RIO DE JANEIRO — Following the October 2 municipal elections, Brazil has a whole new cast of
characters political leaders taking center stage. And with the politicians come the political spouses. Meet Bia Doria, the first lady-elect of the city of São Paulo. She is married João Doria, the former host of the Brazilian version of The Apprentice, who has already made international headlines as an unusual mayor-elect to say the least.
If the first public appearances are any indication this husband and wife team will give us plenty to talk about over the next few years.
The 56-year-old plastic artist already had a career in the spotlight prior to becoming a political spouse. Her artwork has been displayed around the world at prestigious exhibitions such as Art Basel Miami and the Florence Biennale. But setting her sights to her future as a political spouse, Bia has even higher aspirations. She wants to be Eva Perón.
“I’ve always felt like an Evita Perón, because I’m more of the people,” she said in an interview with Folha de São Paulo. Bia goes on to say she gets along well with the poor and that she’s already transformed the lives of her assistants, who, when they started working for her, “lived in shacks and didn’t even have teeth.” She says she’s helped them not only improve their housing and dental situation, but made them feel like artists as well. Awww, she’s a sweetheart!
But Bia has no love for Brazil’s Workers’ Party (PT), the political party of impeached president Dilma Rousseff, whose political ideology aligns more with Peronist policies than those of current president Michel Temer, who is part of the Brazilian Democratic Movement (PMDB). She says the artists who cling to their cries of “Fora Temer” (Out With Temer) should “be quiet and let Temer work.” Bia is also proud of the fact that her artwork was on display in the black hall of Brazil’s House of Representatives, the very room where Rousseff was recently impeached. Above all though, she wants to see Brazil’s inequality diminish.
Not to be outdone, Bia’s husband has equally high hopes for the people of Brazil.
Though João has distanced himself from that other politician associated with The Apprentice, he’s embraced his meme-worthy fashion icon status. “Who knows, some day all Brazilians may be able to wear Polo Ralph Lauren,” he said during a public interview at the Festival Piauí GloboNews de Jornalismo, alluding to his penchant for preppy layers of polo shirts and sweaters.
Dream big, João. It’s not access to education, health care or a living wage we’re fighting for, but Polo Ralph Lauren. Why stop there? Why not encourage Brazilians to aspire even higher — Maybe Calvin Klein, or even Christian Dior? Evita, who wore plenty of Dior in her day, would likely approve.