Parents often teach their kids to fit in. But for award-winning Latina talk show host Adrienne Bailon-Houghton—who grew up with Spanish-speaking parents from Ecuador and Puerto Rico and attended ESL classes until she was in second grade—standing out was her only path to success.
“Any time that I tried to blend in, mix in, or whitewash myself so to speak, the opportunities never opened up for me,” she told NBC News. “But when I embraced my full Latinidad, used that part of me that stands out, things have always worked better.”
Bailon-Houghton got her start in the entertainment business after Latin pop icon Ricky Martin asked her and other church choir singers to sing back-up at a concert.
She later joined the popular Disney pop group “The Cheetah Girls,” as well as other music bands, before moving onto daytime T.V. Bailon-Houghton is the first Latina talk show cohost to win an Emmy for “The Real.”
“I think that there is something to be said about being true to who you are,” she said. “What is meant for you will be for you. And those doors will be opened because you are being authentic.”
Bailon-Houghton said she owes much of her success to people who are looking for that diversity and authenticity and is now using her experience to seize on new opportunities.
In 2018, the daytime television host teamed up with the lifestyle production company Kin to launch her first digital show—All Things Adrienne. The beauty and fashion show accrued over 100 million views and 1.5 million followers on YouTube, Facebook, and other platforms.
Last week, Bailon-Houghton teamed up again with Kin to launch a second digital show on Facebook. Wear It Well, which follows the daytime television host and her girlfriends as they try to find that “perfect fit” in clothes. And just like “The Real” and “All Things Adrienne,” the show is driven by diversity.
“We want women to get comfortable in their own skin. To know that there isn’t anything you can’t wear. It’s just finding the right fit and making you feel comfortable in it,” she said.