Maria Felix, one of Mexico’s biggest movie stars, was a living legend.
She was considered one of the most beautiful women in the history of Mexican cinema. Her strong character and confidence were ahead of her time, usually resulting in a reputation as being tough and arrogant but she defied the usual Latina woman stereotypes of the time which meant being submissive and inferior to men, and she stood her ground when dealing with men in the industry.
Felix was born into a huge family in Alamos, studied in Guadalajara, and moved to Mexico City as a teenager. One of her first jobs was as an assistant and model to a plastic surgeon, who used her for her beauty as an “after” model for his work to attract customers. Her first film was El Peñon De Las Animas, where she starred alongside Jorge Negrete, whom she later married.
It was her third movie, Doña Barbara, that made her career skyrocket and turned her into a star. This film is how she got her nickname, “La Doña.”
Maria was married four times in her life and was often pursued by many men. Diego Rivera was said to have been desperately in love with her, even straying from Frida (one too many times) to pursue an affair with her. King Faruk of Egypt – allegedly – offered her Nefertiti’s crown in exchange for one night of love, to which she is said to have responded to him by saying she’d rather sleep with his servant on her own free will, because at least she found him attractive. (Yikes!)
It wasn’t just her beauty that gained her super stardom; her strong attitude, poise, independence, and classiness made her one of the strongest influencers of the Golden Age. She was a fashion icon; designers like Chanel, Christian Dior, Givenchy, Hermés and Cartier created custom couture pieces for her, both clothing and jewelry.
Maria Felix continues to be a legend, having paved the way for other women to stand up for themselves in an industry ran by men. Not only did she run the game in Mexican cinema, but she even had the opportunity to enter Hollywood with the industry’s biggest producers. She turned down these roles because she refused to learn English, as she preferred to work in her own country and in her native language. The empire she created for herself was rare for women at the time and her legacy continues to live on in all of Latinoamerica and Europe, where she made herself a household name.
In honor of one of Mexico’s biggest female icons, we have created a huarache with her image, like we did with Frida Kahlo. Let us know if you like it!
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