Brazilians really loathed Raquel Pacheco (aka Bruna) telling all of their carnal business. Nobody wants to think of a Brazilian Lolita selling herself to anybody who had the price. Whore.
Quickly becoming an international hit, the book derived from a popular weblog written by Bruna, speaking candidly about her conservative family, her wild drug use, her outlaw sexual views, and the bizarre episodes in her rent-girl life. A traditionally Catholic nation, Brazil didn’t like what a defiant Bruna wrote about the exploitation of the young in the grimy, sexual underworld, refusing to be a victim of the randy, macho culture.
“If I’m going to be a prostitute, I refuse to be an ordinary one,” says Bruna, who was a 17-year-old runaway when she started selling her body. “I have seen and done everything. There is nothing left that scares me.” She specialized in threesomes and even took on eight guys in an orgy.
Adopted by an upper-class straight-laced family, Bruna got tired of the rigid rules imposed by her controlling father and became wary of the customary fights and yelling matches. So she escaped and chose the streets. In a former life, she knew many girls who chose the streets rather than getting beaten, humiliated, insulted, or even molested at home. Scared, nervy, and untrusting, they hooked up with a pimp and became sister-in-laws on an unending quest to make their new Daddy rich. In turn, he’d offer them a false sense of protection, stability, and an emotional comfort of sorts.
On her sensational blog, Bruna just wanted to talk about how it feels to be flat-backing, serving the whims of every john who could afford to pay, regardless of the dark desire or the kink of a perverted hue. “I didn’t even put up my photograph or phone number,” she says in an old Times profile. “I wanted to show what goes on in the head of a program girl (that’s what they call high-class whores in Brazil), and I couldn’t find anything on the Net like that. I thought that if I was curious about it, others would be too,”
When Bruna’s blog was published into a runaway bestseller in 2005, she became an instant celebrity in Brazil and abroad. Her blog draws more than 50,000 readers daily. She appeared on many television programs locally and throughout Latin America, saw her image grace the covers of leading periodicals and magazines.
Once her star took off, she was transformed into an attractive media darling, boldly articulate, savvy about the world of the squares and of those in the “life.” She appealed to female readers, who turned out in droves, seeking an autograph and advice on activities behind the bedroom door. Strangely enough, most of her blog readers seem to be men, including former customers and regulars.
Anybody who knows anything about Brazil knows that the reputation of the country rates high on the beauty of its women, their sensuality and supposed permissive nature. Oh yes, the young Sonia Braga! I learned about Brazil through their entrancing films such as Diegues’ Bye Bye Brazil, Babenco’s Pixote, Barretto’s Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands, and Meielles’ City of God. In essence, these were golden people with a frisky carnival attitude who couldn’t keep their hands off each other.
But, Bruna explains to the media, that is a false conception of how Brazilians are. “I think there’s a lot of hypocrisy and a bit of fear involved. Brazilian women have this sexy image of being at ease and uninhibited in bed. But anyone who lives here knows that’s not true.”
See, most of her critics feel that Bruna would be justified to go into prostitution if she was raised in a favela or slum, where she was forced by hard times to turn tricks. Or if she was struggling to support her babies from different baby daddies and her frail grandmother. That would be cool.
But the girl, now 26, walked away from her family, chose a shameful life, rebelled against her family tradition, and has shattered everything good and decent. In a world of machismo, she tells women that they should seize control of their sexuality, become their own person, and flip the script on the rigid rules of gender and class.
After two more successful books, Bruna struggled with celebrity, indulging herself, pushing herself to her carnal limit. She made several hardcore porno films, including Bang My Culo and Black Dicks Latin Chicks 7. Imagine her porn style in front of the camera similar to Vanessa Del Rio or Belladonna, full-tilt passion.
And the movie, Bruna Surfistinha, has broken all records in its short time in theatres, becoming the second highest grossing film of this year. One reason for its success is Deborah Secco, one of the most popular and beautiful actresses in Latin America, who plays Bruna in the gripping film. Socco is rated among the best actresses globally, known for quality, perceptive portrayals in movies, theatre, and television.
Two scenes of the remarkable film got the attention of the critics where Socco as Bruna is dragged by police from a car with her street buddies and then chooses to perform orally on the top cop. Just think of Meryl Streep or Glenn Close doing that in a gringo flick. The other scene is Socco acting wanton in one of the raunchiest hotspots in San Paulo, Love Story, where anything and everything goes.
Today, Bruna, as Raquel Pacheco, has gone straight. Squared up. She wants a “normal,” more traditional life with the possibility of marriage and a career in psychology and counseling. However, this movie will awaken the dark ghosts of her checkered past and thrust them full-blown into her redeemed present.
As Ms. Pacheco told a reporter, she is aware that her past can never be shunned. “Being Bruna was a role that left its mark on me, but I can’t abandon her. There are people who still call me Bruna, and I don’t mind, but I wouldn’t want to be her for the rest of my life.”