Things are getting serious in an all-new episode of Disney Channel's Liv & Maddie. In the brand new episode — which premieres Sunday, February 8 — Liv, Maddie, and their friends find out that a fellow classmate is rating girls using a numeric system, based on one to 10. Not only do the characters confront their fellow classmate, but the episode also deals with the struggles of self-confidence, wanting to be liked, and feeling comfortable in your own skin.
M chatted with Jessica Marie Garcia, who you know as Willow, Maddie's basketball teammate who is constantly in her uniform.
"Willow gets a five [on the boys' rating system]," Jessica reveals to M. "All the other girls kind of get lower numbers and stand together and decide that’s not what we want to do. Willow has a hard time with that... The audience and young girls can definitely relate to how [Willow] wants to be herself but she also wants to be liked by boys."
Jessica herself has also been on her own journey to a healthier lifestyle and self-confidence. A year ago, she was diagnosed as pre-Diabetic. Ever since that day, she's been working really hard to turn her life around and be the healthiest Jessica she can possibly be!
"When you’re younger, you just feel invincible and you don’t think that anything can happen to you," Jessica says. "It can happen to other people, never you. When they told me [I was pre-Diabetic], I couldn’t believe it because I never really saw myself as this big girl, even though I’ve always been. I never really thought that I could be sick. Once I realized that and started working out, I realized how out of shape I really was. It just changed everything for me. I started doing other healthier habits as well and doing more creative things. I realized that working out and having a healthier lifestyle gives you a healthier mind. It kind of just clears everything out. I just feel great!"
This episode of Liv & Maddie really strikes a chord with Jessica, and she admitted to M she thinks it will resonate with many young viewers. Why? Because it's a topic that's extremely relatable.
"When I was 16 years old, I was way overweight and really not confident in myself but still wanted boys to like me. I cry when I think about it," Jessica admits to M. "I think this episode is so important to girls and boys because I think we don’t teach kids enough that they’re unique and what makes them unique is what makes them special."
'Rate-A-Rooney' airs on Disney Channel this Sunday, February 8th at 9pm ET/PT. Make sure to tune in and head over to our Twitter where Jessica will be live-tweeting the episode starting at 9!