Finding inspiration in this beautiful Vintage Latin Icon!
Looking for some inspiration for this new year? Take a look at these amazing facts about The Brazilian Bombshell, also known as The Chiquita Banana Girl, a symbol that inspires me and hopefully inspires you to be whatever it is that you want to be!
Whether you are working on your personal brand, wanting to create your unique signature style or, just looking for a fun way to be the best version of yourself during these crazy times, these interesting cues about an exceptional Latin Icon can give you an insight on how to accomplish things the way she did!
She was such a multifaceted woman, a singer, a dancer, a designer and a Broadway actress. She even produced her own film Copacabana in 1947. In my opinion, she was “A Modern Renaissance Woman”, a well-rounded woman with proficiency in more than one field, with a creative mind that enabled her to use cross trained experiences in order to develop her amazing persona.
Creative Trend Setter
She created her signature fruity hat based on the traditional hats worn by the Baianas, the women fruit sellers that she regularly saw during her childhood in Rio de Janeiro. Her vibrant style still inspires designers around the world.
She started working at age 14 to help pay her sick sister’s medical bills. Despite her colorful image, she suffered from depression, she had a difficult marriage and she was not able to have kids but, she never got divorced. Nevertheless, on her last day on this earth, her coworkers said that she seemed happy, and after an impromptu performance on the filming set for her technicians, she invited several cast members over to her home for a small party, where she danced and sang for them one last time.
Hard Worker Businesswoman
When she was young, she worked in a boutique where she learned how to make hats. She often made her signature hats herself even after becoming a famous radio and film star. She was the highest-earning woman in Hollywood in the 1940s and was known as a good businesswoman who knew how to invest her entertainment earnings very well.
She got a lot of criticism from her home country, for what they perceived as an overly Americanized image of Brazilian culture. After a self-imposed exile of 14 years, she went back to Brazil and had to cancel shows and left because of all the backlash. Later on, taking the high road, she came back with one of her last songs: “They said I came back Americanized” she said… “I always say ‘te amo’ and never ‘I love you.’“.
With her outrageous costumes, famous headdresses and beautiful voice, she created her own personal brand way before the term “personal brand” was cool or even existed. She was the first Latin American to be invited to leave her hand prints in the cement at Hollywood’s famous Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. Paraphrasing Caetano Veloso, she conquered America as no other South American has done or ever would!
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Jackie Colada is a PinUp Model, Vintage Enthusiast and the Owner of Chica Boom PinUp Magazine.
Featured Image by Marilee Caruso Photography