Film series celebrates womanhood during HerStory Month

Eighteen-year-old Ana, a first-generation Mexican-American from Los Angeles, thought her life was set when she received a scholarship to Columbia University. Her parents had different ideas. They wanted her to work at a sewing factory to help her family. It is at this factory, however, that Ana learns some of life’s most valuable lessons.

Although Ana is a fictional character in the HBO film “Real Women Have Curves,” the message of the strength of women is clear through the movie’s exploration of race, gender, class and body image, said Karen Steele, associate professor of English and director of Women’s Studies.

“The film explores with humor and complexity the challenges of balancing on the hyphen, as it were, between Chicano and Anglo worlds,” Steele said.

This is one of three films being shown this month in celebration of Women’s HerStory Month. The Women’s Network, a group of students and faculty concerned about gender justice and other important social issues, and Chi Upsilon Sigma National Latin Sorority, Inc. collaborated together to sponsor this event, said Lauren Love, a senior social work major.

“We chose this film because of its emphasis on discarding the ideal thin female body as beautiful and for the prominence of sisterhood throughout the film,” said Christina Ramos, a freshman sociology major.

Narcely Ruiz, a senior criminal justice major and CUS cultural events coordinator, said students should attend this event to become more aware of the educational, political, social and cultural issues surrounding them, as well as to celebrate Women’s HerStory Month.

“This is the first time these two organizations of strong women have joined forces,” Ruiz said. “We are extremely excited to work with them and hope we can work together again in the future.”

The movie will be followed by a 15 to 20 minute discussion about the Mexican-American/Chicana culture, body image, strength and pride of women, and sisterhood, Ruiz said.