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 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.
Since turning 26, I’ve become a big ball of nostalgia. I find myself saying, “when I was your age” or … More