photo: Splash

Since Dascha Polanco came into our lives three years ago as Dayanara Diaz on "Orange Is the New Black," she's captivated our attention. Our eyes and ears are glued to her with her slay-worthy appearances on the red carpet and truth bombs she drops in just about every interview. Her response to designers who don't want to dress her curvy figure was basically a "boy bye" that we all got behind. 

Polanco continues to serve up the realness we so rarely get from Hollywood starlets, and that's just one of the many reasons we can't get enough of this Dominicana. These 16 quotes are guaranteed to give you life and have you screaming, "yes, honey!"

1

On being ambitious.

photo: iStock, Jessica Molina, Vivala.com

– via Hot 97

2

On learning that her body type can't hold her back from pursuing her dreams.

“I always doubted auditioning because of my weight. I’ve always acted and pursued theater – it was something I had always wanted to do when I was young. But I felt I would be rejected because of my physical appearance. ["Orange Is the New Black"] has given me the opportunity to show that I have curves and I have talent too. It’s been a battle, you know, because I’ve never been skinny. But I’ve embraced it. Now I have the opportunity to show everyone that this is sexy. I can dress in the same attire as someone else and carry myself in a sexy manner, a beautiful manner and a prideful manner. What matters is how I play the role – not my size.” – via NBC Latino

3

On learning to appreciate what makes her different.

“I began to realize that I was only putting a burden on myself, allowing what’s out of my control to affect what I wanted to pursue. So I began to look at the differences that I had as my uniqueness — that thing I could bring to a role.” – via VIBE

4

On representing for curvy women.

“I’m trying to do the same way you have a size zero individual on Vogue looking fantastic. You can have somebody that’s a regular size—cause I’m not a plus size, so I don’t fit into the plus size, I don’t fit into the petite, I’m right in the middle. I range from eight to 12; this has been my life struggle. I’m either the eight, when I’m the biggest, I’m a 12. We too can be there, we too are talented, we too can be sexy or whatever, we too can be athletic. We too can be a CEO, we can be as equal as anyone has been for years. That’s whole method of working, of thinking.” – via Urban Ink

5

On her diverse ambitions.

photo: iStock, Jessica Molina, Vivala.com

– via VIBE

6

On Latinos opening up their eyes to the different opportunities in Hollywood.

“I don’t think there is an emphasis in the Latino community about the opportunities that exist in Hollywood. You don’t have to be an actress. You can be a writer, a director, or you can produce. There are so many different fields to go into. A lot of people are focused on the superficial part of [Hollywood] and what they see on the surface, as opposed to studying the other parts that make up the business.” – via VIBE

7

On her faith.

"My parents taught me that God is going to send you obstacles and you have to overcome them. It put me at ease.”  – via Latina 

8

On becoming the role model she always needed.

"I realize the audience that I have now, how much they need to view people like me in front of a camera and in a photo shoot, on the front of a magazine, and I realize that that’s what I needed." – via Urban Ink

9

On setting out to break the mold.

photo: iStock, Jessica Molina, Vivala.com
10

On her dream role.

“There’s never a movie where the superhero falls in love with a curvy Latina! Or a Latina heroine, you know what I mean? I’d love to play her.” – via VIBE

11

On the need for mental health awareness.

“Mental health is a big issue, and I think it’s ignored a lot in the Latino community. It’s very interesting, the times I’ve felt that I can’t breathe emotionally, and I react to things in a very impulsive manner— whether it’s anger or crying. And being able to speak to somebody about that was kind of a revelation that it was okay for me to feel depressed.” – via Latina

12

On embracing her Afro-Latina identity.

photo: iStock, Jessica Molina, Vivala.com
13

On that special physical connection.

"You can have sex with anyone, but intimacy is something magical." – via Cosmopolitan

14

On being a "cool" mom.

“I’m a really cool mom, and I’m a strict mom. But I’m also a me mom, you know what I mean? I have my life as well. I have a journey to complete, too. And I’m going to raise my children right, set them on the path I think is best,” she asserts. “Soon they’ll follow their own path, and I’ll support 100 percent, teach them what I have to teach. But again, I also have a purpose, and I have the responsibility of carrying out that purpose. Some people might think that’s selfish, but nah. I’m good.” – via VIBE

15

On staying true to her roots despite fame.

“I see myself as Brooklyn. I don’t have to mold myself to Hollywood. Hollywood’s going to have to mold itself to me.” – via Latina 

16

On loving her curves.

photo: iStock, Jessica Molina, Vivala.com

– via Cosmopolitan