'It still just makes me think about how far we've come, but also how far we have to go.'
America Ferrera couldn't help but get emotional during her visit to the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. The actress came face-to-face with her 17-year-old self in the Real Women Have Curves exhibit, and posted about the experience on Instagram.
"It's been 20 years, and it's really overwhelming to get to see this film be celebrated and to still mean so much to so many people," Ferrera said of the groundbreaking 2002 film directed by Patricia Cardoso and based on the play of the same name by Josefina López.
"These are happy tears, obviously," she explained. "I'm just really overwhelmed by the fortune I've had to get to be a part of so many beautiful, meaningful stories, and it still just makes me think about how far we've come, but also how far we have to go and how important it is that we're paving the path so that more of our stories can be told, more of our lives can be celebrated and we can see ourselves represented in our culture."
"This is really beautiful," Ferrera concluded. "Thank you to the Academy. Wow."
The 37-year-old actress shared more of the "surreal experience" in her caption.
"😭 Just had the surreal experience of visiting the Real Women Have Curves exhibit at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures," she began. "I am so grateful that this film and the contributions of Latinx creators are included in the museums narrative. I look forward to seeing the museum continue that inclusion."
"The museum is truly spectacular and magical- and I most appreciate how many opportunities the curators have taken to discuss the exclusion of women and minorities throughout cinema history. The opening of this museum feels monumental and like an opportunity to have big and important conversations about the impact and importance of the stories we tell," she expressed. "Thank you to the curator of this exhibit #SophiaSerrano - you did a beautiful job. And to Ana Santiago and Shawn Anderson for the visit. I am filled with inspiration and love for the magic of the movies! Thank you to The Academy (always wanted to say that!) #academymuseum @academymuseum."
Ferrera's post received lots of love in the comments, including from Ava DuVernay.
"I cried happy tears with you, my friend. Hard to explain your tears to folks who don’t know what absence feels like. But the museum is indeed spectacular because we are ALL present," DuVernay wrote. "It was built for all of us to see ourselves and to be seen. So deep down thrilled that you had this moment. May many more feel the same in the coming weeks, months, years, forever. Onward!"
See more on Ferrera in the video below.