Real Women Have Curves and Complex Narratives!

vividly remember the day I watched the 2002 film adaptation of Josefina López’s play Real Women Have Curves. I saw a part of myself I’ve never seen on screen. I saw my mother, my family, and community, our traditions and customs, and most importantly, I saw me. I saw a Latina with a “normal, realistic” body experiencing love, sex, and self-empowerment. America Ferrera’s Ana Garcia is a Mexican American whose low-income family lives in East Los Angeles. Her family, culture, and tradition have dictated her life and now her future. However, this dynamic character knows she can do and be more!

The Post-Feminist World of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power

In 2018 Netflix debuted the story of Adora, a young orphan girl raised inside the Fright Zone, where she was taught that Etheria needed to be saved from the princesses’ dictatorship. Once she leaves the Horde, Adora discovers this matriarchal society is part of who she is and who she is meant to be. Alongside Princess Glimmer and Bow (Marcus Scribner), Adora sets on a journey of self-discovery and friendship. Back at the Horde, Catra (AJ Michalka), Adora’s childhood best friend, feeling abandoned and betrayed, plots her revenge. What seems to be an excellent plot for a young adult drama, is actually a great example of how narrative television is not just mirroring our society but how it has the power to shape it as well.

The Half of It: More than just a Love Story

The inner turmoil to leave, to explore, to take advantage of the opportunities in the U.S. (the reason why our parents come here in the first place) and the responsibilities to stay behind, care for our relatives, look after their homes, and even the family business, it’s one we young immigrants and first-generation, know all too well.