America Ferrera Is Ready to Fully Become Her Authentic Self
“I didn’t need my dream to be easy, I just needed it to be possible,” America Ferrera said in her TED Talk that came out in April of this year. Her TED Talk is titled, “My identity is a superpower – not an obstacle” which took her a little while to figure out. In this 14 minute talk, America discusses the importance of being authentically you.
When America got her first professional audition at 15 she was asked by the casting director if she could sound more “Latina” but she did not understand what she was being asked to do. America said, “Well, I am a Latina, so isn’t this what a Latina sounds like?” She then realized that they wanted her to speak in broken English.
America explained that she did not get many of the jobs the industry stereotyped her as. They wanted her to play a shoplifter or a pregnant Chola. “These were the kinds of roles that existed for someone like me. Someone they looked at as too brown, too fat, too poor, too unsophisticated.” She explained that these roles could not be further from her who she is and how she lives her life.
“I wanted to play people who were complex and multidimensional, people who existed in the center of their own lives.” America goes on to say that she does not want to be a background character of someone else’s life because of how she looks. When she went to audition for roles that were not written as a bad stereotype she was told that they were not looking to cast the role diversly.
“I kept receiving the same message again and again and again. That my identity was an obstacle I had to overcome.” America believes that representation in the media is important. It is important for young children out there who have dreams like she did and want to see themselves in the industry.
“I am just one of millions of people who have been told that in order to fulfill my dreams, in order to contribute my talents to the world I have to resist the truth of who I am. I for one am ready to stop resisting and to start existing as my full and authentic self.”
Watch the full inspirational Ted Talk below.