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Film in American Popular Culture


Real Women Have Curves, the 2002 film based on Josefina López’s two act play, politicizes the female form by strategically exposing and subverting dominant ideals about body image. López takes the overweight form, so often marginalized (like the immigrant) by society and popular culture, and redefines this form as a source of strength and integrity. Ana (America Ferrera), the main character, an intelligent eighteen-year-old Latina, deconstructs both the American and Mexican values that are forced upon her as she becomes a woman between two cultures. In non-fictional society, young Latinas are often forced to grapple with a confusing composite of body images. As will be discussed, a curvier body often has been viewed as acceptable in Latino culture, but, as United States-based, Latina-focused media has begun to present the idea of thinness as equal to beauty, perceptions of body image have become more polarized for young Latinas.

Source: Film in American Popular Culture