Real Women Have Curves
Ana is a Mexican-American girl growing up in traditional family. The movie focuses on Ana just after she graduates from high school. It deals with important issues such as body image, sex, and learning to let go. She longs to continue her education by attending college. Her parents have a different plan in mind. They want Ana to help with expenses by working at her sister’s sewing factory.
Being raised in a traditional family, Ana’s parents have raised her in a fairly strict environment. Among other things, her mom and dad have raised her to be a nice virgin girl for her future husband. Ana is told by her mom that a woman’s virginity is all that she has to offer. After she starts dating a respectable boy, Ana is forced to decide whether her mom is right or not.
Ana also is forced to endure her mom’s constant and seemingly endless criticism of how “fat” Ana is. Her mother sees pointing out Ana’s body size as a method of improvement. The constant putdowns could almost be seen as a form of abuse. Ana is never allowed to forget how her mom feels towards her, even when she longs to feel like a lady. While many people might consider Ana to be overweight she is nonetheless an alluring, outgoing and intelligent woman. She eventually learns that every woman’s body is beautiful, including her own.
Throughout the movie we watch Ana grow into a woman. Although the time period is limited the situations she goes through in the summer such as working at her sister’s factory force her to either sink or swim. Ana swims. She stands up for her body, her sister, and the decisions she wants to make. Her parents finally agree to for her to attend Columbia University.
Written by Women's Resource Center Volunteer, Bayan Al-Absy