WWE’s fiery Bella twins, whose reality TV series Total Divas premieres its seventh season tonight on E!, are showing another side of themselves — their Mexican side.
Nikki, who was eliminated from Dancing with the Stars last night, has used the show’s massive platform to proudly represent her Mexican heritage.
“I got to do Mexican authentic folk dancing called folklórico,” she told People Chica. “I never knew about this dance and getting to learn how the women move their skirts, the traditions and what it means, I was like ‘OMG, I’m so proud to be a Mexican.'”
“As Latins,” she continued, “we truly celebrate life and family and colors and music and I just love that. It makes me appreciate so much from my Mexican roots. It’s just something so unique.”
The twins of Mexican descent on their father’s side spoke about the ongoing cultural conversation around celebs who are deemed “not Latina enough.” The duo say they’re proud to sit alongside Latinas — Lauren Jauregui, Jennifer Lopez, and Gina Rodriguez — who’ve had their Latin identities challenged.
“You can’t ever lie about your DNA,” Brie said. “You look at my daughter Birdie, she looks exactly like her Norwegian father, but I’m going to let her know that she does have Mexican blood in her and what that means. I think whether you’re American-Latina or a Latina living in the U.K, you’re a Latina. Wherever you are in the world, rejoice in your culture and who you are.”
“[Our family] wanted us to be Americans,” Nikki confessed, “but still raised us to be proud Latinas and we’ll never forget that. I’ll admit, I know a little Spanish, I could understand more and I wish I was fluent, but that doesn’t [mean] that I don’t embrace my Latin roots.”
The reality television stars, who are Italian on their mother’s side, are particularly proud of their fellow Latinas: “We appreciate Latin [culture] because they create such amazing women,” Nikki enthused.
Total Divas returns tonight, Wednesday, Nov. 1, at 9 p.m. ET on E!