Selena Gomez’s kidney donor and best friend Francia Raisa ended 2017 in the spotlight, but she says the renewed attention hasn’t changed her one bit.
The actress, 29, told Teen Vogue in a new interview how she avoids feeling self-conscious in social media, even with 926,000 Instagram followers viewing her posts.
Last year, Francia, who stars as Ana Torres in the new Black-ish spin-off Grown-ish, donated a kidney to her best friend Selena.
Confident: Selena Gomez’s kidney donor and best friend Francia Raisa, 29, told Teen Vogue in a new interview how she avoids feeling self-conscious in social media
Support: Selena, 25, revealed in September last year that Francia had given her a kidney, which the singer needed as a result of her struggle with lupus
The singer revealed in September 2017 that Francia had given her ‘the ultimate gift and sacrifice’ by giving her the organ, which she needed as a result of her struggle with lupus.
While Francia was already known for her roles in TV shows like The Secret Life Of The American Teenager, she found herself in the spotlight once more after her generous act came to light.
Francia and Selena appeared in an interview together on the Today show in October, and in November, Selena dedicated her trophy to Francia during the Billboard Women Of The Year awards in Los Angeles.
Both women stood onstage during the event and posed for photos together.
Understandably, Francia’s social media presence has grown in the past few months, and the actress went through an adjustment period.
Duo: Selena and Francia attended the Billboard Women Of The Year awards in Los Angeles together in November last year and posed for photos during the event
The same: Francia (pictured with Selena in an archive Instagram picture) said her growing social media presence hasn’t changed how she presents herself online
‘I’m still not used to it,’ she told Teen Vogue. ‘At first—I’m not gonna lie, I was so nervous. I was like, “I don’t know if I should post this, what are people gonna think?” And I’ve never been that person that cares what people think.
‘I don’t want to be a hypocrite and say, “You shouldn’t care what people think” and then feel self-conscious, because people are gonna say something no matter what. So I’ve just been myself on Instagram, honestly; I’ve gotten a lot of attention lately and I haven’t changed a thing.’
Last month, Francia shared a candid snap of herself relaxing in track pants and a tank top while wearing eye patches and after applying cream into a couple of blemishes, writing in the caption: ‘Sooooo…. it turns out that adult acne is a real thing.’
The actress pointed out in her new interview that she loves to have fun, has an ‘awesome job’ that she loves, and as a result of her happiness isn’t afraid to be herself online.
She is also excited to be portraying female friendships on Grown-ish, and believes it is an important value to instill to viewers.
‘With social media and this heaviness with everything going on in our world, it’s just really important to me that friendship is [featured] on the show and people look at that,’ Francia added.
‘We genuinely support each other so much. On this show you see a true and genuine friendship. Not only are we supporting each other but we also call each other out on stuff, like, “Hey, I wouldn’t be your friend if I didn’t tell you that this wasn’t cool, I’m looking out for you.”
‘So I think at this point and especially in our generation right now, it’s crucial for girls to see that. So much stuff happens on Instagram and on Twitter — so many people fighting. This audience needs to see that friendship still exists and this is what a true friendship looks like.’
Keeping it real: The actress shared this photo of herself last month, writing in the caption: ‘Sooooo…. it turns out that adult acne is a real thing’
Team: Francia and Selena (pictured with Savannah Guthrie) appeared in an interview together on the Today show back in October last year
Playing a college-aged woman might put her in a position to inspire other students, which Francia views as an honor.
‘It’s so weird to me, that whole term “role model.” I just don’t want to let anyone down but at the same time I’m human and I love talking to people,’ she said.
‘I’ve gone through so much in my personal life and I’ve learned a lot in this industry so being able to play a character that girls can relate to and I can actually talk about is really cool. I’m just grateful and honored and I really appreciate that I’m being put into this position. It kind of humanizes you a bit.’
While she is entirely comfortable being herself these days, Francia did identify one thing she would change if she could turn back time: she would make herself go to college.
The actress was already booking jobs in her senior year of high school and has kept working consistently since, but believes she could have fit in a college education if she had wanted to.
‘I think if I went back and I’d be like, “Just go, and get it over with and do it, because education is really important,”‘ she said.
‘I know that it’s not for everyone but I’m a person that likes to have a teacher, I like taking notes, and I like reading, and it’s really hard trying to manage everything and trying to learn things online and then trying to work. So if I could find the space to actually be in a school and be like, “Well, gotta learn this, it’s important to me,” I think that’d be really cool.’