Latina Women, Body Image and the Fashion Industry

A Note From the Dramaturg:

Throughout Real Women Have Curves we see the women in the play struggling with their relationship with their bodies.  Carmen chastises both her daughters throughout the play for being overweight.  Ana admits that she doesn’t want to lose weight because she sees her size as an “F you” to society.  Rosali is making herself sick because she is taking diet pills and not eating.  One of the most iconic moments in the play is when all the women take off their clothes and learn to start celebrating their bodies, embracing each other and ultimately themselves.  The play also alludes to the idealized “perfect body” for whom the women are making dresses.  Below are some resources and summaries exploring body issues, particularly for Latina women and also how Latina women will be impacting the fashion industry in the near future.

 Latina women and body image:

Latina women are found to have body image issues at comparable if not higher rates than Caucasian women.  One issue particular to women of color is that they are less likely to be diagnosed with eating disorders and psychological disorders related to body-image.  Women of color also deal with the added layers of a negative self-image in regards to hair “kinkiness” and skin color because more “European features” (straight hair, light skin) are generally favored.

Online Reading: 

Cosmopolitan: Latina Body Image Activists

NBC News

University of Florida: Minority Women, Media, and Body Image

Fierce: 7 Body Positive Latina Fashion Models 


Hijas Americanas: Beauty, body image, and growing up Latina. 

A Hunger So Wide and So Deep

Young women and the body: A feminist sociology.


Nalgona Pride 

Latina women and the fashion industry:

Latina women are fastest becoming the largest consumers of the fashion industry.  Latina women will comprise 30% of the population of women in the U.S. by 2060.

NBC News

Makers Row


Fashion industry and body image:

A prime example: In 2009, Karl Lagerfield said, “Nobody wants to see curvy women on the runway.”  But curvy women in fact represent the average woman in the United States.  As a matter of fact, the majority of women in the U.S. wear a size 12 or higher and there has been a recent push to have more diversity in the fashion industry, including on the runways.

Huffington Post


Washington Post 

National Communication Association