America Ferrera Calls Out How Her Body Was Viewed as ‘Groundbreaking’

America Ferrera Calls Out How Her Body Was Viewed as ‘Groundbreaking’

America Ferrera has some strong feelings about how her “curvy” body was viewed as “groundbreaking” in Hollywood, calling the notion “insane.”

In an interview with ELLE for its 2023 Women in Hollywood December/January 2023 issue, the 39-year-old actress reflected on the praise she — and by extension, her body — received for supposedly setting a new standard for who and what a Hollywood star could look like. The daughter of a single mother who immigrated to Los Angeles from Honduras, Ferrera would go on to earn prominent roles in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and then, of course, Ugly Betty in the titular role, for which she became the first — and only — Latina to win a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.

That series aired from 2006 to 2010, which wasn’t all that long ago but there was still a lot of room for progress when it came to what Latina actresses had to offer on the big and small screen.


“What’s so insane is, you go back and look, and I had a very average-size body,” she tells the women’s lifestyle magazine. “And so the idea that people were looking at me and saying, ‘That’s curvy’ is crazy. Not that I care, but it’s like, that’s insane that we thought that was so groundbreaking.”

Ferrera, among the nine remarkable women being honored for their creative and cultural contributions to film, television, music and beyond, says it’s “so ridiculous” that “I was Hollywood’s version of imperfect.”

“I don’t feel alone in that either,” she adds. “There are so many women who were called brave, just because they are people in bodies.”


In short, real women have curves, a sentiment she wholeheartedly shares and grew emotional about in September 2021, when she visited the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures and came face-to-face with her 17-year-old self in the Real Women Have Curves exhibit. 

“These are happy tears, obviously,” the Barbie star explained at the time. “I’m just really overwhelmed by the fortune I’ve had to get to be a part of so many beautiful, meaningful stories, and it still just makes me think about how far we’ve come, but also how far we have to go and how important it is that we’re paving the path so that more of our stories can be told, more of our lives can be celebrated and we can see ourselves represented in our culture.” 

ELLE‘s 2023 Women in Hollywood December/January issue hits newsstands Dec. 19.


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