To be brutally honest, I did not want to like America Ferrera or Ugly Betty. During the summer of 2006 one of my celebrity hairdresser friends in Los Angeles told me a "behind the scenes story" about America which include some hair extensions and a bit of a tantrum she had. He also told me she had a reputation as always being late for filming.
Granted I didn't know anything about her but I did believe my friend. He has never lied to me before and he works with a daunting list of celebrities from big time movie stars to TV giants.
When Ugly Betty hit the airwaves I boycotted and refused to watch. One day I was forced to watch for research purposes because I was assigned a hair profile on one of the supporting actresses.
To my dismay, I loved the show. It got under my skin and I had to drop everything and go back and catch every episode.
I also loved America Georgine Ferrera in the role of Betty Suarez. Whether she is a rascal off the screen or not, she really does an amazing job as Betty Suarez.
I honestly don't know if she got her stuff together behind the scenes but at this point I don't really care. Afterall, maybe she was having a bad day, week, month of year.
Maybe not, at this point I have to commend her acting and of course her hair. While I love her dorky Betty hair, I also think she and her celebrity hairdressers have done a great job with her "real" hair.
Who Is America Ferrera?
Since her breakthrough performance on Ugly Betty on ABC, a lot has been written about America in the media. She went from being a relative unknown to a big name TV star who is now hounded by the papparrizi with no real personal privacy.
W Magazine featured America on their cover for their May 2007 edition. A great interview with America rehashed a lot of information already on the Internet, but did reveal some new tidbits.
America Ferrera was born on April 18, 1984, the sixth and youngest child of Honduran immigrants and grew up in Woodland Hills, California. America's father left the family when she was just seven years old and moved back to Honduras. Betty's mother, also named America, was a manager for housekeeping for the Hilton Hotel chain and decided to stay in California for the sake of her children.
America confessed to W Magazine that her family never encouraged her acting career. Even though the young actress caught the acting bug early, she tried to shake it in favor of becoming a lawyer.
At the tender age of 16 she landed a part in a Disney Channel movie called Gotta Kick It Up. This was after years of acting in school plays and working hard to make it in Hollywood.
She admitted to W Magazine that she had a "mini nervous breakdown" when she realized that winning a part in a film wasn't all that it was cracked up to be. She had to acknowledge that her life continued onward and she still had her own problems to deal with.
In 2002 she was cast in Real Women Have Curves and America won a Special Jury Prize at Sundance. The film won an Audience Award. "Acting is something I knew I wanted to do long term" she told W but she also knew that college was not an option.
She continued to honor her acting bug while attending the University of Southern California. In her mind, if acting didn't pan out, she would follow her second career goals which meant being a lawyer.
College helped America in a number of ways. She met her current boyfriend there and because of her intense schedule she learned to get serious about the roles she was willing to accept. She didn't have time to attend classes and act in a lot of films so she narrowed her selections down to those that really appealed to her.
Such was the case with The Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants that she appeared in with three other noteworthy young actresses - Amber Tamblyn (Joan of Arcadia), Blake Lively (Gossip Girl) and Alexis Bledel (Gilmore Girls).
Hooking Up With Ugly Betty
America has an element of luck on her side. She actually met producer Salma Hayek in 2002 behind the scenes at an Oprah show. While she was in New York in 2005 she ran into Salma who beseiged her with requests to star in Ugly Betty based on the famous Colombian telenova - Yo Soy Betty la Fea.
As America told W Magazine "Salma is the kind of person who could sell you, like a used stereo." Although America couldn't really see herself doing television, Salma promised the show would be done right and America trusted Salma to keep her word. Which she did.
Her role as Betty has propelled America into major stardom. She is beloved by many fans but has had to deal with constant scrutiny about her weight and her love life. Her engagement of lack of engagement has been widely discussed in the tabloids providing a series of challenges to America.
Even though she has been rewarded for working grueling days that start at 12 hours a day and accelerate to 24 hour days (towards the end of the week), with an Emmy Award, Golden Globe, ALMA Award and Imagen Award, she deserves the victories.
Dealing With Curves & Weight Issues
Her curves has been a constant source of discussion by the press. She can't really win. The press seems to delight in describing her as "lumpy" when in reality she is a normal weight for her height and size.
When Betty first hit the airwaves America appeared to weigh more than her character does now.
Both America and the producers of Betty have been praised for portraying a real woman with real meat on her bones.
Therefore, as Betty appears to get thinner over time, the same people praising America have criticized her for losing weight and sight of the need for healthy weight models.
What The Future Holds
America seems very mature for her age which will be 24 this year. She has explained this as the fact she is the youngest child of six and was forced to grow up quickly. She has one brother and four sisters who are all approximately one year apart.
"Happiness is something you have to decide to have in your life" America told W Magazine.
America is very intelligent and well read. She believes that if she wants something in her life she has the power to make it happen. Therefore she is taking more control of her career to carve out roles she wants to play and avoid getting stuck in any stereotypes.
America recently appeared in Fox Searchlight’s independent film “Under the Same Moon.” Directed by Patricia Riggen, the story chronicles a nine-year-old Mexican boy’s journey to the United States to find his migrant mother after the grandmother who is taking care of him passes away. The film, slated for a March 2008 release, also stars Mexican actors Kate Del Castillo and Eugenio Derbez.
America also recently finished filming "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2" the sequel to the hit 2005 film in which she starred. She also starred in the bilingual independent film "Toward Darkness" which she executive-produced.
Directed by Antonio Negret, the film follows the last 90 minutes in a kidnapped hostage's life and the frustration that his family, a man in charge of delivering the ransom money and a special ops team all feel as they rush to save him. Ferrera plays a young woman who has a complicated relationship with the young kidnapping victim.
Steal America's Gorgeous Hair Style
America Ferrera plays ”Ugly Betty" on TV by wearing a shaggy wig, thick glasses and colored. braces. She also wears thick busy eyebrows and mismatched clothing.
The media has noted that Ugly Betty has slowly gotten better looking with each passing episode. Her clothing has also improved and she has lost some of the more garish combinations.
Betty told W Magazine, "I think it's hilarious when people call Jessica Alba or Eva Longoria curvy. Come on. They're not curvy; they're small. I'm curvy."
It is known that from time to time Betty has been known to wear hair extensions. This is not really a big deal, the question for Hollywood would be who doesn't wear extensions, either fusion or clip-in?
Note: If you would like to instantly achieve Betty's long lush hairstyles, check out Jessica Simpson's HairDo options in a wide range of lengths, textures and colors.
When I researching America's many hairstyles since 2001 I was not able to find a single image of her with full bangs. I found just a few hairstyles where she wore side-swept bangs or had a few wispy strands falling over one eye in a sexy array of pieces.
Although she appears to favor wearing her hair to her shoulders or longer, she also wears her hair up in a series of very soft sensual twists and updos.
There is no question that America Ferrera is a real beauty when she is not decked out as the homely Betty.
Complete The Following Steps:
If you'd like to re-create the long lush hairstyle America is wearing follow the steps below:
America has a square shaped face with well formed cheekbones and a slightly squared off jaw. She has very well shaped eyebrows and great skin tone dusted with a light sprinkling of freckles. America looks great with hair that is longer which balances her face shape.
America wears her rich coffee colored hair off her face cascading from a side part. In some photos she is seen with one side of her hair tucked behind one ear with the other side allowed to caress on cheek ala Veronica Lake.
Although her hair is full and lush, the ends alternate between just a hint of bend to full curls and waves.
Step 1: Shampoo and condition your hair with hair care products designed for your current hair type, texture and condition. If your hair is chemically highlighted, colored or texturized, remember to use products that honor the special needs of chemically processed strands.
Step 2: Gently towel blot your hair with a thick towel designed to help absorb moisture. Avoid rubbing hair vigorously to avoid frizz. Continue to gently blot hair until all excess moisture is removed.
Step 3: Mix a cocktail of leave-in conditioner and frizz buster in the palms of your hands. Apply to damp strands to help keep hair soft and frizz free.
Frizz Fighters to try for naturally curly strands: Phytodefrisant - Relaxing Baum - 3.3 fl oz (100ml) and John Frieda - Frizz Ease - Original Formula Hair Serum Dropper
Step 4: Apply a tennis ball size of mousse to the palms of your hands. Distribute well through damps strands in order to provide just the right balance of moisture and sheen.
Note: Avoid using gels or similar styling products which will make hair stick and tacky. For a softer, more natural look, stick with mousse or very light cream.
Step 5: Use a wide toothed comb to detangle gently and make sure that the applied styling products are well distributed. Make a part and sweep the hair to the side, allowing it to fall over the forehead on one side.
Step 6: Use a blow dryer along with a medium sized round brush and separate strands into 2" sections in order to achieve uniform blow drying.
Blow-dry hair using the round brush to smooth the top sections while wrapping the brush around the ends to help form loose curls and waves.
Step 7: When hair is 100% dry, separate strands into 2" strands and use either a medium barrel curling iron or hot rollers to curl hair if curls and waves are desired. After each section has been curled, pin newly created curls against scalp to completely cool.
Step 8: Once all of the pinned curls are completely cool, spritz lightly with hairspray. Allow the spray to dry. Unpin one curl at a time.
Use a boar's bristle brush to deconstruct curls and arrange them into a sleek style with perimeter curls or use fingers to tousle and arrange.
Step 9: Apply a shine serum and carefully brush over the top of the hairstyle.
Step 10: Spray well with soft hold hairspray.
America Ferrea has achieved great success at the ripe old age of 23. Besides making a name for herself in the Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants movie, she has hit the big time with her starring role as Betty in TV's Ugly Betty.
She has won many awards for her acting and been touted as a great actress by the critics.
Even though she is sometimes the victim of tabloid rumors and constant criticism for her weight, America Ferrera has a pretty great life and understands that happiness comes from within.
Don't expect America Ferrera to start hanging out with Paris Hilton, Britney Spears or hitting the party scene anytime soon. Besides working as much as 24 hour days, confirmed by her producers, America has big ambitions for the future with regards to her acting career and her goals to finish her degree.
America wants to have a large family and she wants to produce, direct and continue acting. She also has an interest in teaching as well.
Right now, as she told W Magazine, her biggest challenge is "learning to enjoy her success".