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!

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From Castor Oil To Fermented Rice Water, Latinas Are Sharing Their Hair Growth Secrets

Entertainment

From Castor Oil To Fermented Rice Water, Latinas Are Sharing Their Hair Growth Secrets

Ken Harding / Getty

When it comes to growing the hair on our head quickly, some of us take all kinds of desperate measures. From hanging our heads upside down to avoiding trimming our hair altogether, we often go to some pretty weird and extreme lengths for some length. We asked Latinas on FIERCE what tricks actually work for them and the answers pretty eye-opening.

Check out the tips below!

Castor oil

“Jamaican Castor oil. But it really did help with my alopecia.” – corazondemelon

Ashwagandha

“Take Ashwagandha as a supplement! I started taking for anxiety but a nice side effect is more healthy hair.” –iamsunshine78

Regular trims when it’s a full moon

“Trim/cut ends during full moon, ideally at midnight (I can’t stay up that late so as close as I can get).” – daleitzy

Coconut oil

“Jamaican castor/coconut oil when your hair is super dirty and a couple of hours before you wash it. Then argan oil after you have washed your hair and it’s still wet or damp.” –angiemhrndz

Rice water

“Fermented rice water.” – butterflydreams__

Prenatals

“Shampoo de ajo and prenatals.”- cynth.iaaa_

Collagen powder

“Collagen powder (unflavored) in my coffee every morning!” – pandacandee

Onions

“Rosemary water and onion hair mask.” –daniela.sp

Wild growth hair oil

“Wild growth hair oil you can find this oil at any beauty supply store.” –bonita_mantiago

Biotin

“Taking biotin pills daily.” – officialdarlin

Mayonaise

“Mayo in my deep conditioner i make my own makes my hair so soft.” –erika_kane__

Monat products

“Great hair care! Good for your scalp and hair and it’s already what you do. Monat has great shampoos, conditioners, styling products that are nontoxic, cruelty free, vegan. Would love to help anyone interested with recommendations.” – claudia__moreno__

Avocados

“My mamá always said that eating lots of avocados would promote hair and nail growth. Tbh I think it definitely helps!” – mandamonqiue

Rosemary

“A blended hair serum with Olive oil, Rosemary, Thyme, Sage, Oregano, Tea Tree Oil, Peppermint oil.” – thekittylounge

Spinach

“Spinach helps my hair grow.” – natalidamasphoto

Apple cider

“I have to add that garlic works magic and apple cider after washing your hair. And not washing your hair everyday with hot water.” – bonita_mantiago

Mamey oil

“I highly recommended castor oil, mamey oil, and ginger and onion 🧅 in the shampoo. They all work magic if you consistently apply them to your hair.” – bonita_mantiago

Olive oil

“Olive oil in your hair for shine and growth & mayonnaise mask to help with hydration and shine!” – d_amoree

Braids

“Braiding your hair before bed.” – veixaley

Cold-pressed oils

“Both my parents have thin hair my dad is bald! I have thin hair it’s in my genes. But these are the things I have tried that didn’t work cold-pressed castor oil, prenatal pills, not washing daily, biotin, collagen, mane and tail, tio nacho shampoo and I’m sure there is more. I started using Monat about 4 months ago and my hair has thickened and grown yes it’s super expensive I use the black shampoo and conditioner the mousse and hair spray and occasionally the root lifter if I want more volume!! NO I don’t sell it!! And I already have a person I buy it from!!! Again it’s hella expensive but it is working for me! Also when you first get it be patient cause I was like this stuff sucks I want my money back but the agent just keep saying give it time cause at first the shampoo didn’t even sud up now it does and if you are still using other products with them it won’t sud up as much either cause it is trying to remove the toxins from your hair!!!” – cindy_adame_cervantes

Fewer shampoo days

“Stop over-washing your hair. This quarantine has allowed the to go longer days without washing it. Now I only was my hair once a week and my hair has stopped falling in chunks and grown so much in length in a year. Ohhh I also have so much new baby hair! Waiiiit and my hair is less oily. Dry shampoo will be your new bestie.” –

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Remember The Day You Got Your Period For The First Time?

Fierce

Remember The Day You Got Your Period For The First Time?

Chris Hondros / Getty

No matter how old you are, you’ll always remember what it was like to get your first period. Of course, we all have different experiences with them. For some, our first periods were kind of a bit traumatizing. For others, it was was one of the most empowering moments of our lives.

To celebrate our first periods, we asked FIERCE Latinas to share their experiences and the stories were both sweet and hilarious.

Check out some of the stories below!

This gift from god period.

“I got mine on Christmas when I was 12, and my aunt was like “it’s a gift from God!” – 444nates

This one that sparked tears.

“I was 11 and it was Valentine’s Day in sixth grade. I was wearing black pants but I was so scared to tell anyone so when I got home I tried to cover it up like nothing happened. The next morning when I woke up for school my sister was the one who noticed because there was blood on my shorts. She called my mom and my mom came home from work and cried because “I was a woman now” so then I started crying cause I was scared 😂 my mom let me stay home from school for the week and my dad told her she should stay with me so I’m comfortable.” – lichensnfronds

This one that came to church.

“I got mine during morning Sunday mass. I felt wet and I went to bathroom and when I looked down I was like, “oh god it’s happening awww man. I shouldn’t have made fun of yesenia for getting her’s last week.” – angiemhrndz

What is it with periods on holy days, seriously?

“Easter Sunday. 10 years old almost 11, I freaked out in the bathroom of the church.” – dearmelrose

This one that gives Remember the Alamo a different sentiment.

“It was Summertime and our parents always had different activities planned for us. This particular day, we were visiting The Alamo. I was 10 and right before leaving I made that last minute bathroom trip when I realized I got my period. I called my mom and she immediately gave me a pep talk & the stuff I needed, I already knew about it but was surprised. I was like “We’re STILL going to The Alamo?!” Needless to say “Remember The Alamo” has an entirely different meaning for me!!” – tish1972

This one that took some time to share with her mom.

“I was 16 when I got my period… and I was scared didn’t told my mom until late that day. I was using two chones meanwhile.” – tatiana.r92

And this one that came at a really bad time.

“I got mine on Father’s Day with my brother and dad at the movie theaters I went to the bathroom and didn’t know what to do because I had nothing with me and my dad knocked on the door and told me to hurry up and what was taking so long so I put a lot of paper and waited till I got home.” – _jessica_silva17

This one that traumatized.

“11 at home, I think!? I had an older sister and classes were they gave us free pads and educated us on the subject. Still traumatizing lol.” – k.cuzco

This one that came a bit early and at a hard time.

“I was a little over a month shy of 10 years old. My mom was in prison and I was living with my dad and his new wife. (Who 20+ years later is still not a mom to her own children so she def wasn’t tryin to be mine) My friend had stayed the night and we were just waking up. I was crying in the bathroom so she got my dad, who got his wife, who said “it’s okay, you’re fine. ” Then handed me a pad she received from the hospital after giving birth to my brother a week or so prior. When my mom called that day she started crying and apologizing for not being there for me.
I swore to my girls I’d be there for them always. When my almost 12 year old called me a few Saturday mornings ago from her dad’s house and let me know she had gotten hers, I jumped outta bed and went straight to her.
I can’t do anything about the way I grew up, I can only make sure my daughters have a better go of it.” – xicana_402

This one that made her think she was dying.

“11 and the bus ride home from school. I thought I was dying.” – reinders.v

“Started one morning that I had basketball practice before school in 8th grade. Mom couldn’t drive me so I had to walk myself to school, got in trouble for being late, and I remember wanting to cry cause I was both shook and pissed off for being punished by mother nature AND my coach.” – cynthia_a7

When a baby came the same day as her period.

“My mom had just given birth to my brother (I was 10) and I was at the hospital. My grandma ran out and said,”it happened! A baby and a period in the same day!” – ashleylynne92

This one that came with a super sweet gift.

“I was 9 & at the apple store bc my uncle was kind enough to buy me an ipod and i geniuenly thought i had peed myself or something and i told my mom but she got confused and told me to hold it till we got home. then i went to the bathroom when i got home and panicked so i told my mom and she had to just do a mini explanation.” – crystalramirezx

This one that ruined a pair of super cute shorts.

“12 was ecstatic to wear my new all white glitter shorts. Summer vacation, I step out my room feeling my myself passed my dad he nearly fainted (didn’t say a word) went to my mom a floor down and I was about to sit in the white sofas we had before I twirled for my mom to show her my outfit when she stopped gasped and told me to shower. The rest I don’t remember what happened, I do know we threw my shirts away. Wore them for maybe 30 mins.” – gu.pita

This one that was poorly timed because of an RBD announcement

‘Back when RBD announced they were splitting up 🥺 worst week ever tbh.” – josiiiee__

This super sad story that ended with being bullied.

“oh boy do i remember. So I was in private school with 75 students. And out of all the students I was the last one to get it. I was 14 years old everyone in my school was considered a woman and I was always made fun of because I was still a child (their words not mine) so the day I got mine somehow Everyone in my school found out. And some asshole’s decided to put condoms in my backpack I didn’t know they put him there so when I went to open my backpack day fell out and I was sent to the principals office and I had to explain to her that I was being bullied because I was the last one to get my. At that school. middle school dont ever want to do that again.” – memylerena

And this story that proves no shorts are safe when it comes to first periods!

“I was about 11 years old. I was playing outside with my primas and I remember feeling my biker shorts (it’s was the 90’s lol) get wet. I ran to the bathroom and I was bleeding. I called for my mom and my prima @d_quiin came to the bathroom and explained to me what I should do. I remember her telling me, not to eat lemon and other things meanwhile on it. Lol!” – esperanza_and_friends

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