Entertainment

If You Haven’t Seen Real Women Have Curves, Here’s A Breakdown Of Why It’s So Important

For so many young Latinas, Real Women Have Curves was a glorious cinematic anthem of self-confidence, self-worth, and following your dreams. Although its messages of self-acceptance were lauded by women of all identities and backgrounds, it follows a young Mexican-American girl (played by the fabulous America Ferrera) on her journey to adulthood, centering on issues that affect a lot of Latinx folks to this day. Ferrera’s character, Ana García, feels like a direct representation of so many young Latina women, in particular, struggling to not only love themselves, but to receive they respect they deserve in their own country.

If you haven’t seen Real Women Have Curves, here’s a breakdown of why it’s so important.

Credit: Shuttershock

The protagonist, 18-year-old Ana García, lives in LA with her family, who own and operate a small textile factory. Ana has big dreams of leaving her family’s tough financial situation behind in pursuit of a college education—and while Ana’s sister and father support her ambitions, her mother is resistant, insisting that Ana stay home and help keep the family afloat. Meanwhile, Ana’s high school teacher, Mr. Guzman (played by none other than George Lopez) encourages her to apply to Columbia University, despite her belief that she shouldn’t bother because her family can’t afford tuition. Yet Mr. Guzman continues to persist, even speaking directly to Ana’s family at her graduation party and urging them to let her apply to college.

Over the course of the movie, Ana is not just faced with her mother’s harsh attitude about her future, but also about her body.

After receiving constant reminders about not eating too much cake, or about being too promiscuous, Ana finally breaks, challenging her mother’s emotionally abusive behavior in what is perhaps the movie’s most famous scene.

Credit: Newmarket Films

In this scene, Ana and her fellow factory workers begin removing their clothes in an attempt to cool off. Standing there in their underwear, Ana and the other women examine each other’s bodies, comparing their “flaws”—only to realize that their bodies are not flawed at all. They display their stretch marks, their cellulite, their different shapes and silhouettes. They realize how truly natural and normal their own bodies are, and they help each other celebrate their uniqueness. When Ana’s mother throws a fit and leaves the factory complaining about her family and her employees’ shamelessness, Ana revels in this moment of rebellion, acknowledging that they are women, and this is who they truly are—real women with real curves.

At the end of the movie, Ana is faced with the inevitable and difficult decision we anticipated all along: she is accepted into Columbia University on a scholarship, and she must choose whether to stay or go. At first, her mother’s adamant opposition convinces her to stay, but she ultimately realizes that she must be true to herself, and after ensuring her father’s full support, Ana departs for her new life in New York City.

In 2002, Real Women Have Curves was monumental in its realistic portrayal of a common paradigm for Latinx folks—the pressures (and joys) of family often competing with other dreams and ambitions, as well as the pressures that US society often unfairly places on Latina women and their bodies.

Credit: Newmarket Films

And the thing is—this film is still relevant, still relatable, and still powerful. Released as an indie feature from director Patricia Cardoso, it remains an inspiring representation of female empowerment, showing the complexities of familial relationships and the importance of supporting the people close to you. It also demonstrates the importance of honoring yourself, even if the circumstances make it difficult (or nearly impossible) to do so. The messages conveyed in Real Women Have Curves are fundamental to the human experience, and will surely remain topical and relevant far into the future.

In fact, in recognition of its immense social and cultural impact, Real Women Have Curves was just added to the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry. The National Film Registry selects 25 films each year showcasing the range and diversity of American film heritage to increase awareness for its preservation. So, this is a pretty big deal.

The addition of Real Women Have Curves adds undeniable dimension and diversity to the current portfolio of films on the National Registry. In addition to this Latino indie classic, Luis Valdez’s 1981 musical, Zoot Suit, was also added this year. Valdez is considered the father of Chicano theater, and this play tells the story of the famed zoot suit riots and Sleepy Lagoon murder case that captivated Los Angeles back in the 1940s. Starring Edward James Olmos and Tyne Daley, Zoot Suit was nominated for a Golden Globe in 1982, and if you haven’t seen it, it’s definitely worth a watch.

And if you haven’t seen Real Women Have Curves in a while, now’s a good time to revisit it and remind yourself why it will remain important for decades to come!

Keke Palmer Gets Real With The National Guard During Protests

Things That Matter

Keke Palmer Gets Real With The National Guard During Protests

keke/ Instagram, MatthewACherry/ Instagram

Hustlers actress Keke Palmer has always known how to deliver. Her performance as the titular character in the 2006 film Akeelah and the Bee stole the hearts of audiences watching and delivered such a strong message about perseverance. Palmer delivered yet another powerful message on Tuesday amidst the peaceful demonstrations taking place in the wake of George Floyd’s murder.

Taking part in Tuesday protests, the actress spoke to several members of the National Guard telling them that they can be part of the change.

While asking National Guard members to “be the change” in the fight against racial injustice, Keke spoke passionately about wanting to see them join protests.

“We have people here that need your help,” Palmer told National Guard officers in a video Tweeted by NBC News correspondent Gadi Schwartz. “This is when y’all stand together with the community, with society, to stop the governmental oppression. Period. We need you, so march with us.”

Palmer went on to ask members to “March with us. March beside us. Get your people. March beside us. Let the revolution be televised. March beside us and show us that you’re here for us. Let’s just do it. We start marching and you march with us. Make history with us, please.”

After listening to Palmer a guard member offered to walk with the group across an intersection but remained steadfast that they had to stay at their post.

But Palmer urged that this was not good enough.

“March with us, it will send a huge message,” Palmer continued, “You’re the protector. If you’re supposed to be patrolling us, then walk with us.”The guardsman explained again that he could not move from his post, but when another protester asked the guardsmen to take a knee they did so.

Unsatisfied, Palmer continued to say the action was not enough for her and later shared her thoughts on the events taking place across the country.

“Racism is what the country was built on slavery, systematic oppression, then voter oppression, female oppression, poor education system so you’re intentionally uninformed, financial oppression,” Palmer said in the video. “Human beings can only take so much. Americans need government reform that demands legislation and new laws that birth the future for our kids. We deserve a new system because the old one was created to oppress us.”

TikTok’s ‘Check Your Privilege’ Challenge Will You Give You A Much Needed Reality Check

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TikTok’s ‘Check Your Privilege’ Challenge Will You Give You A Much Needed Reality Check

TikTok

Among demanding justice for victims like George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, protestors and activists across the globe are demanding awareness of the privileges that protect non-Black people A new challenge trending on TikTok is pressing users to do just this and it’s worth your participation.

A TikTok user by the name of @boss_bigmamma recently asked users to examine their privileges, and the prejudices they may face due to their race.

Flipping the platform’s popular “put a finger down” game on its head, @boss_bigmamma (whose name is Kenya) used the game to show the discriminations she’s unjustly experienced as a black woman. She then asked other TikTokers to do the same.

Speaking with BuzzFeed News about the now-viral challenge, Kenya said “I know discrimination happens for many reasons, which is why I labeled it ‘check your privilege’ instead of ‘white privilege.” Kenya also said that people who have participated have said that they found the “Check Your Privilege” challenge relatable when it came to instances related to their religion and socioeconomic status.

Kenya’s “put a finger down” experiences as listed in the video are below.

– Put a finger down if you have been called a racial slur.

– Put a finger down if you’ve been followed in a store unnecessarily.

– Put a finger down if someone has crossed the street in order to avoid passing you.

– Put a finger down if you’ve had someone clench their purse in an elevator with you.

– Put a finger down if you’ve had someone step off of an elevator to keep from riding with you.

– Put a finger down if you’ve been accused of not being able to afford something expensive.

– Put a finger down if you’ve had fear in your heart when being stopped by the police.

– Put a finger down if you’ve never been given a pass on a citation you deserved.

– Put a finger down if you have been stopped or detained by police for no valid reason.

– Put a finger down if you have been bullied solely because of your race.

– Put a finger down if you’ve been denied service solely because of the color of your skin.

– Put a finger down if you’ve ever had to teach your children how not to get killed by the police.

Fortunately, quite a few people who are not of color have shared the results of their challenge.

Interracial couples are also highlighting their experiences as well.

Interracial couple Allison Holker and her husband Stephen ‘tWitch’ Boss shared the differences they experience due to the color of their skin.