America Ferrera Grew Up 'Very Whitewashed'

The former 'Ugly Betty' actress opens up on her upbringing as she grew up hiding her Latina roots in a predominantly white and Jewish area in Los Angeles.

AceShowbiz - "Ugly Betty" star America Ferrera has reconnected with her Latina identity after she was forced to downplay her roots as a kid.

The "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" star, who was born to Honduran parents, grew up in a predominantly white and Jewish area in Los Angeles.

"I went to public schools that were predominantly white. And, I lived in neighbourhoods that were, you know, we were surrounded by predominantly white and actually very Jewish communities (sic)," she said on "The Jess Cagle Podcast" with Julia Cunningham.

"And so, you know all of that (is) to say that my Latina identity was not at the forefront of my childhood."

She added that when her cousin Chris, who had moved to Ohio with his family, returned to Los Angeles, he inspired her really embrace her cultural heritage.

"I had to find my way back to my Latino identity. I was raised in a lot of ways to prioritise like, assimilation and to prioritise, success and success often meant assimilating and it meant kind of hiding anything that made you feel other and different and really blending in and for me that was, you know, a very whitewashed kind of existence."

America feels a personal connection to her Netflix series "Gentefied", which premiered in 2020, about three Mexican-American cousins chasing the American Dream.

"In a lot of ways, the storyline and getting to tell this story is a very personal one," she shared. "Because I now do feel so identified as a Latina, but that wasn't really encouraged for me growing up."

Ferrara has directed two episodes of the comedy-drama and is also an executive producer.

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