Lalaine Vergara-Paras played Miranda Sanchez on the hit TV series Lizzie McGuire, which premiered in 2001

By Robyn Merrett
April 10, 2019 08:06 PM

Lizzie McGuire star Lalaine Vergara-Paras is opening up about her experience as a person of color in Hollywood.

“Most of my life growing up I was forced to look as ‘white’ as possible,” Vergara-Paras, 31, captioned a photo of herself on Instagram Wednesday, which shows herself wearing a feathered top and a floral headband while holding red and green balloons.

“These days I struggle to find photos where I look as ethnic as possible. Or like in this photo the most East asian I’ve ever looked.”

“In order to see, for most people, you have to zoom in on ma face. And in case you still don’t understand, I love my face in this photo,” Vergara-Paras, whose parents are both Filipino, added.

Vergara-Paras’ reveal prompted a number of her followers to applaud her honesty.

“We’ve adored you and your family always! So proud of you and embracing who you are without people telling you who to be,” one user wrote in the comment section.

“As a mixed person I think it’s important to embrace both sides. I too have been denied for roles countless times for either being ‘too ethnic’ as well as being ‘too white,'” another fan expressed.

Vergara-Paras is most known for her role as Miranda Sanchez on the hit Disney series starring Hilary Duff.

Vergara-Paras played Duff’s character Lizzie McGuire’s best friend. In many episodes, it was said that Sanchez and her family are from Mexico.

Lalaine Vergara-Paras
Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Warner Music Group

Lizzie McGuire premiered in 2001 and ended in 2004 after two seasons.

In December, Duff, 31, opened up about the possibility of a reboot telling Entertainment Tonight, “There’s been some conversations.”

Adam Lamberg, Hilary Duff, Lalaine Vergara-Paras
Courtesy Everett Collection

However, the Younger star was quick to clarify, “It’s definitely not a go.”

“I don’t want everyone wild talking about it,” Duff told Entertainment Tonight.

Duff went on to explain that she still has a lot of love for her character and recognizes the impact the show had on young girls.

“I think she was so important to girls at an important time in their life. If she could be important to them again at this age, I think that would be amazing,” Duff explained to the outlet.