America Ferrera said she ‘wasted time’ on diets during ‘Ugly Betty’ days

Ugly Betty allowed America Ferrera to thrive as it is today. The role helped the actor come to his own and solidify his name in entertainment. However, she has been criticized for her weight for years. Ferrera has come a long way since then, but she said she “wasted time” on diets early in her career.

America Ferrera made history with ‘Ugly Betty’

America Ferrera attends the 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards Nominations Announcement held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on December 10, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)

Ferrera got her first TV movie role in 2002 when she appeared in I have to throw it! His feature film debut came later that year, appearing in Real women have curves, a role that won him critical acclaim. She then had roles in films like The Sisterhood of Travel Pants.

Her breakthrough came in 2006 when executive producer Salma Hayek approached her for the title role in Ugly Betty. She gained a lot of success for this. In 2007, Ferrera won several awards, including becoming the first Latina woman to win the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.

Ugly Betty gave Ferrera a lot of exposure and helped her land more roles. She lent her voice to the anime How to train your dragon franchise and appeared in the musical Chicago. Ferrera got additional recognition for his starring role in the comedy series Hypermarket.

America Ferrera wasted time with diets

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While it was once common for actors to repeatedly diet down to the smallest waistlines, in recent years various celebrities have condemned diet culture as misleading and dangerous. However, Ferrera worked to follow industry standards early in his career. In 2012, she told Us Weekly how the practice had affected her.

“Most of the time, I hate photo shoots and I hate being on the red carpet,” she explained. “I don’t think I’m very well equipped for the scrutiny or the pressure to be perfect and I don’t think anyone really is.”

Ferrera went on to say that she was “wasting time” on “diets and what I look like.” She felt less than every time people complimented her and her work. “People say, ‘We love you and love what you do.’ And you’re sitting there thinking, ‘I’m not skinny enough or pretty enough,'” the actor noted.

She acknowledged that overcoming such beliefs took a lot of time and work. The star urged others to focus more on their talents and contributions to society instead of “what your butt looks like in those jeans”.

Ferrera felt she didn’t deserve her Emmy

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In 2020, Ferrera sat down with Dax Shepherd for his Expert Armchair podcast. She remembers having low self-esteem during her Ugly Betty days, which affected his historic Emmy win. “When I won the Emmy, I can’t bring myself to go back and watch that because the only thing I remember being on that stage, accepting that Emmy, was was feeling that no one in the room thought I deserved it,” the actor said.

Ferrera explained that even those in her life continued that narrative and made her feel like she didn’t deserve her win. “When I think back to those times, my heart aches for this 22-year-old girl who didn’t really get to enjoy those times.” Today, Ferrera is determined to create “more opportunities for little brunette girls to realize their talent and their dream.”

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