Jackie Cruz is making a powerful statement about being true to yourself.
In the new music video for her song “Make Me Change,” the Orange Is the New Black star, 33, paints a portrait of what happens when you stop trying to conform to somebody else’s standards, and the joy that comes with being yourself.
The cinematic video shows the star taking part in a shoot wearing a fancy dress, before ripping off her glamorous wig and letting out her emotions.
Another scene shows Cruz taking a bath with her real-life pal Madeline Brewer, who comforts her and gives Cruz an affectionate kiss.
“Hollywood often categorizes people based on what they believe you need to be,” Cruz tells PEOPLE of the inspiration behind the song. “They try to pressure you into believing you belong to a certain category, but it’s all fake.”
“Something as simple as cutting off all my hair, and making those decisions for myself is what I find freeing,” she adds. “I can love who I want to love and I can look the way I want to look. The way I feel is important. I feel good, sexy, and confident.”
Cruz shares that she wants to use her music to send the “profound message that I am enough, and I strongly believe I am more than enough.”
As for her friend’s involvement, Cruz says that “making this video with her was so natural, so organic, and so true.”
“Madeline was my first friend on Orange Is the New Black and we’ve been close ever since. She’s always been very supportive of my music and shows up for me,” she says of the Handmaid’s Tale actress. “Our scene together was meant to send a message of pure love, friendship and the powers of being yourself and it feels good to come home to the people who see the real you. No judgment.”
“Being naked with Maddy was empowering and I’ve never felt so real. We were together in our most purest form, stripped all of the negativity of the world away,” she adds.
Cruz adds that many people came together to make her song — and video — come to life.
“I’m so honored to have one of my best friends in my video ‘Make Me Change,’ co-written by another badass Wrenn, and produced by the talented producer Andre Harris, who has produced for artists like Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Usher to say a few — and now, ME,” the actress tells PEOPLE.
“I’m not going to walk into a room and let people change me into who they think I am or should be,” she says. “Now I open my own doors and make my own opportunities.”
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