By Patti Swayne
RaVal is a native of Washington, DC and a former Director of Digital Marketing at Sony. She reignited her love of acting after being inspired by the diverse cast of women of Orange is the New Black. As a body confidence advocate, she is pushing all people to love themselves, for real.
What have you been up to?
I’ve been doing a lot of acting recently and it’s been amazing. I was on the NBC Scene Showcase, I just did a Dark & Lovely commercial, and before that I was on an episode of a new show on Oxygen called Killision.
What’s your dream role?
I would love to be on Queen Sugar or Atlanta right now, but I would give anything to work with Ava Duvernay and specifically on Queen Sugar. Long-term, I would love to play Queen Hatshepsut or some sort of African queen that hasn’t been done yet.
What message do you want to send to women and young girls of color who may be struggling to accept their bodies?
You are fashioned by God and he didn’t make any mistakes. Take care of what God gave you and love yourselves, that’s your job.
What is the first step to loving and accepting yourself?
Be real with yourself. Look at the things that you love and that you don’t love about yourself and pledge to work on those changes. Everyone’s waist training and face tuning—and you know that’s not what you look like! You have to be happy with what you look like, and love that.
What is your most humbling moment?
Because I’m an actor, my most humbling moment happens everyday. When I go into an audition room and I never hear back and have to understand I was not the one. But you get back up, go back out there, and try again. There’s going to be a lot of no’s but all you need is one yes.
What is your favorite quote?
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.