Issue 12  •  Spring 2013

Three Cheers for Rocsi Diaz!

Written by Izzi Hughes

Raquel “Rocsi” Diaz
has hosted BET’s 106 & Park for the past six years. Born November 17, 1983 in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, the American television personality has made her way into the spotlight, overcoming obstacles to really make a name for herself. An inspiration to her viewers, Rocsi speaks out about her early life and the path she has travelled to today’s success.  She is a role model for young women and men alike and was open enough to share her story with me.

Izzi: When did you move from Honduras to New Orleans?

Rocsi: I moved to the states when I was about two years old. My family started off in Slidell, New Orleans, and we moved all around the area. I now reside in New York City and travel often to Miami and New Orleans.

True story: my first real boyfriend wasn't until my senior year in high school!

Izzi: What was life like for the young Raquel, in terms of friends, family, and hobbies?

Rocsi: Life for me was full of activities. I was always playing outdoors and trying out new hobbies and games. I was really a tomboy, which some people find hard to believe. I always hung out with my brothers—riding bikes and playing outside. I didn't really turn into a “girly girl” until junior high when I started cheerleading and salsa dancing. Even though I had schoolwork and family responsibilities, I was always very active. My mom and dad divorced when I was young, so being raised by a single Latin woman meant it was a strict home! I was not allowed to go to sleepovers or parties until high school, and I was not allowed to have a boyfriend or even have boys call my house. True story: my first real boyfriend wasn't until my senior year in high school!

Izzi: How did you first make your way into the broadcast industry, eventually working your way to cohost the number-one video countdown show on television?

Rocsi: It was an act of God! I started on the street team of a radio station in Dallas, KBFB’s The Beat. From there I learned everything about radio—from programming to producing to marketing—and that helped when I auditioned for BET’s 106 & Park. The broadcast industry is fast-paced and full of different types of personalities.

Izzi: What made you want to do what you’re doing now, and where do you want to go in life?

Rocsi: It really is my calling from God; I believe He leads the way. I love what I do and speaking out to young people. I love music, film and television, travel and fashion—literally everything that comes with hosting and interviewing. It is a fun job and an exciting field.

I play many roles for fans . . . I’m a motivator, big sister, fashion guru, role model, and friend. The list goes on and on, but I just want to lead in helping fulfill dreams.

Izzi: Cheering played a major role in your middle and high school years and also contributed to a lot of the issues you had when you were younger, specifically dealing with anorexia and self-image problems. How did cheering and all the hype surrounding it affect your life and the perception you had of yourself? Were there positives and negatives?

Rocsi: I was unhappy because I wanted a certain position on the high school cheerleading squad. I wanted to be a flyer, which is the girl who is on the top of pyramids [and who] gets tossed in the air, but I was told I wasn't small enough. I was physically fit and healthy, and since I was really small already, I thought starving myself would make me smaller. [Reading] magazines and seeing models [made me want] to be that skinny. I was just not happy with my appearance and [was] self-conscious. Luckily, I was finally able to learn more about healthy eating and weight for my body type, and now I can share my story with young people all over. I spoke out about it on BET’s 106 & Park and always share my story with young adults.

Izzi: When and how did you realize that you had a disease, anorexia, and that you needed to change for your health? How did you go about changing your life?

Rocsi: It really hit me when my doctor at the time met with me and told me he knew what I was doing to myself. He told me how I was damaging my body and what the long-term results would be, both emotionally and physically. Let's just say the scare tactic worked. I began to eat more healthily and better foods, for example, organic fruits and veggies or whole grains. [Anorexia is] still in the back of my mind, but I now know how to control it and how to put health first.

Izzi: What role do you think you play for people, and what effect would you like to have on your fans? What are some of your key values and how do you promote them?

Rocsi: I play many roles for fans . . . I’m a motivator, big sister, fashion guru, role model, and friend. The list goes on and on, but I just want to lead in helping fulfill dreams.

Izzi: What has made you into the strong, confidant woman you are today, with such a drive to succeed in this male-dominated industry? What has made you come so far, and how would you like to share it with others?

Rocsi: God has [gotten me this] far. I have strong faith that He does not give me more than I can bare. My mother raised me to work hard and respect myself, and she is my biggest fan and loudest cheerleader. With my education and my experiences, I have come a long way. Knowing that karma is real—what goes around comes around and what you do onto others it will be done onto you—always treat everyone with respect and I, in return, expect the same.

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