Real Women Have Curves



I watched the movie “Real Women Have Curves.” This movie was directed by Patricia Cardoso a female Columbian-American filmmaker. I really enjoyed this movie and I think it did a great job at portraying the life of a traditional Mexican-American young woman. Although the movie was released in 2002 I think that not much has changed being raised in a Mexican-American home being raised in one myself. I am very proud of the principles and values my family raised me on. I also think that Ana, the female protagonist, demonstrates how she is oppressed by her own family, in particular, her mother. Ana received a full scholarship to Columbia University but her mother does not want her to go because she believes that her place is sewing in her sister’s factory. Ana’s mother also believes that she needs to learn how to cook and clean so that Ana can have to more to offer to a potential husband. In one scene in the factory one of Ana’s co-workers says to her, “Ana, men do not like women that want to learn and know things”. Ana feels as though she is being denied the opportunity to pursue her education and dreams by the women that she is surrounded by including her mother, sister, and the women she works with. It is difficult for Ana to decide whether she wants to pursue her dreams because even though she does not agree with her mother she still loves and respects her and does not want to hurt her.

I related this movie to Lorde’s work, “Age, Sex, and Class.” While the circumstances are not the same thing, Lorde refers to the pain African American women suffer and how it sometimes leads to oppression and assault, even by African American men. This is especially difficult because the oppression comes from the men they love, their own people. This same oppression Ana experiences by her own mother, another woman just her like her. In the story of “Desiree’s Baby,” the woman expresses her relief that her husband is in a better mood since the birth of their child and it seems as though her happiness is irrelevant and dependent on that of her husband’s. This is precisely what Ana is trying to avoid, she wants to find her own happiness on her terms.



  1. I like how you compared this movie with Lorde’s work. You make some great points. Different cultures have different norms and values. My mother always wanted to be a nurse. But my grandparents wanted her to learn how to cook, clean and take care of everyone. She did learn all that and decided that she wanted to go to nursing school. Her first semester, she got married and never got to finish school. It’s like what you said about Ana in this movie. My mother also didn’t agree with her in-laws but she respects and loves them so she never fought back to finish her education. My father on the other hand, got to finish school after they got married. Unfortunately, many women in India still can’t finish school because Indian culture says for WOMEN, learning house chores, cooking and taking care of family comes before education.


  2. I enjoyed reading your review. I’ve never seen this movie but I’m interested in watching it because Anas situation is very similar to my mothers. My mom was taken out of school in the 8th grade to be taught to be a house because that was a “Woman’s place”. She wanted to be a nurse, which she eventually did in her 30’s. I love how you connected the movie to “Age, Sex, and Class”. In addition, it seems like Ana’s family is suppressing her power because of fear, fear of change or fear a man will never accept her for being educated. Great Post!


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