“You don’t have to be tall, white and blond to be beautiful”: From fashion shows and magazine covers to Rock in Rio, singer IZA’s career shifts into high gear!


Note from BW of Brazil: It’s been a while since we introduced readers to Rio-based singer IZA and since then I gotta say, the girl’s been making moves! She’s released a few music videos, collaborated with O Rappa singer Marcelo Falcão, appeared on magazine covers, in conferences, modeled rapper Emicida’s fashion line at the 2017 São Paulo Fashion Week, shared the stage with American singer Cee-Lo Green at the 2017 Rock in Rio festival and opened for popular band Coldplay on their stop in Brazil. 

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IZA performing with Cee-Lo Green at Rock in Rio

Yes, IZA’s been a pretty busy young lady these days and she seems to be getting the full media treatment of a new artist trying gain an audience. As we check in with her today, she’s apparently also receiving offers from major designers to slip her 5’9″ frame into their latest gear. And while all of this is going on, IZA is also making a transition into wearing her natural hair and discovering how great it is being born a black woman. Below check out what some media outlets are saying about IZA as well a recent interview with the Marie Claire Brasil magazine of which she is featured as one of three covers this month. 

Obviously, IZA’s star is on the rise and she is to be congratulated on her success, but also a word of caution. Black women in Brazil have long complained about how their images are overtly sexualized in the Brazilian imagination, both due to centuries-held ideas about black sexuality as well as modern images in Carnaval and popular culture. IZA is a beautiful young woman but it is obvious from some of her videos and photos that she is willing to dabble with the provocative as it is almost mandatory for any female singer to be relevant these days. I certainly hope she doesn’t go overboard with it…

Still from IZA video “Esse Brilho é Meu”

Black women in power

By Maristela Rosa

“I’m about to cause, love will have to accept! I Warned You: THIS SHINE IS MINE! “- This is one of the verses that make up and the single “Esse Brilho é Meu” or ‘This Shine is Mine’, by singer-songwriter IZA, which had a clip released last week. You don’t know IZA?! You should know her!

IZA is a dark-skinned, black woman who ventures into such a confusing scenario and with so little space that which is national POP music. With braids in the wind (because IZA is going through a natural hair transition), the singer shows all her power alongside many other women, mostly black, singing and dancing, in a clip worthy of international POP (There are those who swear IZA is legitimate daughter of Beyoncé and Rihanna!)

In the clip of “Esse Brilho é Meu” IZA sings and exhibits all her self-confidence! Women with long hair, braided, curly, black power or platinum show that they are beautiful as they are and that no one takes away their shine or ours! Watching there is no way to not feel confident, full of energy and desire to parade your beauty out there!



Courtesy of Extra

The singer IZA is, gradually, reaching the masses. Her performance in Rock in Rio, next to Cee Lo Green was a proof of the power of the carioca (native of Rio), born in Olaria 26 years ago. It’s not just Iza’s powerful voice that makes her the new diva of the piece. The looks you wear give you what to say.

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Underneath is the fashion producer Bianca Jahara, who was nationally known after attending “BBB 8”. The natural sensuality of IZA is explored in the smallest details and the girl proves that it is possible to be sexy without being vulgar. So much that national and international brands already compete for it. However, she remains faithful to the most modern brands and new designers. See IZA’s lacquering looks and find out why she’s the girl of the moment.

Marie Claire

“I spent almost ten years straightening my hair and hiding my butt. Now, I know how much all this empowers me,” says Iza

Featured on the current cover of Marie Claire magazine in November, read below, an excerpt from the interview that the singer granted Marina Caruso, writing director – in full, only on the newsstands

A 26-year-old woman, 1.76 m (5’9″) tall, 110 cm hip, 2 kg hair and 402 thousand followers on Instagram. On the beach, in the bar, in feminist debates or in social networks, it is impossible not to notice the presence of IZA – really in the upper case, because, “since the name is short, it was stronger with three capital letters.” The only daughter of a lower-middle-class family from Olaria (northern zone), the velvety voice singer who for three years has given up advertising to devote herself to music is on a vertiginous rise. This month, in addition to opening for the band Coldplay’s show in Brazil, she releases the album Dona de Mim, a reflection of a beautiful process of self-knowledge that permeates both the creation of her own compositions and her relationship with her body.

Recent magazine covers featuring IZA

Even being was one of the most beautiful women in Brazil, Isabela Lima was slow to feel truly the “owner of herself”. The complexes – typical of a black girl from the suburbs of a country that insists on the ovation of the Arian beauty – she had even more painful contours in Natal (capital of the state of Rio Grande do Norte), where she lived from 6 to 12 years old with her father, the military man Djalma Leite Lima, and her mother, teacher Isabel Cristina Lima. “I was the only black girl in school and everyone treated me badly. It took me a while to realize it was because of my color,” she recalls. In adolescence, the villains became her hair and butt, now great allies. “I spent almost ten years straightening my hair and hiding my butt. Now I know how much this all empowers me,” she says, adding that soon she must bid farewell to the braids, one of her trademarks. “There will be people complaining, but my blackness transcends my hair. It’s inside me. We cannot move from one dictatorship to another.” Not at all.

MC: Your body is a working tool. How do you take care of it?

Iza I can’t finish the previous night before a show and I avoid ice. I’ve never smoked or drank. At the right dose, the drink even helps when you are very tense or hoarse. A squeeze numbs the throat and the tension.

MC: How often do you exercise?

Iza: From time to time … never [laughs]. I hate the gym. I hate being in a place full of mirrors and sweaty people finding themselves the greatest. I’m such a fish out of water that I can’t focus. After trying a lot, I realized that that nerve was not mine. I told my people, “I’m going outside. I have to look beautiful for myself, not for you, and I think I look wonderful “[laughs]. I prefer swimming, walking, cycling. I live in Botafogo, in front of the bike lane, so I get the bike, pedal for two hours drinking coconut water, listening to music and seeing that incredible landscape.

MC: Although having curls and curves being tall, being blond, tall and thin is still a dream for most Brazilians. Does it afflict you?

Iza: Not anymore. I’m glad to know that, in a way, I’ve helped prove that you do not have to be alta, branca e loira (tall, white and blonde) to be beautiful. I worry when I think of children. No wonder, there are so many women coming into the clinic to retouch just to get into the standard. Me being huge, having giant hips and wide shoulders is beautiful period.

MC: You started to straightening your hair at what age?

Iza: At age 12. I was the only one with cabelo crespo (kinky/curly hair) at school. My mother and aunts already straightened. Nobody had this culture that “black is beautiful”. The idea was, “Let’s put henê (henna) in the hair because it gives us less of a headache.” My grandmother had a beauty salon full of little white heads, all incinerated, burning – because it burns like hell. At the age of 20, I discovered girls with cabelo crespo on the internet and saw how we live trapped in the paranoia of cabelo liso (straight hair). Working with marketing, I adopted the curly. At the age of 21, I cleaned up: I took everything off, I stopped straightening and I put in the braids to make the transition.

MC: The braids became your mark. Can you imagine yourself without them?

Iza: Yes. I’ll take them out. It weighs (on me) and I’m nauseous. I think it’s amazing, I do some wonderful hairstyles and I feel powerful, but we change. The name of the album I release this month is Dona de Mim (Owner of Me), and my real hair, which I have not seen for years, it has everything to do with it. I’m crazy to put on a straight wig and shout to the world to stop patrolling. There will be people complaining, but my blackness transcends my hair. It’s inside me. It’s crazy to get out of one dictatorship and into another.

Source: Mundo Negro, Marie Claire, Extra

About Marques Travae 2895 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.

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