Designing a Life
”Real Women Have Curves” is a cute coming of age
story in which Ana, a first generation Mexican-American
teenager, is living in a predominately Latino community of East
Los Angeles. This movie is filled with culture and sun drenched
America Ferrera has personal experience with this type of
situation and this is perhaps why she adds such beauty and
understanding to her role. She knows how even school counselors
will not always encourage the dreams of their students. While in
real life her mother encouraged her educational goals, in this
movie, Ana’s mother is completely against her daughter’s
dream of going to college.
As she is evolving very quickly into a woman, Ana learns to
accept her body, her needs and her dreams about her future.
While her attitude about various subjects are definitely more
modern than her families traditional values, she eventually
learns to respect and value her family members. Ana is trying to
deal with her own inner desires and the expectations of her
I found this movie amusing from the perspective of someone
who used to sew all her own clothes as a teenager. Living in
Africa did encourage such activities. This is a story about a
teenager who thinks sewing and ironing are definitely not as fun
as dating and reading a good book. I found out about dating
after the sewing.
Like most teenagers in America, Ana finds a part-time job.
What is amazing is that while attending Beverly Hills High
School, she becomes almost unaware of what the rest of her
family struggles with on a daily basis. I think this might have
something to do with having to take three buses to get to school
and three to get home. Her day is consumed with travel and
On the last day of school, her mother competes for her
attention and Ana chooses to ignore her mother’s pain and go
to school anyway. There is obviously a struggle between her
family responsibilities and wanting to create her own life. Her
mother (Lupe Ontiveros) is going through menopause and Ana is
just finding out about her own sexuality.
The two women are separated by a wide gulf of
misunderstandings and life experiences. We laugh as Ana’s
mother says she is pregnant, all while fearing her daughter
might date and become pregnant. This movie tries to also teach a
bit about birth control, but fails to emphasis the need for
commitment and love before consummation. To Ana, sex just seems
to be something fun to do and doesn’t seem to care if she sees
her boyfriend again. Perhaps this emphasizes her masculine side.
One of her supportive teacher, Mr. Guzman (George Lopez),
keeps encouraging Ana to pursue her dreams of college, while her
family wants to selfishly keep her to work in the sewing
sweatshop. When Ana (the beautiful America Ferrera) does have to
help her family to keep the factory working, she learns to
appreciate how difficult life has been for her sister, Estela
(Ingrid Oliu), and gains a new respect for her mother.
I thought this movie was cute enough to watch three times and
enjoyed the commentary! I liked the fact that Ana is willing to
accept herself and show the world what a “real” woman looks
Ana’s mother is a real character and her facial expressions
are at times just hilarious. She tries to teach Ana life lessons
through stories, but it seems Ana is going to have to learn how
to deal with life on her own. Mothers and daughters will relate
well to this movie. For some reason they don’t focus on any of
Ana’s female friendships, yet she does seem to have a rich
family life and a boyfriend. She has a beautiful relationship
with her grandfather who fully supports her in her dreams.
A word of advice: If you burn yourself with an iron – apply
an ice cube immediately. It works!
A film about family and seeking fulfillment in your own life.
I didn’t really find this to be as much a “comedy” as a
comforting story about finding your dreams.
~The Rebecca Review
Inner Strength of Today's Women, March 23, 2005
"Spirituality is a total awareness of one's life and trying
to act from the point of love." ~Nancy
Michelle A. Quigley has created a beautiful book about how
ordinary women make their lives extraordinary. She interviewed
one hundred women to discover the common threads in female
spirituality. As you read the quotes from the participants, you
start to identify with a variety of ideas.
Defining the intangible qualities of spirituality can be
challenging and after reading this book you may start to realize
that the doorway to spirituality is often through the tangible.
What helps you make it through the day? Do you look forward to
giving something back to your community through volunteering? Do
you feel closer to God while reading a healing book, exercising,
creating art, giving emotional support to friends or while
singing in church?
Michelle A. Quigley interviewed Marketing Coordinators,
Saleswomen, Psychologists, Nurses, Teachers, Executives,
Waitresses, Secretaries, Mothers, Social Workers, Librarians and
Designers for Computer Companies.
Each chapter focuses on a specific subject discussed during the
interviews. The author includes quotes, observations and notes
about her own journey. Many of the women had unique ways of
defining spirituality. I also enjoyed reading the section on
Spiritual Expressions. Through reading this book you can
discover when women feel the most spiritual, when spirituality
is difficult at various times in life and how spirituality can
make your life more beautiful. There is also a section on the
barriers and how you can overcome problems in your life to
achieve the euphoric feeling of being close to God.
While this book will be interesting to women, there is also a
section specifically for men. In this section women explain how
they view men who are spiritual and discuss their understanding
of male spirituality. The final chapter is filled with
encouragement specifically for women.
Soul Awakenings is a journey into everyday spirituality and
Michelle A. Quigley makes spirituality accessible to all women,
whether they believe in organized religion or they find God in
nature. The quotes in this book may even encourage you to awaken
in your own way and find your own unique spiritual expression.
"Find ways to connect. Find ways to get a sense of
~The Rebecca Review
Chestnut Hair Color
Strength and Volume, March 8, 2007
Trying one box of Naturtint Intense Permanent Hair Colorant may
encourage dreams of trying additional colors throughout the
year. The experience of coloring with this product was very
pleasant (No Ammonia - makes a big difference in the comfort
level) and much less messy than coloring with henna.
The results seem similar to natural products I've tried, but
this one has the additional benefit of increasing the volume of
your hair. Each strand will increase in strength as you use the
Nutrideep Multiplier. This is a cream conditioner included with
The products in this packet include ingredients like oats,
wheat, corn, soy and coconut to give hair nourishment. They
really did consider everything to make your hair coloring task a
breeze. The Hair Colorant and Color Developer mix up nicely in
the applicator bottle that has an applicator tip with a twist
off top. No need to even look for a scissors, they thought of
After you color and shampoo your hair, you can apply the
conditioner and leave it on for two minutes. I found this is
necessary and it effectively brings out the depth of the hair
color and produces shiny bouncy hair that is full and much
easier to manage than before you started the process.
The iridescent chestnut color seems perfect for anytime you want
to add in beautiful highlights with a subtle bronze color. Leave
on for up to 40 minutes to completely cover gray. I left this on
for 40 minutes and instead of getting darker, it seemed to
highlight even more.
~The Rebecca Review