From villain to first lady: The hair-volution of Mexican telenovela queen Angélica Rivera
Flawless hair. Mexico will soon have a TV-ready first lady.
Before Enrique Peña Nieto swept her off her feet and into his presidential arms, Angélica Rivera was the famous one. From dancing with Luis Miguel, to finding a mentor in Veronica Castro (she married Veronica’s brother José Alberto “El Guero” Castro in 1994) and finally becoming “La Gaviota,” Rivera’s transformation from the typical soap star to Mexico’s first lady is a remarkable Televisa fairy tale.
Now that she’s heading to Los Pinos (if a people’s revolution doesn’t stop Peña Nieto), Rivera has been prepped accordingly, wearing conservative outfits and a less seductive auburn hair color that is far from the rubia peligrosa mane we came to love early in her career.
But we have to say, we’re a little scared of the penciled eyebrows. They look menacing and drag queen-y, not classy.
Take a look at La Gaviota’s progress as evidenced by her hair. Which role did you like her best in?
Sexpot blonde (late 80s - mid 90s)
In Luis Miguel’s video “Ahora Te Puedes Marchar” (1987) a young Rivera is the woman who breaks the Mexican crooner’s heart. Another video was eventually used as the official video of this song, so this YouTube find is a true rarity, if almost completely blurry:
Dulce Desafío (1988) was Angélica Rivera’s first role in a novela. She played Gina, one of the students in the teen soap, sharing bill with Eduardo Yáñez and Adela Noriega. This novela was later remade in 2000 called Locura de Amor with Juan Soler and Adriana Nieto. Gold touches all the way, including the tiiiiight outfit.
In 1991, Rivera played the bratty Giovanna whose face was disfigured in a horrible accident in the soap opera La Pícara Soñadora. Here she is with the late heartthrob Eduardo Palomo (swoon.) Her makeup and highlights are dramatic just like her character.
Also in 1991, Rivera was cast as part of the all-star ensemble of rising teen idols in Alcanzar una Estrella II. Ricky Martin made his Mexican TV debut here, and Bibi Gaytán, Sasha Sokol, Pedrito Fernández and the gang went on to more continued success.
On to the big screen: Angélica Rivera plays the sexy girl role in the Mexican macabre comedy Aqui Espantan (1992). Bikini and oiled skin a must.
Give her a break, this was the 90’s and she was rocking the blonde updo. But Rachel she wasn’t.
A more mature brunette (mid 90s - mid 2000s)
Before there was Destilando Amor, Angélica Rivera was better known for her role as the horse-riding villain Regina Villareal in La Dueña. She even named her youngest daughter Regina.
In her last novela, Rivera played Teresa Hernandez-Mariana Franco aka La Gaviota, the leading lady in Destilando Amor (2007). Here she earned the nickname Gaviota (Seagull) and sported some curly locks that are meant to convey an “outdoorsy” vibe, appropriate for the tequila ranch setting.
Auburn and demure wife (2010 - present)
Rivera married Peña Nieto in a fairytale wedding at the Toluca cathedral in November 2010, when he was still governor of the State of Mexico. Her ex, el Guero Castro, is now engaged to another telenovela star, Angelique Boyer (aka Teresa.)
As a mother of six (it’s the Mexican Brady Bunch! His three kids and her three daughters) and wife to the presumed elected president, Rivera has been transformed into a glamorous first lady. Seems the Peña-Rivera ladies like to part their hair to the right, except Regina and Fernanda. Just making an observation.
For her husband’s presidential campaign, Rivera created made-at-home video diaries documenting the campaign from a more personal point of view. All that Televisa training is finally coming in handy.