Los Angeles Times
How Lele Pons Embraces Her Venezuelan Roots
After growing her fame on the video sharing app Vine, Lele Pons now hosts “La Voz México,” has her own docuseries called “The Secret Life of Lele Pons,” and successfully launched her music career. We asked her about her ascent in the world of entertainment and what it means to be a role model for Latinx people.
You truly are a Latina star who has taken over the digital world. Did you always want to pursue a career in entertainment?
Yes, I always wanted to be in the entertainment business. Whether it was acting, singing, or directing movies. I’m a fan of the business. I would love to add more traditional acting or directing in movies in my career. I love fılmmaking.
As a Venezuelan-American who moved to Miami at a young age, do you fınd yourself connecting with your Venezuelan identity often? Are there cultural elements and traditions from your heritage that play a role in your life?
I connect with my Venezuelan heritage thanks to my parents. My family is very proud, as am I, of our country. They tell me stories, educate me, and we continue to practice Venezuelan traditions. For example, the food (hallacas: a traditional Christmas food that goes back to the colonies), music, and the TV series called telenovelas that I’m obsessed with since I watched them with my grandma ever since I was young. Also through music like salsa, and from artists like Carlos Vives and Shakira.
As a powerful fıgure for so many, what does it personally mean to you to be a strong Latina?
Being a strong Latina to me means to represent and be a good example for future generations. It means to not give up on the bad days and be optimistic that there will be better ones.
What does Hispanic heritage mean to you?
To me, Hispanic heritage means celebrating all Hispanics outside of their countries. Hispanic heritage is about family, faith, pride, and love.
You’ve been very open about living with dyslexia, attention defıcit disorder, Tourette’s syndrome,
and mental health struggles. Why is it important to address these issues in the Hispanic community?
Sharing your stories with those who are too afraid to have open conversations about mental health is crucial. Teaching them about my experience and how I deal with my mental health, and speaking out about it publicly is a way that I can help. That way people don’t feel alone and you can encourage them to receive help. It’s not something to be ashamed about.