Brooklyn 99: Why Rosa Looks Different In Season 4


  • Rosa’s appearance in season 4 of Brooklyn Nine-Nine noticeably softened, with tamed hair and softer makeup, reflecting her character’s growth and increased trust in her colleagues.
  • The change in Rosa’s appearance during season 4 may be linked to her coming to terms with her sexual identity and her relationship with Adrian, suggesting a desire to mask her bisexuality before coming out.
  • Stephanie Beatriz’s transformation into Mirabel Madrigal in the Disney/Pixar film Encanto showcases her versatility as an actress, as the two characters are starkly different in personality. This transformation is greater than the change in Rosa’s appearance in season 4.

Many viewers noticed a Rosa Brooklyn Nine-Nine season 4 change — namely, Rosa’s appearance, which seemed to notably soften after the first three seasons. Rosa Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz) is a cold and tough cop whose personality matches her aesthetic. The Rosa Diaz Brooklyn 99 look is typically jeans, biker boots, a neutral top, and a black biker jacket, with her curly hair loose. However, Rosa’s look in Brooklyn 99 changed over the years as she became more trusting of her colleagues. As the team grew stronger together Rosa began to let down some of her barriers, which was represented visually by the changing the Rosa Brooklyn 99 season 4 look.

Rosa Diaz’s look progressed over Brooklyn 99‘s eight seasons, though she pretty much kept her iconic rocker-chic aesthetic. However, there were some noticeable changes to the way Rosa season 4 looked versus other seasons. She would still wear the same ensemble, but her hair, once kept long, big and curly, was more tamed and styled. She also wore softer makeup for a more feminine appearance. While these Brooklyn 99 Rosa changes may seem minor, they were incredibly significant to her wider character arc.


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Stephanie Beatriz Confirmed The Change In Look Was Deliberate

Rosa’s love life throughout Brooklyn Nine-Nine is tumultuous. At first, she’s waiting relentlessly for Adrian Pimento (Jason Mantzoukas) to come out of hiding after he found out that he was in danger from Jimmy Figgis, who hired a hitman to kill him. By the time her fiancé returns, they push forward with the wedding the very next day, wanting to get it over with. The rest of the 99 are skeptical but supportive, though, that their initial reaction was appropriate – Diaz and Pimento decide to postpone the wedding. Time goes by and Rosa eventually realizes that she really doesn’t want to be with Adrian anymore, resulting in their breakup.

Her time with Adrian is an integral factor behind the Rosa season 4 look, and it’s eventually revealed in season 5, episode 9, “99” that Rosa is bisexual and dating a woman. Rosa Diaz actor Stephanie Beatriz eventually provided insight into the change, explaining on X (at the time known as Twitter) that she intentionally altered Rosa’s look in season 4. While she didn’t reveal the precise reason for the change, she attributed it to Rosa’s character arc in the sitcom.

This means that for most of Brooklyn Nine-Nine season 4, Rosa was also coming to terms with her sexual identity, or at least with how she wanted to share it with her friends. While this wasn’t explicitly tackled during Brooklyn 99 season 4, the timeline of her relationship with Adrian and her subsequent coming out suggests that the change in Rosa’s appearance during season 4 could have been related to this aspect of her arc. The slightly more feminine aesthetic for the Rosa season 4 look could indicate her inner hesitance to marry Adrian or even a desire to mask her bisexuality before coming out.

Rosa’s sexuality in the NBC sitcom mirrors Beatriz’s in real life – this is likely the reason that Rosa Diaz actor was very involved in her character’s journey and was able to incorporate certain nuances like subtly changing her look as part of its visual storytelling. After Rosa came out, her look returned to the way it was in earlier seasons of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Whether this is truly linked to Rosa’s sexuality will remain unknown, but the Rosa season 4 arc is still a great moment in the series.


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Rosa’s Season 4 Appearance Isn’t Stephanie Beatriz’s Greatest Transformation

The Actress Who Plays Rosa In Brooklyn 99 Is Incredibly Versatile

Amy and Rosa walking while talking in Brooklyn Nine Nine

The Rosa season 4 change wasn’t Stephanie Beatriz’s greatest transformation, as some Brooklyn 99 viewers might not know that she starred as Encanto‘s main character, Mirabel Madrigal. Beatriz provides her voice for the Disney/Pixar animated film, and people are understandably shocked when they realize that the same actress who plays Rosa on Brooklyn 99 also voices Mirabel. It’s a testament to Stephanie Beatriz’s versatility too, as the two characters themselves are almost polar opposites in terms of personality.

Mirabel is fun-loving and kind, and would do anything to bring her Encanto family back together — a far cry from the distrustful, no-nonsense cop she plays on Brooklyn 99. The fact that these two starkly different characters are played by the same actress is a credit to the skills of Stephanie Beatriz. To be able to transform in such a way that her voice and characterization are unrecognizable from her previous roles is truly a feat. While Rosa’s season 4 appearance was certainly a departure for the character, the Brooklyn 99 actress’s transformation into Mirabel Madrigal was far greater.


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Why Rosa’s Brooklyn 99 Appearance Change Is Significant

Despite The Change Being Minor It Represents A Lot For Rosa

Rosa smiling in Brooklyn Nine-Nine

The Rosa Brooklyn 99 season 4 change in the character was never something that was directly addressed in the show, but was noticeable to viewers. Now that Brooklyn 99 has ended, it feels like a pivotal moment for the character of Rosa. If the change in season 4 is due to her embracing her sexuality and gaining more self-confidence as a result, then it becomes a surprisingly powerful inclusion to look back on. Given that Stephanie Beatriz had a hand in ensuring the change in Rosa’s Brooklyn 99 look happened, it is easy to assume the two are linked.

As for Rosa’s coming out (via People), Beatriz confirms that she was set to pitch the idea of Rosa’s bisexuality only for the showrunners to approach her with the idea first. She expressed that she was thrilled for the show to be providing this kind of representation but making it more about a well-rounded character. Beatriz shared that “For me, the most important thing about this part of Rosa was to show that she isn’t just a steel wall. She does have vulnerabilities.” Rosa’s change in season 4 of Brooklyn 99 shows that her growing confidence in her sexuality impacts her overall lifestyle positively, which gives her new fulfillment, providing an important message.

Brooklyn 99 Poster

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Release Date
September 17, 2013

Stephanie Beatriz , Melissa Fumero , Andy Samberg , Andre Braugher , Joel McKinnon Miller , Dirk Blocker , Terry Crews , Chelsea Peretti , Joe Lo Truglio