Rosario Dawson: Why representation matters

Alicia Vrajlal
Entertainment Editor

Rosario Dawson is known just as much for her dedication to an array of philanthropic projects and advocacy work as she is for her stellar acting.

The 39-year-old movie star, who is promoting her involvement with The Wilderness Society’s #SaveUgly project, says inclusion is important and she’s grateful to have “the platform to share those stories that may not have the full reach but deserve to be heard”.

“I think we’re in a really interesting moment,” the Men In Black star tells Be. “Representation really matters.”

Actress Rosario Dawson opens up about why representation matters. Source: Getty

“So often even the success stories we talk about are not representative of too many of us. They just don’t really represent the breadth and diversity of the actual planet we exist in,” she continues.

“We need to know about their stories so that a young kid somewhere in the middle of nowhere that doesn’t even get access to the internet can imagine and really dream that, ‘Actually you know, what maybe one day I can actually be on that stage doing these things or travelling or making that kind of impact’.”

Rosario says the next step is to have “more specific and detailed” conversations to advocate greater inclusion.

“We [need to] get even more specific and get even more detailed about all of the different individuals and what that looks like, especially intersectionality,” she explains.

The 39-year-old movie star is involved with The Wilderness Society’s #SaveUgly project. Source: Supplied

“When you’re not only black, but a black woman, and you’re not only a black woman, you’re a black trans woman.”

“What I love specifically about this coming generation is that it gets the intersectionality of all these issues. You can’t really talk about one issue without talking about another,” says the actress.

And that brings us to speaking about another issue very close to her heart, one that underpins The Wilderness Society’s #SaveUgly project.

The mother-of-one stars in a short film about “the ‘ugly’ creatures in Australia’s ecosystems that help make life possible”.

The project’s short film sees Rosario dressed up as Australia’s Ethmia Clytodoxa Moth, interacting with a string of puppets voiced by the likes of Cate Blanchett, Joel Edgerton, Teresa Palmer and more. Source: Supplied

“The Save Ugly campaign for me really is that the ugly truth is if we keep ignoring all of our fellow creatures out there that are doing so much vital work to the health of our planet and ourselves, we’re killing ourselves and that’s not pretty,” she tells Be.

“That’s an ugly truth we really need to face.”

The short film sees Rosario dressed up as Australia’s Ethmia Clytodoxa Moth, interacting with a string of puppets voiced by the likes of Cate Blanchett, Joel Edgerton, Teresa Palmer and more.


“For someone in my position as a storyteller, I’m just really grateful I have the opportunity to really share about all of that,” she says.

“I am amazed by it and I’m moved by it. I don’t want to just keep that to myself.

“There’s been way too many gatekeepers over the years who’ve stopped too many of our voices from getting out, and any way, shape or form I can use my voice to amplify theirs is one I will always rise to the occasion for.”

Got a story tip? Send it to tips@yahoo7.com.au

Want more celebrity, entertainment and lifestyle news? Follow Be on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram.