This Girl Was ‘The Ugly Dark One’ Protecting Sister with Special Needs Yet Topped Hot 100 List as Actress

Her sister was nine years older than her, but she was fiercely protective of her. Although she did not have many opportunities growing up because of her looks, she is now majorly successful.

One woman is now a successful actress, but when she was much younger, she would never have imagined she would make it in Hollywood because she looked so different from her sisters and mother. She was “ugly,” according to her.

For years, she worked hard to become an A-list celebrity, but she also carried significant lessons from her childhood and never forgot where she came from because of her family.

Throughout her life, she has cared for her sister with special needs and ensures that she endeavors to help others in need whenever possible. She might have topped a publication’s Hot 100 list at one point, but this actress has always remained proud of her roots.

Who is This Actress?

Growing up, she was considered “the ugly duckling” of the family because she was much darker than her sisters. She recalled how people would compliment her mother on how beautiful her sisters were and then ask who she was.

Who she is is Eva Longoria, who never depended on her looks growing up because she didn’t feel she had them. She recalled being clumsy and thin and said she always knew she would have to work hard to achieve great things.

While she worked hard to become the A-list actress she is today, she never forgot her roots because of her sister. She revealed that her sister with special needs taught her how to be selfless.

Eva said there were many things her family couldn’t do because her sister, Liza, would be unable to endure things like Disneyland rides or going to certain restaurants for dinner.

She may be nine years younger than Liza, but she has always protected her older sister. The actress joked that if people thought she was feisty now, they should have seen her when she was younger.

She recounted an incident where her sister had worn a letterman jacket to school, but when she returned home, it was gone. Someone at school had stolen the jacket off Liza’s body. Eva was furious and asked Liza what happened.

Not thinking that anybody would have stolen the jacket for a malicious reason, Liza told her she thought someone must have been cold. The actress said:

“She didn’t think it was a mean person. She thought, ‘Oh, somebody must have needed it more than me. She’s taught me a lot about compassion and putting yourself in other people’s shoes.”

Eva clarified that Liza believes there are no bad people in the world. Instead, some people make bad decisions. Being there for her sister throughout her life has taught her how to stay grounded, no matter how many Maxim Hot 100 lists she topped.

Eva Longoria’s Childhood and Career Choices

Eva grew up with sisters who were blonde with hazel eyes, while her mother had light skin. In contrast, she had dark hair and eyes, leading everyone to call her “la preita fea,” meaning “the ugly dark one.”

Eva clarified that even though her family referred to her this way, it was a term of endearment. However, it shaped how she sees herself and conducts herself in her life and career.

The actress said she became funny because she grew up not being the pretty sister. She believes being funny lends itself to her personality and career now, saying she doesn’t value beauty in herself.

While she knows that her conscious decision to become the funny sister has lent itself to her career as an actress, Eva had very different ambitions when she was growing up. She never wanted to be on TV screens.

Liza being born with an intellectual disability inspired Eva’s initial career choices before she became the household name she is today. She saw many volunteers working with her family and her sister, and they inspired her.

Liza and Eva Longoria at NBC Nightly News on Tuesday, May 18 2010 | Source: Getty Images

Liza and Eva Longoria at NBC Nightly News on Tuesday, May 18 2010 | Source: Getty Images

Eva said that she and her two other sisters grew up in Liza’s world, where volunteering was always present. And while her family gave to people they didn’t know and had never met, they also received from strangers. She shared:

“I always wondered, ‘Who are these people helping our family with this program or that class?’ And my mom would explain they were philanthropists. So, I knew that word very early on in my life, and that’s what I wanted to be. I said, ‘I want to be a philanthropist when I grow up.'”

Although Longoria’s career took a different turn from what she expected, she still followed her childhood dream to some degree. She has used her platform as an A-list actress to speak out on issues pertinent to society.

When Eva gained popularity via her first significant role in “Desperate Housewives,” she knew she had a platform and needed to use it for good. She decided to dedicate it to Latina women in society.

She chose this cause because she identified with the women she would work with. She knew that she could not focus on Latina women at large, so while pursuing a master’s degree in Chicano Studies, she narrowed down her vision to concentrate on the education of Latina women.

She knew she had a worthy cause, but her mentor asked her to narrow it down even further. Eva’s mentor asked her what level she thought the most significant intervention was in education. She then commissioned a study with UCLA, which showed a lack of Latina women in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) fields.

After that study, Eva focused her attention on those fields. She launched the Eva Longoria Foundation in 2012 to close this gap. The foundation provides Latinas with entrepreneurial training and education support. The foundation has raised over $3.7 million, but Eva has higher hopes. She shared:

“My hope is there’s no need for the foundation in 10 years.”

Apart from all her philanthropy and success, Eva recently wrote a letter to her younger self that spoke to how she felt about being the ugly duckling and what her life is like now that she is happy and prosperous.

In the letter, she told herself that she looked just like her son, Santiago, when she was a little girl. She also said that she knew her younger self didn’t like doing chores like feeding the cows on the ranch or washing the dishes, but the skills would help her become a successful adult.

She then told her younger self that she didn’t want to tell her too much because she didn’t want to change the little girl but assured her that her life would be fun and that she should fasten her seatbelt for the ride.

Eva added that every heartbreak, disappointment, and success would help shape the little girl. She advised her younger self to “Always value your self-worth,” to constantly check in with herself, and never forget that she added value to every situation and relationship she would ever have.