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How America Ferrera Survives Red Carpets (Hint: It's Not Almonds in Her Purse)

America Ferrera: Red Carpet Survival Tips
America Ferrera
Nino Muñoz

02/22/2016 AT 09:00 AM EST

Amercia Ferrera admits the red carpet has not always been her favorite place to spend an afternoon.

"When I started out, every red carpet or photo shoot felt like a stressful, momentous occasion," the Superstore actress – who got her big break in 2002's Real Women Have Curves before starring on ABC's Ugly Betty – says in the current issue of PEOPLE.

But now, Ferrera has discovered the key to enjoying her time in the spotlight.

How America Ferrera Survives Red Carpets (Hint: It's Not Almonds in Her Purse)| People Picks, TV News, America Ferrera

America Ferrera

Nino Muñoz

"Trying to be perfect all the time can be draining," she says. "But I've grown up and realized that who I am as a person doesn't change with the outside world's approval of my appearance. If everyone hates my dress but I like it, that's all that matters. I'm finally learning that being not perfect is okay."



For more from Ferrera – including why she is weirded out on girls' nights with her Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants costars – pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now

How America Ferrera Survives Red Carpets (Hint: It's Not Almonds in Her Purse)| People Picks, TV News, America Ferrera

Ferrera has also gained appreciation for giving her time at award shows meaning. She used her platform as a presenter at the 2016 Golden Globes to poke fun of – but also comment on – the fact that she'd recently been mistaken for fellow Golden Globe winner Gina Rodriguez.



How America Ferrera Survives Red Carpets (Hint: It's Not Almonds in Her Purse)| People Picks, TV News, America Ferrera

America Ferrera

Nino Muñoz

"I think there is a lot of freedom in taking the microscope off yourself and putting it on something or someone else," she says.

Watch Ferrera on Superstore, airing Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on NBC.
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