Real Women Have Curves Play Analysis

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Both the play Real Women Have Curves by Josefina Lopez and the movie adaptation make an attempt to communicate the message of female empowerment through their respective protagonists, Estela and Ana. Men resolve most of Ana’s problems, whereas Estela relies on herself and other women. The play conveys the theme of female empowerment because it is female-centric, successfully addresses the issues of body image, and focuses on women’s independence and self-validation. Lopez’s play serves as an example of what can happen when women uplift and depend on each other, as opposed to men.
In comparison to the movie, the play undermines male dominance by focusing on women’s efforts to solve their own problems. First of all, there aren’t even men in the cast of the play,
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In the play, Estela goes on a date with a man she calls El Tormento where he forces himself on her and tells her that she is beautiful even though she is fat. Estela leaves the date and severs ties with El Tormento because she wants “to be taken seriously, to be considered a person...”(59). Estella doesn’t need El Tormento to validate her self-esteem. When he tries, she leaves him because she realizes he only wants her for body. In the movie, Ana uses Jimmy to validate her self-esteem by losing her virginity to him to contest her mother’s wishes, and then leaves him before he has the chance to leave her. This shows that despite her efforts to show independence, she displays insecurity by assuming Jimmy will leave her in the first place. This is inversely related to the play because Estela finds validation within herself, whereas Ana seeks validation externally from a man. Both seems display an attempt at validation, but only in the play is the protagonist shown rejecting the idea of a woman’s validation of self-esteem being solely based on the opinion or desire of male
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