America Ferrera Radiates on Cover of 'Redbook,' Opens Up About 'Unlearning' Hollywood's Standard of Beauty
By Jennifer Drysdale
America Ferrera is stunning on the March cover of Redbook, but her appearance is far from the top of her mind.
Inside the magazine, the 32-year-old actress opens up about "unlearning" Hollywood's standard of beauty, and valuing other aspects of character.
"I grew up believing a lot of things about myself that I had to unlearn -- things that pertain to being a good woman, things about my weight or height," Ferrera admits. "As women, you're taught that your value is all about your appearance."
"When I was younger, I felt like everything was make or break. In my career and my relationships, there was a right way or a wrong way -- and I had to fit into the right box," she continues. "I've let go of those narrow definitions and found a balance."
Being able to find that balance has allowed Ferrera to take more chances in Hollywood, and pursue projects and opportunities that she thinks are important.
"We talk about a lot of things we want to see more women doing. We want more women producers, more women writers, more women directors -- and you can only say that so many times before you say, 'I'm a woman. What's stopping me from doing this?'" she shares. "I've had to ask myself: 'Why not me?'"
Ferrera has put herself out there in more ways than one, making strides as a woman, Latina and activist -- though the former Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants star says some successes are just for herself.
"It is true that I represent women, and it is true that I represent Latinas, but it's also true that I'm myself. My successes and my failures don't have to have this enormous weight on them; they can just be mine," she reveals. "Whatever moves you forward, focus on it. Whatever handicaps you or paralyzes you, that's the thing to get rid of."