Barbie star America Ferrera has recently reflected on her struggles to fit in while growing up due to her cultural heritage.
“I was given the assignment to assimilate, excel and succeed. That meant leaving my heritage behind and trying to fit in,” said the 39-year-old at the Academy Women’s Luncheon Presented by Chanel, which was held at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles.
Ferrera, who was a first-generation daughter of Honduran immigrants, spoke up about her school days when she explored her talent at the school theatre departments.
“Despite my best efforts, I would remain ‘other’ to those around me – too Latina to be fully American, and too whitewashed to be accepted as Latina,” she recounted.
Ferrara stated, “After all, there were no successful actresses like me. I was brown, short, overweight, and poor.”
“I had no connections to the business and no money to pay for expensive acting programs. I had no community huddled around me, supporting my dreams,” mentioned the Real Women Have Curves star.
Ferrara added, “I, alone, held the vision for my life, and the belief that maybe I could do something I had never seen anyone like me do before.”
“I was used to standing on my own, the only woman, or the only person of colour in an important meeting or on set,” pointed out The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants 2 actress.
Meanwhile, Ferrera said she eventually found community by seeking out more Latinas in her circle.
“We must be resolute in our commitment to demanding opportunity, access, equal pay, investment and possibility for every woman. What I know today is that none of us needs to do it alone,” she concluded.