notable celebrities to a young dominican girl like me—growing up in the bronx circa 1990— usually consisted of poor housemaids in novellas that were strikingly (but not surprisingly) beautiful, causing the (also gorgeous) gazillionaire protagonist to fall in love with her in order for them to spend the entire 10-months of the soap opera fighting to protect their love against the perils of classism in mexico’s elitist society

                            thanks, univision.

                            thanks, univision.

but today we are gathered to discuss a different — and more important pillar of my youth because she did not hail from any u.s. city or mexican-owned television channel. we’re here to talk about Xuxa—fashion icon, medal of honor winner, guinness world record owner, and global humanitarian

we are all in some way, shape or form indebted to the fantabulous Xuxa, but no country owes her more than her native brazil. she has championed and fought for the rights of brazilian women and children since the 80’s and continues to do so to this day

here’s a quick run down of the top 5 reasons we are thankful for Xuxa. and some may surprise you.

1. el show de Xuxa {xou da xuxa}




bro. do I even have to get into it? DO WE EVEN HAVE TO DISCUSS. fine, we will — but quickly: el show de Xuxa premiered in 1986 and shot over 2,000 episodes in brazil that were translated and telecasted worldwide, xou da xuxa became the glue that linked an entire generation of children across the globe. WERK




2. legendary recording artist

whilst shooting the above — Xuxa received 139 gold, 52 platinum and 10 diamond albums, with sales of over 18 million copies. she is the second highest brazilian female recording artist (second only to legendary brazilian singer/rock star, Rita Lee). Xuxa was dubbed the madonna of latin america — also with a gorgeous daughter named sasha to boot (we see you, Lourdes). “Xou da Xuxa 3” reached guinness book as the number one seller of all time in brazil

                                                                                        xou da xuxa cover

                                                                                        xou da xuxa cover



3. model and fashion icon

while some of Xuxa’s on air looks could possibly be questionable, we forgive her because she was the host of a children’s variety show and it was the 80s. but before she was a host, she was a notable brazilian model and at one point was even signed to ford models here in the U.S. one of the most prominent agencies in the world. however, rede globo, the brazilian tv network, asked her to choose between her show and her modeling career and the rest is history

but that doesn't mean we cant gawk at her ease and careless beauty in front of a camera. by the age of 16 Xuxa had graced the cover of over 50 brazilian magazines (during the course of only one year). talk about goals




3. advocate- you name it, she fought for it

Xuxa used her notoriety as a force to tackle causes bringing down the women and children of brazil. in 1987, she joined an initiative to help provide vaccinations for polio, the disease was causing thousands of young deaths every year. by 1989 polio was eradicated from brazil, and Xuxa went on to receive a national medal of honor from then-brazilian president josé sarney


5. real life- pretty woman

while Xuxa was not a prostitute, she was in the porn industry. during her days in the modeling industry she also graced the cover of argentinian playboy, and participated in a controversial porn that starred her and a 12 year old boy

Xuxa has fought tirelessly to have all provocative images and film stills removed from the internet. And while a brazilian tribunal has sided with her and prohibited the sale and distribution of Xuxa’s porn, she has lost her battle with google who decided they will never remove the sensual images and/or stills from the video from their site. it is the internet, Xuxa, nothing ever really disappears from here


we can only wonder if these questionable mistakes early on in her career inspired her to give back to children of brazil, and everywhere. for now, i will leave you to do some research on our beloved Xuxa and remember that even the most picture-perfect people have a past. erasure, however, is possible when you make a conscious effort to channel your errors into good.

Xuxa will not be remembered as an ex-porn star or a pedophile, although these are not things we should quickly forget