Mexico: Debate’s Playboy bunny strikes back at critics
Julia Orayen, the unofficial “winner” of Mexico’s Presidential debate, visited Univision’s Mexico bureau on Tuesday.
By MANUEL RUEDA
Julia Orayen, the former Playboy bunny who made a brief but unforgettable appearance in Mexico’s recent presidential debate, struck back at those who criticized her sexy choice of dress during the event, and said she was “surprised” that it generated so much controversy.
Orayen was an assistant during Sunday’s presidential debate handing out paper slips to candidates that determined who would speak first.
Her choice of dress inspired thousands of Twitter comments in admiration and in opposition to Orayen, whose appearance was perceived by some as inappropriate for a presidential debate, and as an example of sexist values in Mexican society.
Presidential candidate Gabriel Quadri (inset) checked out Orayen’s attributes.
But on Monday, Orayen denied that she had disrespected the debate or portrayed women in a negative light.
“The fact that a woman is physically attractive, does not mean that she doesn´t have other qualities,” the Playboy bunny said on the TV Channel Cadena 3.
“It does not mean that you have to qualify her as something else,” she added.
On Mexico’s Cadena 3, Orayen spoke of how she came to wear her famous dress.
Orayen was born in Argentina. She has lived in Mexico for the past 15 years, working as a model and a yoga teacher, and was Mexican Playboy’s Playmate of the Month in September 2008.
On Monday, she visited half a dozen radio and TV programs, where journalists mostly sympathized with her.
“Everyone here is tearing their clothes off over a natural thing,” said Carolina Rocha from the political talk show “Campañeando.” “As far as I know women have two breasts. We should be worried instead that candidates were not able to articulate one remarkable argument during the debate.”
Orayen explained that shortly before the debate began she was told to wear a dress that was white and long. She said she had brought five dresses to the set but only one of them fit those characteristics.
“I didn’t think (the part of the dress that covers the breasts) was going to open so much,” Orayen said.
The debate’s producer, Jesús Tapia, told the radio program MVS noticias that he had “made a mistake” by not supervising, or vetoing what Orayen was going to wear.
He said he had too many things on his mind before the debate began and forgot to supervise the Playboy bunny’s –- sassy — attire.
“I was in the mobile broadcast center, checking out all the preparations, and making sure the satellites were working,” Tapia said.
Mexico’s Federal Electoral Insitute, the agency that organized Sunday’s debate, apologized to the Mexican public for Orayen’s choice of dress.
“We lament the production mistake related to the assistant’s attire…we offer our apologies to Mexico’s citizens, and to the presidential candidates,” the agency said in a brief statement published Monday afternoon.
Tapia said that Orayen was paid 7,000 pesos (approx. US $550) for her 30 second appearance in Sunday’s debate. He said that he picked Orayen for the job because her height — 1.65 meters — is similar to that of the candidates while other models tend to be much taller.
Apart from handing out little pieces of paper during the debate, Orayen also had to attend debate rehearsals carried out on Saturday and Sunday.
The debate will likely lead to more jobs for Orayen.
It is rumored that playboy wants to have her back for a future edition.
(Photo: Manuel Rueda)