America Ferrera Says Latina Women Have Been 'Relegated to Hyper-Sexualized Objects' in Hollywood

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America Ferrera
Photo: Getty Images

America Ferrera gets candid with Hillary Clinton about her struggle as a Latina actress.

The Ugly Betty star speaks with the former presidential candidate for The New York Times and opens up about the fears she faced in Hollywood as a minority.

"As a woman, as a Latina, I’ve always felt there’s a very narrow version of me that’s acceptable, that’s allowed to succeed. And if I stray from that, I’m not just failing myself, I’m failing so many," Ferrera explains. "So, I’ve operated from a place of fear, not from my most-alive self."

The 33-year-old actress also admits that she felt typecast as a Latina woman. "As an actress, the idea that women are relegated to certain roles, and Latina women are further relegated to hyper-sexualized objects, just to fit in, has completely limited my career and me as a human being," she continues. "But I’m calling bull! Why should I have to compete with every other brown woman just because somebody says this is the amount of pie we’re willing to give you?"

Ferrera adds, "Women grow up in the same culture as men. We’re taught to hate ourselves with as many, if not more, messages every day."

Not only has Ferrera spoken out in support of Clinton and Latina women everywhere, she also defended Girls star Lena Dunham during an exclusive interview with ET in March. 

"Everyone is focused on the least interesting thing about her," Ferrera said of her friend's weight loss. "Whether or not she's gaining or losing weight in a good way or a bad way has nothing to do with her worth or her value."

Check out more of ET's interview with the actress: