In the 2002 film “Real Women Have Curves” portrays a young woman
named Ana Garcia (American Ferrera), who comes from a tight-knit, family that
values tradition. Ana is very outspoken and opinionated with dreams of wanting more
out of life than what has been given to her, but isn’t sure how or where to get
it due to the lack of support from her family. With the help and encouragement
from high school her teacher Mr. Guzman, Ana applies to Columbia University
without telling her family knowing that they will instantly disapprove of her
decision to further her education because they feel that her place is not to be
in university after high school but to find a job, so that she can start her contribution
to the family.
Ferrera’s character portrays a female counter-stereotype by not
being afraid to speak her mind regardless of what others think especially her
mother Carmen Garcia. She doesn’t want to end up being a housewife, she wants to
further her education but Ana’s mother has other plans for her. Carmen feels
that school is useless and that she can teach her things that school can’t like
being a mother, raise children etc. Ana’s mother constantly attacks her by
making comments about her weight. Ana doesn’t care, she knows within herself that
she is fine and that women have more to offer than just their physical
appearance, she won’t let the pressures of society or her mother tell her
otherwise. For example: when Ana was working at her sisters factory she started
to take her clothes off leaving on only her under garments due to the heat,
because of her bold move the other women working at the factory then followed
her lead and they too started taking off their clothes not caring what others
may think and started to celebrate their curves. Carmen was shocked and appalled
that they would do such a thing and left the factory.
Ana isn’t one to sit around and let others take advantage of her.
During one scene Ana’s sister Estela Garcia was struggling with her dress factory.
Ana convinced her to go speak with the buyer so that she can get an advance
payment so that she would be to pay her employees and the rent for the factory.
Although her planned backfired Ana wanted to show her sister that it is ok to
stand up for yourself.
Ana eventually receives a full scholarship to Columbia University
although her mother doesn’t approve of her going Ana takes the offer, not to be
defiant but to put herself first and start doing things that she wants to do.
This film was directed by a female named Patricia Cardoso which is
very rare as stated in the article by Michelle Goldberg she states that there aren’t
many female directors out there due to it being a male dominated profession. Goldberg
states “famed screenwriter and director Nora Ephron, whose movies include “Sleepless
in Seattle” and “You’ve Got Mail” adds, ““I always think every should being
with a logo that says, for example, Warner Bros, did everything in its power to
keep from making this movie.”” So in order for a film especially one that has
been directed by a female needs a strong name behind it in order for it to be a
Resources: Goldberg, M. Where are the