America Ferrera has received a standing ovation as she accepted a prestigious award at the Critics Choice Awards.
The Latina actress was given the Critics Choice's 8th annual SeeHer Award at the awards ceremony.
Presented by her Barbie co-star Margot Robbie, the award honours a woman who advocates for gender equality, portrays characters with authenticity, defies stereotypes and pushes boundaries.
When she accepted the award, America talked about the future for Latina actresses. She said: “I grew up as a first-generation Honduran American girl in love with TV, film and theatre, who desperately wanted to be a part of a storytelling legacy that I could not see myself reflected in,” she said.
“Of course, I could feel myself in characters who were strong and complex, but these characters rarely, if ever, looked like me. I yearned to see people like myself on screen, as full humans.”
She said that when she started working, it seemed “impossible that anyone could make a career portraying fully dimensional Latina characters, but because writers, directors, producers and executives who were daring enough to rewrite outdated stories and to challenge deeply entrenched biases, I and some of my beloved Latina colleagues have been supremely blessed to bring to life some fierce and fantastic women.”
She specifically named Selena Gomez and Jenna Ortega as inspirational Latina women in the industry.
Ferrera had also been nominated for Best Supporting Actress for playing Gloria in Barbie, but missed out to Da'Vine Joy Randolph for The Holdovers.
“You have to be thin, but not too thin. And you can never say you want to be thin. You have to say you want to be healthy, but also you have to be thin. You have to have money, but you can't ask for money because that's crass. You have to be a boss, but you can't be mean. You have to lead, but you can't squash other people's ideas. You're supposed to love being a mother, but don't talk about your kids all the damn time. You have to be a career woman but also always be looking out for other people.”