Anahi's LadderBy: Marcelo Báez
Last month Anahí, the well-known novela actress and ex-RBD singer, married Manuel Velasco, governor of the Mexican state of Chiapas and, according to some, potential presidential candidate. Gossip sites and social media had field day with the news bit for two main reasons: 1) The couple’s relationship is seen a little more than a circus act, one which is meant to propel the political ambitions of Manuel—and Anahí’s own celebrity profile, of course (the same tactics worked great for the current Mexican president and his own novela actress wife); 2) For a Mexican celebrity wedding, the festivities were suspiciously modest (the couple hosted no formal reception after the wedding and also stated they had no plans to go on a honeymoon).
Since Manuel has been trying to portray himself as an austere politician —an image the iconic Subcomandante Marcos, Chiapas’ most infamous resident, ain’t buying (“He has solemnly declared that his administration has ‘tightened their belts’ with an austerity program, and to show this he’s spent more than $10 million pesos on a massive and costly advertising campaign”)— Velasco and Anahí’s two-peso wedding is clearly a calculated move. All of this can be underlined by the fact that most Mexican celebrities, especially one of Anahí’s stature (she has more Twitter followers than the Mexican president), have historically sold coverage of their weddings to any media outlet that’s willing to pay for it, or at least offer a generous amount of ink. No stranger to these dubious customs is Anahí’s own sister.
But Anahí did go out of her way to promote one very peculiar detail: the manufacturing process of her wedding dress. Did she commission a Balenciaga number worth $500,000 à la Salma Hayek? Or, following Thalia’s ostentatious footsteps, did she don a dress made with enough fabric to blanket the entire entrance of the Saint Patrick’s cathedral on 5th Ave? Not quite. You’re thinking of the old Anahí, the one who used to dress like a slutty candy raver. The new Anahí is humble and progressive, which is why she hired nothing but local chiapaneca seamstresses —all of whom seem to have doubled as her bridesmaids— to sew together her relatively normal dress. “At the end of the Anahí-Velasco wedding, guests took home the table centerpieces, which in this case were living people,” one Twitter user joked, alluding to the fact that the inclusion of the local seamstresses was merely a facade.
There’s all sorts of wild stories when it comes to Anahí’s private life. One of the most entertaining I’ve heard is that, as a kid, her stage mother used to put a special girdle on Anahí before sending her to bed. The apparatus supposedly helped the soon-to-be star (she’s been singing and acting since she was two years old) stay slim. (By the way, a few years ago Anahí publicly talked about her struggles with anorexia and bulimia.)
Having been in entertainment since she was a child, it’s not entirely surprising to hear that Ms. Velasco is now looking for a different kind of fame. It’s a very conscious decision and not one that was taken out of desperation. Anahí was always the centerpiece of RBD, her tragically popular boy-girl band, and, with the exception of Alfonso Herrera and Maite Perroni, both of whom are getting by but are not in particular demand for anything, the rest of her colleagues have slowly faded into obscurity. In contrast, Anahí’s first solo record post-RBD did quite well, as did Dos Hogares, a novela she starred in shortly after. Professionally speaking, she’s done almost nothing since —or perhaps she’s preparing for her biggest role yet.
Ambitious Anahí is clearly looking at the bigger picture here but, in a way, she must feel shortchanged. Angélica Rivera, Jacqueline Bracamontes, Lucero, the aforementioned Thalia—pick almost any A, B, C or D list celebrity, and all of them had incredible, over the top, televised weddings which were attended by a roster of celebrity friends and produced a countless amount of magazine spreads. All Anahí got is a bunch of shitty memes—well, for now. In a few years she’ll be hanging out with the Queen of England and buying multi-million dollar mansions. A subpar wedding — again, for someone of her stature— in exchange for all that? Not a bad deal.
Now keep an eye out for her bridesmaids, because they’re probably gonna in charge of cleaning up her various pools.