Luisa Diaz is an actress who has been featured in films such as The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook. She is also a former Ms. Venzuela International and is known as as “Luisa su voz Latina” in North Carolina, where Luisa was the host and producer of the first and longest-running Spanish language TV program produced in a major network; interviewing a multitude of celebrities in the Latin-American community. Diaz talked to Social Life Magazine about her start in the entertainment industry as well as her new book, Sexy is Timeless.
1) Luisa, you are an amazing woman that wears many (beautiful) hats. You are former Ms. Venezuela International, and actress, producer, author, and the list goes on. Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started.
I grew up with my beloved grandmother in Venezuela. My grandmother has fifteen children, plus she raised me. I started pageants when I was just a little girl. I won my first beauty pageant when I was eight years old and went on to win several other pageants before having the honor of being an ambassador of my country as Ms. Venezuela International. I was always involved in extracurricular activities such as theater, public speaking, and appearing in school shows. I moved to the United States to explore life and new opportunities. I attended the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where I graduated with a B.S. degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing. I began college without knowledge of the English language; I learned English as I studied. It was the hardest challenge I have overcome in my life. Upon graduation, I moved to North Carolina where I created, hosted, and produced the “Luisa Su Voz Latina” TV show– the first and longest running Spanish language program on a broadcast network affiliate in the state. During this time, I conducted interviews of celebrities in the Latin community including Jorge Ramos, Cristina Saralegui, among others. I also became the director of the Miss North Carolina Latina beauty pageant. This organization was dedicated to assisting young Latin women grow and develop the confidence they need to achieve their personal dreams. I later moved to Hollywood to explore the world of entertainment. In Hollywood I became an actress and was featured in Oscar-winning movies including The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook. I then began producing and hosting my third talk show called, “Luisa,” which incorporated a live band and studio audience. Currently, I am living in New York City with my husband and I am the reigning Mrs New York International.
2) Growing up as a young girl, did you see your life going in the direction it has? Were you always involved in pageants and were acting and writing always a passion?
Yes, what I am doing right now is what I always envisioned myself doing. As I mentioned before, I began pageants when I was a little girl, and I have always been passionate about acting, hosting, writing, and women’s issues. I have and continue to pursue the life I choose for myself.
3) You are the author of the book that is a MUST READ, Sexy Is Timeless: Ten Timeless Sexy Assets That Lie within You; what inspired you write this?
In my book Sexy Is Timeless I redefine what is sexy in this new era of women’s empowerment and it has nothing to do with physicality. Don’t get me wrong- I love to look fabulous, but it goes beyond all of that. My inspiration came from the work I do through my organization Mi Amor Gala. Mi Amor Gala is a celebration of kindness. I celebrate individuals and organizations that are doing great things in the community because I believe kindness is cool. Mi Amor Gala’s philosophy is, “Angels who empower other angels with broken wings through the gift of love.” Five years ago I began partnering with an organization called Safe Passage. We work with domestic violence survivors. I have met beautiful, talented, amazing women of all ages, nationalities, and economic backgrounds both professional and nonprofessional who have been abused both mentally and physically. Their own life experience has crippled their self-esteem. They couldn’t recognize the strength and power they possess within themselves. Their lack of confidence had made them believe that they were not beautiful and were far from sexy. At Mi Amor Gala, I host an empowerment fashion show called the Runway of Hope, where the models are the domestic violence survivors. I coach them, building their self-esteem from the inside out. It was this experience that inspired me to write Sexy Is Timeless.
4) So I have to ask, What is Sexy To Luisa Diaz?
The word sexy has been misused, misunderstood, and stereotyped. Sexy is a quality that is appealing or interesting. In my book I discuss the ten timeless sexy assets that lie within you such as confidence, knowledge, individuality, kindness, and others. In this new era of women’s empowerment, the sexy woman is educated (knowledge) and unapologetically confident in what she wants. Yet, she remains feminine because she knows femininity is not a weakness but a strength. She practices kindness through giving back to her community. Interestingly, none of these aspects refer to body type or images of traditional beauty. A modern sexy woman can run a multi-million-dollar business, be president of a country, and look fabulous in high heels and lipstick.
5) We hear that you are coming out with a 2nd book. CONGRATULATIONS! Is there anything you can share with the readers?
My second book is about how to apply the ten timeless sexy assets that lie within you to your relationship without losing who you are. Anyone who is in a relationship or is seeking one should read this book. I emphasize taking time to know yourself, setting standards and enforcing boundaries. I discuss the importance of consistently working on one’s relationship, saying, “There is no happily ever after without happily ever working.” This is a fun and to-the-point book!
6) Not only are you very successful and talented, but you are philanthropic. Last year you held the 5th annual Mi Amor Gala in support of domestic violence survivors. What inspired you to do this?
I grew up with my grandparents who I adore. Unfortunately, I witnessed my grandfather physically abuse my beloved grandmother many times. Sometimes the abuse was so bad that we had to sleep on the street to escape it. I was as young as five years old, but it stayed with me forever. When it was my time to give back to the community I chose to create this organization in honor of my grandmother to offer opportunities to women that my grandmother never had.
7) Besides book number 2, what can your fans expect next from you?
I have different projects in the works. I am working on expanding my brand, Sexy Is Timeless, of which a percentage of proceeds will go towards women’s causes. I am also working on developing a few TV and film projects, including rebooting my TV show. I have already began organizing the 6th annual Mi Amor Gala in New York City, which will be an amazing event for a good cause. I hope readers mark their calendar for this event which will take place in November! They can follow me on social media to get up-to-date details about Mi Amor Gala. Because pain has no gender, this year we will be expanding the Runway of Hope to include all gender self identification. I believe everyone deserves opportunities and second chances, and I believe that kindness is cool. I’m looking forward to receiving the blessings the universe has in store for me this year.
8) You are such a strong and successful woman, with endless confidence. Were you always confident or did it develop over the years? What would you say to young girls who maybe haven’t found their power yet?
I have always been a risk-taker. I believe you gain confidence and find power through preparing, doing, overcoming, and accomplishing. You become better and more confident every time you accomplish something you didn’t know you could do. This does not mean we don’t have fear, we all have fear at times. Power is found in embracing your fear and going through anyway. That is the key.
9) What is one piece of advice you would give your younger self.
I would encourage her to get to know herself, her strengths, and her weaknesses. I would tell her to always be aware of her own voice. Never let pride and ego speak louder than her true self. Be careful to not let opportunities vanish because of pride and ego. Learn the art of negotiation early, because life is a negotiation. I would tell her to live, explore the world, laugh, and be happy. Most of all, I’d tell her to be kind to herself and others. Understand that failure does not exist. It is simply a learning experience.
10) Where can the readers find you on social media?
Readers can keep up with me on my website www.luisadiaz.com, follow me on Instagram @luisadiaztv, and like my Facebook Page (Luisa Diaz Fan Page). They can keep up with Mi Amor Gala on Instagram @miamorgalala. Timeless is Sexy is available for purchase here on Amazon.