Note from BW of Brazil: Actress Taís Araújo has been featured or mentioned in a number of previous posts and for good reason. She is perhaps the most accomplished of black actresses in Brazil and the holder of a number of titles of the type, “the first black woman to”…She is a shining star for black Brazilian women who are starved for role models in Brazil’s ultra Eurocentric media that represents anything but the physical diversity of the Brazilian population. Over the past few years, and particularly of late, since the announcement and debut of a new novela in which she stars with real-life husband Lázaro Ramos, the couple has become a reference for many Afro-Brazilians who recognize the necessity of seeing black couples in real life and in the media. As we’ve pointed out in numerous posts, in the entertainment business, it is very difficult to find black couples. And as a number of studies have proven, this is quickly “virando a regra”, or becoming the rule, among middle and even lower class black men. The phenomenon has come to the point that untold thousands of black women are facing the very real possibility of spending their adult years in solitude.
This issue has become a hot topic in recent years but has for the most part been dismissed as the complaining of black women who want to racialize the topic of love and romance in an area where it shouldn’t have any place. But black Brazilian women have a number of academic studies that show that their view of the situation can’t be dismissed as simply complaining. Among black Brazilian men, we have seen examples of top futebol stars, entertainers and even the small elite of black male executives who prefer to date/marry outside of their race. With this debate raging on in numerous communities of social networks, the topic recently gained the attention and full feature of a prominent social magazine. The struggle of black women finding life-long partners and being consistently passed over for white women is also exemplified in the celebration of the few prominent black couples that the black community can point to as examples of successful black families. Even with so many black women noting a standard among successful black men, among famous and/or successful black women, few have made public statements about the trend even when they are also passed over for whiter women (2). As such, a comment made by long-time journalist Glória Maria is worth noting. Asked why she doesn’t date black men, in a December 2014 statement, Maria was quoted as saying:
“I’ve already dated black men, yes, only that they’re not known. The famous black men are married to white women. This is subtle, hypocritical and disgusting.” (December 7, 2014)
With the view that black men have almost completely abandoned black women being the overwhelming opinion of black women of whom the racial issue is a prominent part of their identities, when there is a prominent black couple, this couple is widely celebrated as there are so few and far between. As such, when the original promo shots of the new series Mister Brau featuring Lázaro Ramos and Taís Araújo were released, the photos were shared in numerous Afro-Brazilian social networking pages. These communities often point to successful African-American couples such as Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith, Jay-Z and Beyoncé and perhaps the most celebrated, Barack and Michelle Obama, as couples that most represent examples that should be followed by more black Brazilians. In numerous posts, one notes that the Ramos/Araújo pair is being celebrated as black Brazil’s closest thing to the Jay-Z /Beyoncé union. The new series of which the couple stars in “revolves around a popular singer, ‘Mister Brau’ (Lázaro Ramos) who is married to ‘Michele’ (Taís Araújo), who is also his choreographer and an entrepreneur and is over controlling with her husband following the popular saying “por trás de um grande homem tem uma grande mulher” (behind every great man is a great woman) is the motto of ‘Michele'”. (2) (See clips and promos of the series below)
To understand the importance of the Ramos/Araújo duo playing opposite each other in a romantic pairing of a novela on Brazil’s top TV network, it’s also worth pointing out that, of the few black actors that appear in novelas in all of Brazil’s top TV networks, the norm in these series is for black actors and actresses to be paired with white actors in amorous settings. Perhaps the best example of this norm was seen in 2007-2008 novela Duas Caras. With that said, against the grain of Brazil’s open agenda to decimate the black population through miscegenation, we hope that the future brings us more couples like Lázaro Ramos and Taís Araújo, both on and off screen!
“I grew up without having a black couple that represented me,” says Taís Araújo
By Sergio Zalis
Lázaro Ramos and Taís Araújo perform together in the series Mister Brau
Taís Araújo is one of the stars of the series Mister Brau, with her husband, Lázaro Ramos. But the actress for a long time had neither black woman nor black couple as a reference with whom she identified herself during her childhood and adolescence – and so today she’s proud to be an example for other women.
“I grew up without having a black couple that represented me,” said the actress in an interview with Cosmopolitan in October. “Black actresses themselves that existed when I was little were much older than me, old enough to be my grandparents, my mother … It was very distant from me. I didn’t have this reference. So today when I see comments that I am an example of a black woman, that Lázaro and I are an example of a black couple of besides finding it important that this exist, I am super proud. I don’t think it’s too much, no. It’s a joy, really.”
Married since 2011 to Lázaro, with whom she has Maria Antônia, three months, and João Vicente, three years Taís revealed that the two end up mixing personal and professional lives when they work together.
“Man, everything is a little mixed up, you know? Very mixed actually. [Laughs] Because as much as we do other things together, our time is very much within the work. Sometimes I don’t have another chance to talk to him about some private matter, oddly enough. So, we resolve it in the middle of intervals.”
Taís also said that does not deal so well with money as Michele, her character in Mister Brau but she takes care of it. “I would love to know how to deal with money as well as Michele, because it really is a phenomenon. I don’t know cope as well as she, but I’m not a disorganized (person), no. My money is well taken care if. I take the reins of the business. I have an economist father that helped me a lot and taught me to have a healthy and respectful relationship with money. He has a wonderful phrase: ‘Money doesn’t accept disrespect’ and that phrase is a guide for me because it’s true. It’s not for going out spending, you have to think about the future of the children, my old age, of course. But at the same time, I work to have my pleasures.”
Globo TV’s Mister Brau
- It’s worth noting that a large percentage of famous Afro-Brazilian women have white partners as well.
- Taken from the “Mister Brau” Wikipedia page.