‘So Much More’ Than ‘Checking a Box’

Becky G attends Variety’s 2022 Power Of Young Hollywood Celebration Presented By Facebook Gaming

Jon Kopaloff/WireImage Becky G

Now more than ever, Becky G is embracing the bicultural experience and encouraging the Latinx community to do the same.

Horse Variety‘s Power of Young Hollywood event on Thursday, the “Mayores” singer — who grew up in Inglewood, California — opened up to PEOPLE about the pride she feels in being one of the few Latinas making her way in the music industry. And despite being aware of what makes her “different,” the singer says it’s about what she brings to the table.

“[Being Latina] is part of who I am,” Becky, 25, who served as one of four cover stars on the Power of Young Hollywood issue tells PEOPLE. “It’s not something that I’m always like, ‘Oh, that’s what makes me different, that I’m Latina. I want to be a great artist, because I’m a great artist. And I want to be a great actress, because I’m a great actress.”

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She continues, “Me being Latina — that is a part of me. It’s not just to check a box. It’s so much more than that. It’s the culture that I’ve been so blessed to experience since I was a young girl. It was a bicultural experience — it’s a blessing and a curse. And I think now more than ever, it’s more of a blessing.”

Growing up, the singer thought that she “had to choose” and says it was something difficult to cope with. But even now as she remains certain of her feelings, she admits that society still has a long way to go.

Becky G attends Variety's 2022 Power of Young Hollywood celebration presented by Facebook Gaming

Becky G attends Variety’s 2022 Power of Young Hollywood celebration presented by Facebook Gaming

Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic Becky G

“Systemically there’s so many things that we encountered, without even knowing it, that still makes me feel like I can’t be myself,” she says. Therefore, Becky says being on the cover of Variety was an “amazing” opportunity.

“It wasn’t a Latin issue. It was Becky G … who happens to be Latina,” she says. “I felt really proud of that.”

The star has opened up about representation in the entertainment industry in the past. In December, during an episode of her Facebook Watch series Face to Faceshe said Dora the Explorer was the only form of representation she saw growing up.

“The only thing that I had growing up was Dora,” Becky said at the time. “And she was an icon for me, but I didn’t get a princess. I didn’t get a superhero. I didn’t get anything.”

She also opened up about bringing Latinx and LGBTQ representation to the Power Rangers franchise when she played Trini Kwan (aka the Yellow Ranger) in the 2017 theatrically released installment.

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“I was a huge Power Rangers fan growing up… But I remember when there was a shift for there to be a Latina power ranger,” she said. “And it was terrifying, because there were layers there to Trini, my character, that were clear that she was figuring out who she was. And some of those layers were of LGBTQ+ representation.”

“And everyone was trying to throw these labels at Trini. And I’m, like, ‘Guys, she’s 16 years old in high school. She’s still figuring it out. She doesn’t know if she has a crush on Kimberly or if she wants to be with Zach.”

“And I think that’s me trying to protect the authentic representation of what it is to be… to be her,” Becky concluded.

During Variety‘s Power of Young Hollywood event — hosted by content creator Chris Olsen — Becky, along with Brooklyn Peltz Beckham, Halle Bailey and Angus Cloud were honored for their impact in their careers. The party included a cocktail hour, an award ceremony and a special gaming tournament with teams comprised of honorees on the 2022 list of Young Hollywood Impact with Facebook gamers. Meanwhile, each team was competing for a charity of their choice.

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