“Sofia Vergara is doing me right now,” says Latina legend Charo. The cuchi-cuchi-ing entertainer spoke at The Adelante Movement: The Wisdom of Latina Legends session at the Hispanicize social media conference in Miami last week. Really?
Vergara has been criticized for taking the Latina stereotype too far in her role as the loud and animated Gloria on the TV show Modern Family. With the Colombian star’s thick accent, her portrayal of a stereotypical Latina and her sexy, curvy body that she’s not afraid to flaunt, Vergara may just be our modern day Charo.
At the Adelante Movement event last week, Charo shared her insights about economic and personal empowerment, career success, health and wellness. I had no idea that she was a real estate mogul who owns half of Hawaii. I thought that she was all just about the ‘cuchi-cuchi.’ Growing up, I couldn’t stand her cheesy act and her gaudy and flamboyant outfits. I thought she was giving us Latinas a bad name. But she was building an empire. Who knew that she’s actually business savvy and was leveraging her character to obtain economic empowerment? Charo is laughing all the way to the bank.
“I am a computer with an accent and high heels! I am a machine,” Charo told the Adelante crowd.
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At the event, it was hard not to be amazed by this woman’s body—she is, after all, by varying accounts, somewhere between 62 and 80 years old! Love her or hate her, but she sure has discovered the secret to looking good for her age. I want the water she is drinking, seriously.
Like her predecessor Charo, Vergara is also building her multi-media empire. Thanks to her Emmy Award-winning sitcom, a clothing line at Kmart and several endorsement deals (Pepsi, Covergirl, Comcast’s Xfinity), the Barranquilla beauty made $19 million in 2012.
There are some similarities between Sofia and Charo. They are both beautiful, sexy and funny women who are taking advantage of their 15 minutes of fame. However, I do believe Vergara’s career will have more longevity and depth than Charo’s, and she’ll go on to play diverse characters that go beyond Gloria.
A recently blonder Vergara is currently filming Heat in New Orleans with Jason Statham, in which she’ll be showing off her action moves rather than her usual comedic skills. While Vergara’s character had not been officially named, she did give us a clue when she tweeted that she will play D.D.
Although Charo and Sofia have both cashed in on their stereotypical roles, let’s remember their business savviness ensures they have a nice cushion in the bank long after their good looks fade away—or in Charo’s case, at least, never fade away!