Yesterday, Google created a Doodle for the Mexican version of the Mexican actress María Félix on the occasion of her 104th birthday. Her eyebrow movements were the original inspiration for this project. She was born and died on the same date – the 8th of April. The year of her birth is subject to some variation, depending on the source, but she lived a full life and died in 2002 in her eighties. She starred in 47 films and became known as La Doña – a term that denotes respect and authority – after her breakthrough role as the eponymous character Doña Bárbara (Fernando de Fuentes and Miguel M. Delgado, 1943). At the peak of her career (1940s-1950s) she was the best paid actor (male or female) in what was a flourishing industry in Mexico. Mexican film production at the time dominated the Spanish-language market in Latin American and Spain and was widely distributed throughout the world. She occasionally acted in Spanish, Italian, and French productions, but never in English. She lived a celebrity life full of scandal and glamour. By the end of her life she lived in opulent surroundings with her French husband in residences in Paris and Mexico City. Despite all of this fame and renown – or maybe because of it – her work is relatively understudied. For me, one means of understanding her work is to find new ways of discussing the brow so that I can get a keener insight into why, despite her considerable success and skill, women like her are not given the academic attention they deserve.
Niamh Thornton, University of Liverpool