Movie and TV star Romina D’Ugo shares what life is like for a woman in Hollywood. She also shares a deeply personal story of how a nude scene was sprung on her without her consent.

Society often paints people who identify as feminists as frigid or man hating. But, is that truly what the term means or has it been hijacked? Join us as Romina shares why feminism became important to her.

Romina D’Ugo

CSA Best Actress nominee Romina D’Ugo is a first-generation Canadian and proud daughter to Italian immigrant parents. Originally from Toronto, Romina grew up dancing and trained since the age of 9 at one of the most competitive dance schools in the country. Performing has been a natural extension of Romina’s being since a young age but her career began when she landed a supporting role in the Universal Pictures film “How She Move.” Romina became a household name when she earned a spot as one of the Top 20 dancers on season 1 of the hugely popular series “So You Think You Can Dance.” She went on to star opposite Justin Chatwin in the feature film, “Funkytown.” In 2010, Romina also starred in MTV’s original movie “Turn The Beat Around,” for which she was nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role at the Canadian Screen Awards.

Romina has appeared in a plethora of TV series including “Godfather of Harlem” (EPIX), “Coyote” (Paramount), “Designated Survivor” (NBC/Netflix), “12 Monkeys” (SYFY/NBC), “Rookie Blue” (ABC/Global), “Nikita” (CW), and “Nurses” (NBC/Global). Romina also choreographed for Margot Robbie and Cara Delevingne in the DC Comics film “Suicide Squad.” Most recently, she starred in the coming-of-age dramatic comedy “I Like Movies,” making its world premiere at the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival. The film is currently making the festival rounds and will be released in select theatres in Canada in March.

Passionate about artistry in all its forms, Romina is also the designer and creator of the eco-conscious jewelry line, WILYMI Jewelry Co. WILYMI stands for “Wear It Like You Mean It” and was created as a way of imbuing her life lessons into wearable art. Each piece holds a unique and purposeful intention and is an expression of this intimate process. Romina spends hours dreaming up designs, and relishes in the journey of sourcing materials to bring her visions to reality, meticulously handpicking stones and crafting each luxe, limited edition piece. A champion of women’s empowerment movements, a portion of the proceeds go to the GIRLS INC charity, which equips girls to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers, and advocates for legislation and policies to increase opportunities and rights for all girls.

Gabe Howard

Our host, Gabe Howard is an award-winning writer and speaker who lives with bipolar disorder. He is the author of the popular book, “Mental Illness is an Asshole and other Observations,” available from Amazon; signed copies are also available directly from the author.

Gabe makes his home in the suburbs of Columbus, Ohio. He lives with his supportive wife, Kendall, and a Miniature Schnauzer dog that he never wanted, but now can’t imagine life without.

To book Gabe for your next event or learn more about him, please visit

Producer’s Note: Please be mindful that this transcript has been computer generated and therefore may contain inaccuracies and grammar errors. Thank you.

Announcer: You’re listening to Inside Mental Health: A Psych Central Podcast where experts share experiences and the latest thinking on mental health and psychology. Here’s your host, Gabe Howard.

Gabe Howard: Welcome to the show, everyone. I’m your host, Gabe Howard, and calling in today we have Romina D’Ugo. Romina became a household name when she earned a spot as one of the top 20 dancers on season one of the hugely popular series, So You Think You Can Dance? Romina has appeared in a plethora of TV series, including Designated Survivor, 12 Monkeys, Rookie Blue and Nikita. Most recently, she starred in the coming-of-age dramatic comedy I Like Movies, which made its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. Romina, welcome to the podcast.

Romina D’Ugo: Hi, Gabe. I’m so happy to be here with you. I just think you’re an OG for being so vulnerable and transparent on the show, and I just think it’s a real act of leadership, what you have going on here. So happy to be here.

Gabe Howard: Oh, thank you. Thank you so much for that. I have an eight-year-old niece who told me that OG is a nice way to call people old. Is that true?

Romina D’Ugo: [Laughter]

Gabe Howard: Let’s just start right at the beginning.

Romina D’Ugo: [Laughter]

Gabe Howard: Is that the is that the new acceptable term for you’re old, but I respect you.

Romina D’Ugo: I like that. It’s your eight-year-old niece. Yeah.

Gabe Howard: [Laughter]

Romina D’Ugo: I like how she’s like, keeping you current. That’s right.

Gabe Howard: She really, really is keeping me current. And I’m glad I had an opportunity to segue with her because I’m a 46-year-old man and I

Romina D’Ugo: Mm-hmm.

Gabe Howard: Have young women in my life. I mean, she’s eight. But because of social media and TikTok, she’s asking a lot of questions. And I, I have no idea if these questions were around 30 years ago, but I am

Romina D’Ugo: Oh, god.

Gabe Howard: Fairly certain that they probably should have been. And this is the genesis for our show today, because when your press kit came across my desk, I immediately noticed that it said, Feminism isn’t an ugly word. It is a beautiful, empowering, world stabilizer. And at first, I thought that was odd. I was like, why is that in there? You’re, you know, an actress, a celebrity is. Do we need to address feminism? And then the women around me were like, well, why wouldn’t we? It’s all-encompassing.

Romina D’Ugo: Yeah.

Gabe Howard: And I wanted to point the question to you. Why did you feel the need to address this? And what did you mean by the statement?

Romina D’Ugo: The umbrella of feminism, it has affected every single facet of my life, including my mental health. And I wasn’t born thinking this way. I was socialized just the same way everyone else was, absorbing messaging about the way that I should be, especially as a woman specifically. And as a woman, I was socialized to walk a sort of tightrope of like, you know, um, be strong, but not a B I T C H. Be sexy, but don’t be an S L U T T Y. And spelling it out because it’s such a dumb word. That is a very sexist word, and hopefully it’s really being used less and less. Be smart, but don’t be a know it all. Be one of the guys, but also be the girl next door. And it’s just we absorb these like Hollywood characters we’re supposed to play and.

Romina D’Ugo: At a certain point in my life, I had to clean up my mental health. I had other, what I would describe as unhealthy ways of coping. And when I delved into that and started to clear up the clutter, my true personal truth started to surface. My authentic self started to surface, and I started to sort of smash up against these absorbed personas that that I had spent years of my life embodying. And I suddenly started to realize, this is incongruent. There’s like a dissonance inside of me of how I think I’m supposed to react versus how I really want to react, how I’m self-censoring versus how I really want to speak up and risk alienation if that’s what it comes to. It really took a hold of my life and transformed my life, these changes. And eventually I learned, oh, this is feminism, this is feminism. But the word itself is so gnarly. It’s like nails coming down a chalkboard, I think, for many people. But it transformed my life so deeply that I just started talking about it with anyone who would listen. You found it in my press kit. Because I just think if we’re going to talk about like a movie I shot or like a TV show that I shot or a dance show, I mean, this topic would be of utmost value and importance superseding any job I’ve ever had. So, if I get a platform, woo hoo! I’ll take it. And here we are.

Gabe Howard: I feel like the pressures of that would just be so amplified in Hollywood. I do understand that sexism does exist everywhere, but it seems like it exists more in Hollywood, especially for women. Does your job have a negative impact on your mental health?

Romina D’Ugo: Right. Well, first, anything that would affect my mental health under the umbrella of what we’re talking about in the industry, in my career affects me just as easily as a pedestrian in everyday life and would affect me the same way if I had any other job. But typically, it’s a bit more fun to share stories about, like Hollywood and acting. It’s a bit juicier, so. I had my first agent and I was 19 years old and he was arguably the top young people agent in the country. And. Oh, he would give me advice like. Don’t laugh with your mouth so big, you might furrow your brow. What on earth does that mean? Good question. Well, he labels me as his sexy gold mine. And this is what he would pitch me, how he would pitch me to casting directors. He’d call and say, I’ve got a sexy gold mine. She’s new on my roster. You’re going to love her. And he was a terrific agent. He could get you in the room. People respected him. I was a young woman and really looked up to him and I wanted to be a good student and I wanted to absorb what I thought was valuable information. Now when I look back at that young person, I just I totally understand why she didn’t question this figure of authority.

Romina D’Ugo: He would tell me about other actresses on his roster who had put on weight and how disappointed he was in them. And these are not subliminal messages. These are overt messages, but they’re just small examples on how I started my career. Now. I started to work as an actor and build my resume, and suddenly I was booked for this feature film by a hugely reputable, successful Hollywood studio producers that were not first-time producers. They had, if I mentioned the film, a very large movie already that had been released, done hugely well in box office, all of that stuff. So, we’re not talking like little indie film, first time producers and I get hired for a lead role in this movie. I was not in my empowerment days. I was just trying to follow the rules. Right. And the rule said, you book what you can get. You try to do what people are telling you to do. One of the worst pieces of acting advice I had ever received was you have to be likable.

Romina D’Ugo: Because that was castable. That’s what people wanted to watch. Now that I am in a different phase of my life, I know that those imperfect, nuanced, messy characters are the all-time best, the most relatable. But back in that that time period, I had booked this role and they said, okay, we got to hold you for eight months. And what that means is that you are not allowed to work on anything else for the period of time that a company is holding you. That’s what that means. So, eight months of hold while we waited to shoot this feature film. A few weeks before we are set to start shooting, I meet with wardrobe and wardrobe were so excited and I’ve got all these pictures and ideas for my character. And then she says, the designer says to me, okay, so when you come out of the shower scene, what do you want to wear? Do you prefer a robe or do you prefer a wraparound towel? And I said, the shower scene? She said, Yeah, the shower scene where you’re naked. And I said, The shower scene where I’m naked? What? What scene are we discussing here? I am not aware of this scene.

Romina D’Ugo: And she said, do you not have the script? And I said, well, I keep asking for it, but they haven’t sent it to me that yet. They’re saying there’s a rewrite. And she said, oh, well, you’re going to be naked a couple times full, full frontal and full back nudity. And this is not. This can’t be. I’ve already met the director, the producers. They’re so lovely. We had a big cast dinner. This is not possible. Let me get on the phone with somebody because there’s a mistake somewhere in communication here. What happens is they send me the script finally. And now we’re about a week to shooting and lo and behold, I’m supposed to be naked twice. This is not in my contract. This was not in the character breakdown whereby an agent gets a character breakdown from casting and they say, okay, nudity required a simulated sex required. No, this actor I know she’s not into that. We will not submit her. There was nothing transparent about this. So, we spoke to the director and said, look, I’m just I said, I’m not comfortable with this. But also, I was not aware. I’m not I’m not I’m not going to do that. And he said, well, this is a deal breaker. This is what is required of this role. Sorry that you didn’t know before, but this is what’s required.

Romina D’Ugo: And again, we’re not talking a little indie film. We’re talking Hollywood studio. And this would not fly today. But this wasn’t that long ago. And I said, What the hell do I? I said, I’m not doing it, I’m not going to be pressured into being naked on screen. I mean, I don’t care how much I’m getting paid or what this would do for my career or how big of a deal you are, I’m not doing it. So, we went to our union and we said, look, we need help. We need guidance. And our union said, look. They’re going to have some hefty duty lawyers if you want to pursue this and pursue your payment, but not shoot this. We’re just letting you know you can try, but you’re going to get dragged through the mud, were their words. You’re going to get dragged through the mud. And so, we’re just like, what the hell? All right. You know what? You don’t want to burn a bridge. You don’t want to risk losing more money than you would gain because they’ve got these big-time lawyers. The whole thing was so unsupportive. And I’m a young person and I’m absorbing so much messaging, Gabe. I’m absorbing that there is an understanding of power and I needed to be careful and tiptoe mindfully because things are expected and my safety, my self-respect, do not count because others hold power. And I will be at the mercy of that.

Gabe Howard: So, what happened with the movie? Were you able to get out of the contract and get paid? Did they change the script for you? It just seems so reasonable to me that they would work with you and change the script since they did not tell you up front.

Romina D’Ugo: Right. That would seem reasonable. And I think today it hopefully would be because we are post MeToo movement, Time’s Up movement. But this was pre and what ended up happening was my agents and I, we decided to drop to just drop it. at the time we decided to cut our losses. I removed myself from the film and I went and that means that I was again on hold for those eight months. Not allowed to book a single other job, did not get paid a single cent on any of it. Then they recast me in the film and the casting directors who had hired me for that project never hired me ever again. Those producer directors did not ever have me in again for any project. They went about the gig unscathed, dusting off their hands and. And that was it for them, not for me. The repercussions were different, you know, at the time I sort of said, like, that sucks. It is what it is. Back to the drawing board, grind it out, try and get some other jobs. And you just move on, you move forward and I didn’t at the time realize how significant that experience would be for me. I started to really question my experiences around this topic of sort of sexism and feminism,

Romina D’Ugo: That’s just one example. But we absorb these experiences and say, okay, I’m going to sort of tiptoe around these minefields and wherever possible, you laugh things off or you just cut your losses and you move on. And it does shape your mental health because it sort of questions your self value, your personal sense of power. Um, sense of protection and trust in authority. We went to our union. We said, this is what’s happened. This is completely against like, what is what is allowed under union rules, that sort of thing. Nudity needs to be disclosed straight up at in a character breakdown. And we were told, you know, you can do it, but we don’t really support you and would advise you not to. So, you absorb these messages and start maybe to speak up less and less and less and or say like, well, them’s is the breaks. That’s the that’s the deal. I guess you just got to be tough and work past it and. And there’s a sort of silencing that happens. And I think that’s also why probably a lot of women say like, I’m not I don’t feel unequal. I don’t feel victimized because it is so subtle sometimes. But there is this dissonance between that messaging and the part of me that eventually became willing to speak up. And it can be really uncomfortable to be the person that speaks up. It can be the very unpopular voice.

Gabe Howard: It sounds like you’re very happy with the decision that you made and you handled it perfectly for you.

Romina D’Ugo: Thanks, Gabe. I’m. I’m 100% happy with my decision. I was happy then, and I am happy now. And I think the spotlight is not really on like what I have done anything differently. The spotlight has to be on there needs to be a different kind of standard held in Hollywood. But everywhere about know the leniencies when it comes to power, power discrepancies.

Gabe Howard: As I’m listening to your story, there’s this part of me that wants to say, but doesn’t Hollywood treat all actors like this? Don’t men also get treated this way? But I suspect that men don’t get treated this way.

Romina D’Ugo: So, I, Gabe, I love you and I told you to start of our chat that I truly think you are a leader in how transparent and vulnerable you are. And I think that especially for your male listeners. But this is one of the symptoms of. Um, we’ll say the push back on feminism. So, let’s say, you know, someone says, well, women are sexually harassed. And someone would say, well, I know men who’ve been sexually harassed. I’d say, okay, um, you know, women are not being paid enough. Well, I know men who are also not being paid enough. And then you say, okay, um, women are expected to do certain things in Hollywood. Well, I think men are also expected to do certain things in Hollywood, and that’s true. All of those points are valid. But when you look at the statistics of numbers and data of ratios of how often the discrepancies are aimed towards women versus men, it is so deeply unbalanced. There’s such a discrepancy between how often it happens for women.

Sponsor Break

Gabe Howard: And we’re back with Hollywood and television actor Romina D’Ugo discussing the importance of feminism. It’s really interesting what you said about if you asked a group of people if they were feminists, you would get a different answer than you would if you asked if they believed in women’s equality. In preparation for this show, and I did talk to some of the people I know, and I said, “Hey, do you define as feminist?” And I was shocked by the number of people that said no. And the reason I was shocked is because the actual dictionary definition of feminism is belief in.

Romina D’Ugo: Mm-hmm.

Gabe Howard: In advocacy of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes, expressed especially

Romina D’Ugo: Oh.

Gabe Howard: Through organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests.

Romina D’Ugo: Oh, preach.

Gabe Howard: That doesn’t seem controversial to me, and yet it is.

Romina D’Ugo: Okay. Oh, my gosh, Gabe, there’s not enough time. But I love everything that you said. We all absorb messaging about what is required to have a successful career, successful marriage, friendships and standing in society. And there are three main complaints about women against feminism. The first is that they don’t want what they call radical feminists telling them what they can and cannot do. The second main reason for women to be against feminism is that they don’t want to be judged by other women and men. And the third is that they don’t feel oppressed because they already feel equal to men. But. Again, like you said, well, what is the basis of feminism? It has nothing to do with any of those three things. There’s no oppression, there’s no oppressing. It’s all about equality and no one’s telling you what to do. The truth is, if I’m in this room that I’m sitting in right now and you put 50 other women in this room with me and we and you asked us all, how would you describe feminism? Every woman will have a different response, and no one’s answer represents more than anyone else’s. What is feminism about? That whole situation is that we all get to decide for ourselves. Just because you’re a feminist and I’m a feminist, that doesn’t mean I agree with everything you do and vice versa.

Gabe Howard: As I’m listening to you speak, there’s so much swirling through my mind, and I’m really desperate not to sound like a middle aged cisgendered white male who just doesn’t get it. But one of the things that keeps jumping into my mind and before I say it, I want to let you and the audience know it’s incredibly stupid. The thing that keeps jumping into my mind is why? Why can’t the feminist movement all get on the same page? Can’t you just all get on the same page, deliver a clear message and fight for your rights? Get organized and get out there? But here’s why that’s stupid. There’s like 30 members of my family, my, you know, my extended family, grandparents, parents. I can’t get all 30 of them to decide where to go to dinner. Right.

Romina D’Ugo: Yeah. Genius.

Gabe Howard: Just like when we go on vacation together, we spend a solid two hours fighting about what to have for dinner. And this is really. I’m literally asking you why you can’t get all women to agree on something. But

Romina D’Ugo: Yeah.

Gabe Howard: That is what society thinks.

Romina D’Ugo: I love this.

Gabe Howard: Society wants to know why feminism is such a quagmire.

Romina D’Ugo: I love this.

Gabe Howard: Do you have any thoughts on that?

Romina D’Ugo: Oh.

Gabe Howard: Because you are a thought leader in this. You are fighting for change.

Romina D’Ugo: Okay. This is why I love what you just said. What you just said presents the issue of equality as a woman’s issue. Right. To say for people to say, why don’t women just all get together and just like make the shift happen and like fight for the rights? Everyone, if you got all women together, that’s more than half of society, right? Well, that’s presenting this issue then as a woman’s issue. But it is not it is not a one-sided issue. The call to leadership is for all people. This call to leadership is for men just as much as it is for women. And I think a big part of feminism and why it’s not just a women’s issue and why women just shouldn’t all get together and make change happen, why men need to be part of this is because men are being done a huge disservice to lose attention in this equation. Men need help. Men need support. Gabe, I started the call this, this, this conversation with you and I said, honestly, it is you are you are you are executing an act of leadership by doing this podcast, by being transparent, by being vulnerable and still being charismatic. You’re being intelligent and you’re charismatic and people want to listen to you and you’re curious about other people.

Romina D’Ugo: That’s leadership for men. Men who? Men who go to therapy, men who read, you know, books about self-involvement, men who talk to their partners and have a conversation, men who are open to thinking about things differently, men who raise their sons to feel it’s okay to cry, to have emotional expression. These are all calls to leadership, not just because it’s going to help women’s movement, it’s going to help men. It’s a, it is a world stabilizer. Feminism is a world stabilizer. And if you don’t like the word, that’s okay, that’s fine. But just don’t spend all your attention talking about why the word sucks. Move into what’s underneath the word. Which is this. Which is advocating for each other, for each other, not just for women. No one’s trying to step on men. I want. I’m married to the most beautiful human, and I want him to be a feminist, too. And he would say he is one now. But initially he was like, that’s again, nails on a chalkboard, that word. But I want the men, I love the men in my life, and I want them to stand in their full selves, but they’re not. If they’re going around meeting all this power, something ain’t right. And we’re not taught to think critically, and we just absorb all these rules. And men have rules. Your rules suck. Gabe. Men’s rules are not fun.

Gabe Howard: They really do. [Laughter]

Romina D’Ugo: They suck, you know, And I. And you say, What about the men? I say, What about the men, too? Because it’s not like the men walk around with like this great rule book that I wish I could have. I don’t want your rule book as much as I don’t want my rule book, I don’t want it, man. Like you guys have some high standards to live up to you and all the while you can’t show certain emotions. And you got to be all these things that maybe you don’t want to be. I think it’s just it’s maddening. And I think the rule book is part of why men act out or men feel they’ve got to, you know, take power or they’ve got to behave a certain way. There’s this rule book, right? It’s not because it’s all malicious, it’s not all malicious, but there’s a rule book. And then with whatever is left over, whatever angst, anxiety, resentment, anger is left over, where do you put it? You’re going to put it in some weird destructive behaviors, I am sure, whether it’s to yourself or to others. So, you know, it’s not that men are men. Men are the bad team and women are the good team. It’s not like that. That’s why it’s a call to leadership for everyone. Because if we’re if, if, if, if we all start changing as individuals, I don’t want this to sound like Kumbaya, heal the world. But truly, if we if we all start healing as individuals, that’s how the whole society changes. And I think parents have the biggest job of all. I think parents have the job of they can teach their kids something different than the rule book they were given. So, everyone has a chance to be their best.

Gabe Howard: There is a phrase that says the patriarchy also hurts men. And I really didn’t understand that in the beginning because I was really on the patriarchy only hurts women. But you’re absolutely right. Anybody being forced into a box they don’t want to be in is damaging. And it is utterly

Romina D’Ugo: Yeah.

Gabe Howard: Fascinating how we are conditioned. I was conditioned

Romina D’Ugo: Yeah.

Gabe Howard: To like sports and my sister was conditioned to like ballet. Well, maybe I would have loved ballet. And maybe my sister, who I might add, was in the military for 15 years, did two tours in Iraq while her sports-playing brother sat on his ass and podcasted.

Romina D’Ugo: [Laughter]

Gabe Howard: So sincerely. I think my sister may have wanted better opportunities when she was young and I’m very glad it didn’t hold her back. But you’re right.

Romina D’Ugo: Yeah.

Gabe Howard: Being put into any box to live up to societal standards that were predetermined before you were born, I it really does all go back to colors, right? It’s fascinating. Before you are even born, if you are a boy, you like blue and if you are a girl, you like pink. You’re not

Romina D’Ugo: Yeah.

Gabe Howard: Even out of the womb yet. And

Romina D’Ugo: Yeah.

Gabe Howard: It’s already determined what colors are appropriate for you and what colors aren’t.

Romina D’Ugo: Yeah, yeah. And I hear I hear some people say like, well, now you’re going to breed guys who are like softies, who, like, don’t know how to like, keep a job and pay a mortgage and don’t know how to take initiative. And it’s just like, I don’t know. I don’t know. I think it’s worth a shot. I think if that means that men are growing up happier and more grounded in themselves and feeling like they’re supported too, and then that helps them support women and women grow up feeling a little safer and more sense of equality. I don’t know that all of that fear and panic about a shift is legitimate, you know?

Gabe Howard: It’s also it’s got to be such incredible nonsense and sincerely, sincerely, Romina, here’s why. Men are offered up as the strongest. The toughest.

Romina D’Ugo: Yeah.

Gabe Howard: We’re the badasses. We are the protectors. That’s the stereotype, right? That’s the societal expectation that if there is a problem, men will jump. Remember, it’s women and children first. Men can drown. And that’s how

Romina D’Ugo: Right.

Gabe Howard: Tough we have to be. And yet

Romina D’Ugo: Right.

Gabe Howard: We’re also told that the color pink will destroy us.

Romina D’Ugo: Right? Oh, gosh. Wow. Truer words.

Gabe Howard: It doesn’t make sense on its face. If you really look at it, it doesn’t make sense. Wearing the color pink should not defeat a man who is capable of running into a burning building and saving

Romina D’Ugo: Yeah.

Gabe Howard: A family of five. And yet we believe that it does. I think we do need to look at things differently.

Romina D’Ugo: And I think I think it’s it’s not as easy as it sounds. This this as I keep repeating incessantly, call to leadership for men. I think it’s really freaking hard because you have to go against the brotherhood sometimes. And the brotherhood, I think, means a lot to a lot of men. If you just think of a group chat, right, you’re on a group chat with all your buddies and not you. But I’m saying one a person on a group chat with all of his male friends and all this silly banter that can go down. And one guy says sort of off side joke about women or broads or whatever. And for one other guy to say, nah, man, I don’t think that’s really a cool joke. I don’t really think that should be out there. Do you know what? You know what I mean? That’s simple act of being like, hey, buddy, like, I don’t really love that joke. Maybe we can skip that one next time. You risk the whole group being like, take a take a joke, Relax. It’s so easy to be alienated. I think for men as well. It’s very scary. So, when people say, why don’t all the women in the world just get together and make the change, it is incredibly alienating the potential of what could happen with your career, your group of friends, potential mates and partners. It’s just it’s not that easy. But you have to take the true cultural leadership, which is not the beating your chest bravado kind. It’s this real, like, courage of vulnerability.

Gabe Howard: Romina, thank you so much for being here. I think a really good start is any woman who’s listening. Please share it with a male relative, a male friend, a spouse, a partner, whomever asked them to listen for you and see if they can learn anything from it and maybe start a dialog to all the men who are listening. Thank you for taking the opportunity to listen to something that because of the way that the internet works, it probably did not keyword to you.

Romina D’Ugo: [Laughter]

Gabe Howard: That is how much difficulty we are having. Feminism

Romina D’Ugo: I know.

Gabe Howard: Tracks for search engine optimization as a woman’s issue. It comes up more for women than it does for men. So even if men are trying to seek this out, the algorithm removes it because it has determined that they would be better off seeing something else that could lead to monetization to money. Et cetera. The Internet really does a good job of putting in front of us what we want to see. It doesn’t do such a great job of putting in front of us what we need to see or what we need to understand. So please share this episode, have conversations and hey, Romina, you may have started a movement here on the Inside Mental Health podcast.

Romina D’Ugo: Oh, goodness. I thank you so much, Gabe, for having me and for being so cool and open and curious to have this conversation. And to the listeners who actually clicked on this episode, even though you knew what you were getting into and listened to the whole thing. I so appreciate you listening. I am just speaking from my own experience and honestly, with utmost love for everyone. And if anything, I said didn’t resonate. Please don’t let this be the final stop on the block for you. Check out other people online who might have a different voice and might resonate better. And I’m just very grateful to have had the opportunity to share my own experience. And again, it truly comes from my heart. So, thank you so much for having me.

Gabe Howard: Oh, you are very, very welcome. Romina, where can folks find you online?

Romina D’Ugo: I’ve got Instagram and it’s just @RominaDUgo. No apostrophe.

Gabe Howard: Romina, thank you so much for being here. And a big thank you to all of our listeners as well. My name is Gabe Howard and I’m an award-winning public speaker and I could be available for your next event. I’m also the author of “Mental Illness Is an Asshole and Other Observations,” which you can get on Amazon. However, you can grab a signed copy with free show swag or learn more about me just by heading over to Wherever you downloaded this episode, please follow subscribe to the show. It is 100% free and hey, can you do me a favor? Recommend the show to everyone you know, share it on social media. Send an email, share it in a support group. Hell, send a text message because sharing the show is how we grow. I will see everybody next Thursday on Inside Mental Health.

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