December 3, 2022

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Michel Bolsonaro, From La Favela to L’Alvorada

Michelle Bolsonaro at a campaign rally for her husband in Rio de Janeiro on July 24, 2022.

On this July 24 morning, Maracanassino is a cauldron of green and gold. Tens of thousands filled this “Little Maracana,” a vast gymnasium adjacent to Rio de Janeiro’s legendary stadium. Dressed in the jerseys of Brazil’s national soccer team, the Seleção, the crowd arrives to attend an important event: the October 2 launch of presidential re-election candidate Jair Bolsonaro’s campaign. Ministers, generals, pastors, politicians and far-right activists all responded to the call “People’s Captain”, As he describes himself.

However, on this important day, it is not he who explodes on the screen, but “she”: Michelle Bolsonaro, the wife of the head of state. Dressed in an elegant mint dress with a Brazilian flag draped over her shoulder, she then delivered a fiery speech. « Bolsonaro, Messenger of God! A pure soul… a beautiful man! », She points to the sky. The crowd cheers, claps, and hears… The First Lady steals the show from her President’s husband.

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But who is “Michael” as the Brazilians call her? This great orator, a fervent evangelist, now joins her husband in all the meetings and all the TV spots in this fiercely contested campaign. For this 40-year-old woman (twenty-seven years younger than her husband), who appeared to be very reserved and shy, actually ‘played a leading role with the leader of the extreme right.

“Grace Kelly of the Tropics”

For a long time, Michelle Bolsonaro was only a vague silhouette in her husband’s shadow. A short haircut, big black eyes, an athletic bearing. She takes care of her appearance and likes to wear designer clothes: pink with bare shoulders Inauguration Day For a time she earned the nickname “Grace Kelly of the Tropics”. She is a fan of gyms and operating tables. Her plastic surgeon, who implanted her with breast implants and repaired her pregnancy-induced abdominal swelling, is a family friend. We invite him to a weekend barbecue.

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At all costs, she seeks to soften the image of her poor husband. He is not afraid to add more when he praises his wife’s “qualities” and praises his own. In 2019, During the great fires in the AmazonA user posts a photo set on Facebook comparing the physiques of Brigitte Macron, who is twenty-nine years younger than the French president’s wife, and Michelle Bolsonaro. “Do you understand now why Macron is harassing Bolsonaro? », The legend is fun. Bolsonaro’s comment, responding directly to the social network: “Don’t insult her, man. Hahahaha. »

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