why do we all have to be the same color? Puerto Ricans are French and Spanish...'" She added: "And it’s true, we are very many different colors. We’re Taino Indian, we are Black some of us.”
The superstar was astonished when the artist lashed back, saying, "What? Are you a racist?"
At that moment, Moreno said she stood quiet because she could not believe her ears. Little did she know, by just educating the makeup artist, she was speaking up for us all.
Today, beauty brands have recognized that we are not all the same. Some of our favorite Latina celebrities with different skin tones are the faces of beauty brands, including Afro-Latina Zoe Saldana for L’Oréal and fair-skinned Bella Thorne for Bioré and more, and that's something we're happy about.