Wednesday night, I finally watched Real Women have Curves. I have heard about this movie for so long and how good it is and this and that but I had never actually taken time to sit down and watch it.
It was pretty good. There are so many themes that can be discussed in this movie and maybe I'm still in the school mind set mode but I kept thinking that teachers/professors could have their students write an essay about this movie. I was already imagining the prompt for the essay but I won't bore you with that.
I think the theme that struck me the most was the mother-daughter relationship with Ana, main character (played by America Ferrea). Ana and her mom frequently clash throughout the movie. Her mother is a very traditional Mexican that seems to be a bit bitter and resentful. She has worked since she was 13 and believes that Ana should work as well as soon as she graduates high school to help provide for the family. Family is very important in many cultures including Latin American cultures. In many cases like Ana's, family comes before school.
Ana a recent high school graduate and first generation Mexican-American has been accepted to attend Colombia University in New York City. Her parents, especially her mom are opposed to her to going college especially one that is very far from California, where they live. Ana works in her sister's demanding dress factory that resembles sweat shop factory conditions. Eventually Ana's dad lets her go to college but she mother never really approves.
It is something that I can relate to and something that I know a lot of my friends can relate to even more. Of course there are always going to be conflicts with moms and daughters especially during the teenage years. It's the clash between an old generation and new generation. I think it's especially hard for first generation Mexican-Americans like me, Ana and a lot of my friends that have to deal with old traditional Mexican values that our parents enforce versus the new mainstream, American life that we are living in.
I remember my roommate having a lot of trouble with her mom. Her mom didn't think that she should be wasting her time in college since she did not see if as a worthy investment. She would have preferred for her to stay and help out at home.
Also, I had an interesting conversation with a play director and UTEP professor. She was telling me that she had a lot of trouble convincing her parents to let her attend out of state college. She did her undergraduate degree in Chicago and attended Columbia University for her graduate degree in theatrical directing. Her parents had never heard of Columbia and did not realize how prestigious the school is and the worth of their investment. Her dad realized this himself when people would ask where her daughter was and when he would tell him that she was attending Columbia. He was surprised by the reactions that he got from the people that were impressed.
I know that a lot of people in El Paso decide to attend UTEP instead of going to another out of town university because they are really close to their families and could not see themselves leaving.
Being a very family oriented culture, it's hard to make the decision to move to another place where you wouldn't be able to see you family everyday. But it's also important to remember that our parents are immigrants and they left their families and way of life to embark on the challenges of a new country for better opportuinties. in the same way, young Latinas that are wanting a better education at an out of town college like Columbia are also seeking better opportunites that will benefit the family in the long run.