October 4th, 2016 Blog
Continuing our Hispanic Heritage Month blogs, dGC’er Kate expresses her admiration for America Ferrera and how she has helped shape body image positively for all girls.
Any preteen girl, circa 2005, had her life “profoundly” changed by the cinematic masterpiece that was “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.” Throughout this movie about friendships, first loves, and magical pants (duh), we were taught the importance of embracing every moment and never taking our loved ones for granted. Even as a twelve year old, I was able to pick up on those themes. What I did not pick up on, was that a truly inspiring young woman was portraying one of the lead characters. America Ferrera, or better know to me as Carmen, soon became one of the only names in Hollywood that I truly looked up to.
Though Fererra was not yet a household name, she still managed to captivate audiences through her performance as the sassy, unapologetic Latina who simply wanted her dad’s approval. Blossoming since that role in 2005, Ferrera went on to star in countless roles, most notably the television show “Ugly Betty.” Now a star in Hollywood, Fererra not only stuns on the big screen, but also continues to impress me with her beliefs and actions. In a city where stick skinny is the only size, Ferrera has refused to conform to the standards that Hollywood has set. She has said in countless interviews that she is proud of the way she looks.
Specifically in Cosmopolitan for Latinas, Ferrera said, “How much time have I wasted on diets and what I look like? Take your time and your talent and figure out what you have to contribute to this world and get over what the hell your butt looks like in those jeans!”
I find her sentiments to be so inspirational and important, specifically for younger girls these days. Everyone is so concerned with their image, thanks in large part to Hollywood, social media, and the Jenner girls. It is scary how many times I hear about trivial things like “thigh gaps” or “bikini bridges” – even worse when I get caught up in them myself. Fererra on the other hand is proud of her appearance, yet would rather not focus on it. She knows that she has far more to offer than her physical appearance, and wants people to focus on her talents rather than what size dress she wore to the Emmy’s last year. If more women could serve as such a positive, confident role model to young women, I think girls would grow up knowing that they are unstoppable rather than striving to achieve an impossible standard.
So, this Hispanic Heritage Month, here’s to America Fererra – forever an inspiration both on-screen and off!