Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Mexico social media stars find fame amid Covid-19 pandemic



Mexico social media stars find fame amid Covid-19 pandemic

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Peruvian artist Andrea Ferrero, who at the time of the quarantine imposed amid the Covid-19 pandemic had to start making cakes and brownies to sell to survive economically. AFP

Mexico social media stars find fame amid Covid-19 pandemic

Before the pandemic, Herlanlly Rodriguez worked as a manicurist. Today she is part of Mexico’s new generation of social media stars and millennial influencers whose lives were transformed by confinement.

When the 23-year-old found herself out of work because of the economic slump triggered by the coronavirus, she began posting satirical videos on TikTok taking aim at machismo.

“In the beginning I just wanted a distraction,” said Rodriguez, who is known as Herly on digital platforms, where she has 1.2 million followers on TikTok alone.

Suddenly thousands of people started interacting with her thanks to her performance as “Tomas, the incredulous” poking fun at men to highlight issues including homophobia and gender violence in Mexico.

“It’s rare to see women imitating men on social networks,” said the pink-haired former psychology student, adding that her aim is not to offend anyone but to show “behaviour that harms society”.

She has been nominated for this year’s MTV Millennial Awards honouring the best of Latin music and the digital world of the millennial generation.

The economic crisis triggered by Covid-19 has dealt a particularly heavy blow to Mexican women, who held 1.5 million of the 2.1 million jobs that have been lost, according to official figures.

“It was a sad time for me because there was no work. People really lifted me up,” Rodriguez said.

Blooming on Twitter

Armando Maravilla had 200 followers on Twitter before the pandemic, but after a thread about house plants, he gained more than 97,000 in one year, including politicians and the actor Gael Garcia Bernal.

The Mexican landscape architect shares his knowledge to help people develop green fingers as a form of therapy against the emotional impact of the crisis.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Mexican architect Armando Maravilla poses for a portrait during an interview at his home in Mexico City. AFP

“I felt that someone needed to talk about having green spaces at home. We had been locked up for two months and we needed a refuge,” the 30-year-old said.

He acquired his first plants as a university student – some succulents – but they died, Maravilla said.

“My grandmother scolded me! Now it’s curious that people ask me for advice, and the one who asks me the most how I’m doing is my grandmother,” he said.

Boredom baking

Andrea Ferrero and her partner David Ayala turned to baking to stave off boredom and bankruptcy during quarantine.

They now have almost 38,000 followers on Instagram, where they offer cakes with vintage decorations.

After the pandemic left them jobless and broke, they tried to ease the anxiety of isolation by cooking.

“We began to share it with friends. People began to see it and they asked us to sell it to them,” said Ayala, a 38-year-old Colombian art curator.

They started the business with just a small toaster oven in their apartment, Ferrero said.

“It was barely big enough for two cookies,” the 30-year-old Peruvian sculptor said with a laugh as she decorated a cake.

Now business is so good that they have eleven co-workers who prepare 500 weekly orders of cakes, cookies and tarts.

The couple recently moved into a kitchen-studio and plan to open their own store.

MOST VIEWED

  • PM imposes nationwide Covid restrictions, curfew over Delta scare

    Prime Minister Hun Sen late on July 28 instructed the municipal and provincial authorities nationwide to strictly enforce Covid-19 measures including curfew for two weeks from July 29 midnight through August 12 to stem the new coronavirus Delta variant. The instruction came shortly after he issued a directive

  • Two luxury hotels latest quarantine options for inbound travellers

    The Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19 has designated two luxury hotels as alternative quarantine options for travellers who wish to enter Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport – Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Residence and the Courtyard by Marriott Phnom Penh. In a notice detailing guidelines issued

  • Provinces on Thai borders put in lockdown amid Delta fears

    The government has decided to place several border provinces in lockdown for two weeks in a bid to prevent the new coronavirus Delta variant spreading further into community. According a directive signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen late on July 28, the provinces include Koh Kong,

  • Visa A holders get to quarantine at Himawari Hotel

    The Ministry of Health has permitted foreign diplomats, UN and International NGO officials to undergo quarantine at Himawari Hotel in the capital in case they do not have a separate place suitable for this purpose, but the government would not be responsible for the expenses.

  • Jabs for kids bring hope for school reopenings

    Cambodia is tentatively planning to reopen schools – at least at the secondary level – when the vaccination of children aged 12-17 is completed, even though daily transmissions and deaths in other age groups remain high. Schools across the country have been suspended since March 20, one month

  • China denies Mekong hacking

    As the US and its allies joined hands last week to expose what they allege to be China’s Ministry of State Security’s malicious cyber activities around the world, the attention also turned to Cambodia with the US Department of Justice claiming that four