Although I didn’t appreciate telenovelas growing up, I admired the villain and protagonist in the Televisa production Rubí starting the Uruguayan Barbara Mori. As opposed to a traditional novela rosa, Rubí is seductive, sexy, and ambitious. In a short summary, Rubí will do whatever it takes for money. As a child, her mother was sick and they could never afford her medecine, which feeds her hunger for money. She begins dating Alejandro, yet realizes he is only middle class and seduces her best friend’s rich fiancé, Hector. On the day of their wedding, Rubi escapes with Hector, yet she suffers because she is in love with Alejandro. Years later, she becomes Alejandro’s lover, Hectors discovers the infidelity when he overhears Rubí reveal that the baby isn’t his to someone else. After more drama, deaths, and jail. Rubí humiliates herself for love to Alejandro, falls, and becomes disfigured and has her leg amputated. Rubí attempts to kill Alejandro’s new fiancé at the day of their wedding, but cannot. She then reveals herself to her niece Fernanda and agrees to ruin Alejandro’s life by using her beauty to seduce him.
This Mexican novela captivated many countires of the world. The viewers were not only captivated by her beauty, but by her limitless ambition, cruelty, and her love. The novela’s audience is part of Latin American culture that cross many physical boarders, language barriers, and abandon their countries in order to provide for their family’s. They emphasize with Rubí because like her, they too have a dream and ambition. Many grew up in poverty in their homecoutnries with the ambition to find a better life for themselves and their family. Despite being the villain, Rubí is apasionada, enamorada, and trabajadora. Hispanics in the United States are also hard workers, passionate, and in love with their cultures, yet they focus on their financial state, often neglecting their families. It’s interesting to notice that Hector is rubio, rich, and gorgeous. Alejandro, on the other hand, is the macho, middleclass moreno. Hector represents the American dream, an illusion of a better life. Alejandro represents pure love for Rubí, and the true love that stays within you despite your journey for a better life. Maybe Rubí is a bombshell, but the audience is captivated by what’s behind her sexy smile: the suffering, love, and struggle.
(Personally, this is my all-time favorite novela. I admired this woman and my mom nicknamed me la descarada. I loved Rubí because she was sly, smart, beautiful, and ambitious. I found sincerity behind her superficiality. I identified with her struggle and if anything, now I’m a workaholic, also. The difference, however, is that my ambition has limits. I watched this scene, however, and it had me in tears. Ay, la pobre coja!)