Velvet Barrios pp 265-282 | Cite as

Resisting “Beauty” and Real Women Have Curves

  • María P. Figueroa
Part of the New Directions in Latino American Cultures book series (NDLAC)


Popular culture can be seen, and has been interpreted by some, as a structure of dominance that perpetuates and enhances a dominant ideology invested with the social construction of whiteness, and correspondingly with capitalist cultural commodification. When we examine the representation of Latina bodies in mainstream popular culture, or even in Latina/o popular culture that crosses over or that is produced by the mainstream culture industry, this interpretation becomes an accurate and problematic statement about the abject state of the female body in the popular imagination. This essay will examine hegemonic social constructions of “beauty” in juxtaposition with portrayals of Latina bodies in three kinds of texts: Latina magazine, the cultural icon of Selena, and Jose-fina López’s play, Real Women Have Curves.


Feminist Issue Dominant Ideology Illegal Alien Beauty Ideal Undocumented Worker 


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Copyright information

© Alicia Gaspar de Alba 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • María P. Figueroa

There are no affiliations available

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