America Ferrera’s work centers around the idea of art as activism, dissecting identity and telling the stories of everyday people. The actress, activist, and most recently director, continuously uses her voice to challenge the norm; this is evident in everything from her first movie, Real Women Have Curves, to the speech she gave at The Women’s March on Washington. In a recent interview with Vulture, America opened up about her new role of directing, growing up as the child of immigrants and her Latina identity. As a woman in the film industry, especially as a woman of color, America has had to break through many barriers that others may not have to worry about.
America said she always struggled navigating her Latinx roots while growing up in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles surrounded by mostly Jewish friends. Now she’s using this as a catalyst to tell the stories of others dealing with the same thing She told told Vulture.com
“You want to honor your roots and your past, but you also want to burst at the seams and grow into something new. That inner struggle is something I so relate to, being the daughter of immigrants. I really, really struggled with my American identity versus my Latino identity growing up. And I never saw that struggle portrayed around me so I felt very alone in that, only to grow up and realize, Oh wait, we all feel this way?”
One of the things we love so much about America is that she refuses to make herself smaller just to blend in or fit into the patriarchal mold that’s so often pushed onto Latinx women. Instead she challenges this. Today, this means dissecting even more identities in a professional setting; not only is she an actress but she’s also a director, a producer, a creative and an activist. “I am happiest and most fulfilled when I am nourishing and giving time and energy to all the different aspects of who I am,” she says.
As for if we can expect a President America? She’s not quite sure. She says
“We all have something to give, and it doesn’t seem like there’s ever been a more important time to ask yourself, Who do I want to be in this unprecedented era of this country figuring out what it is? So I don’t know. I think that the answer is I don’t know. I don’t know anything.”
This answer excites us, because it technically isn’t a hard “no.” Here’s to 2020.