Jennifer Dec 02, 2023 Interviews

America Ferrera is reflecting on how her body has been viewed in Hollywood throughout her career.

Speaking with ELLE for their 2023 Women in Hollywood issue, the 39-year-old actress recalled how “ridiculous” it was that a lot of her early roles — like in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants or Ugly Betty — were centered around her body type.

“What’s so insane is, you go back and look, and I had a very average-size body. 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,” she told the outlet. “I was Hollywood’s version of imperfect, which seems so ridiculous.”

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

As she continues her acting career, Ferrera said she’s hoping to move away from being typecast based on the standards that others set for her and to continue landing roles that push boundaries, like her most recent roles in Barbie and Dumb Money.

“What I continue to wish for my career, and women’s careers and people of color’s careers, is that we don’t have to exist inside of these boxes or these lanes — that we don’t have to be relegated to represent just the thing that the culture wants us to represent,” she said.

Ferrera continued, “I want to be more of who I am as a person, and to get to make art that doesn’t fit into any of the boxes and isn’t about the dominant conversation people have wanted to have about me because I’m a woman who doesn’t fit into stereotypical Hollywood.”

This isn’t the first time Ferrera has been candid about what it’s like to be in the spotlight and have her physical appearance scrutinized.

Back in 2017, the actress told Redbook that gaining body confidence has been a work in progress and she’s learned that there’s more to a woman’s value than her appearance.

“I grew up believing a lot of things about myself that I had to unlearn — things that pertain to being a good woman, things about my weight or height,” she said at the time. “As women, you’re taught that your value is all about your appearance, not your ideas and your tenacity and your courage and your bravery and your adventurous spirit. Look, I love getting dressed up and looking beautiful. But that’s one tiny piece of me.”

Source: People