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Latinas 'Go Red For Women' & Rock Red Dresses in The Heart Truth Red Dress Collection 2014 Fashion Show

First Posted: Feb 07, 2014 03:58 PM EST
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On Thursday, Latina actresses Gina Torres and Victoria Justice rocked red dresses on the runway for The Heart Truth Red Dress Collection 2014 show sponsored by the American Heart Association Go Red For Women campaign at Lincoln Center in New York. 

Celebrities from rocker Joan Jett, chef Giada De Laurentiis to Alec Baldwin's daughter, Ireland Baldwin, and injured Alpine skier, Lindsay Vonn on crutches, among many others, all dressed in red and strutted their stuff for the cause.  

Native New Yorker and Cuban actress Gina Torres, who hails from the Bronx, rocked a red dress on the runway and a little pep in her step that may be attributed to her cultural background. Torres' parents were natives of Cuba -- her father was a typesetter for both La Prensa and then the Daily News and her mother was a "dedicated and artistically gifted homemaker."

Growing up in a mixed but predominantly Latino neighborhood, Torres was exposed to a lot of culture around her -- and she loved it.

"I always sang, always danced, because there was always music in the house and in the street," she said in her official bio. "We heard Johnny Pacheco, Celia Cruz, Tito Puente, and Machito. And when the elders weren't listening, my ears took in everything from ABBA to Led Zeppelin, Glenn Campbell to Nat King Cole and everything in between. My parents were classy beautiful Latin people. They grew up in the 30's, a time when you looked clean, you were pressed; you looked people in the eye; you were gracious, no matter how much money you did or didn't have. Those were the values I went into the world with."

Torres has appeared in many television series, including Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Xena: Warrior Princess (as Cleopatra), the short-lived Cleopatra 2525, and Alias, as well as The Matrix sequels and The Shield, among others.

Another Latina, actress Victoria Justice, who is of English, German, and Irish descent and Puerto Rican ancestry, walked the runway for the cause as well. Also a singer-songwriter, voice artist, musician and dancer, she debuted as an actress at the age of 10 and has since appeared in several films and television series including the Nickelodeon/Family series Zoey 101 and the Nickelodeon/YTV series Victorious.

"Today, an estimated 43 million women in the U.S. are affected by heart disease and it affects women of all ethnicities, including Hispanics," according to Latina. The magazine list some important facts about Latinas and heart disease:

  • Hispanic women are likely to develop heart disease 10 years earlier than Caucasian women.
  • Only 1 in 3 Hispanic women are aware that heart disease is their No. 1 killer.
  • Only 3 in 10 Hispanic women say they have been informed that they are at a higher risk.
  • Only 1 in 4 Hispanic women is aware of treatment options.
  • Hispanic women are more likely to take preventive actions for their family when it comes to heart health.
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