If you haven’t seen Disney’s new animated hit, Encanto, the story of the magical Madrigal family with the enchanted house, then you must be living under one of the rocks that oldest and strongest sister Luisa (voiced by Jessica Darrow) can easily toss aside. And while parents and kids everywhere have memorized the soundtrack, written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, one mom of two is going viral for her inspirational video recreations on TikTok.
Social media star Maribel Martinez, whose TikTok bio reads “Luisa Cosplay,” recently told TODAY that she first listened to popular song “Surface Pressure” before watching the movie, which in part captures Luisa’s emotions about the physical and emotional burden placed upon her by her family and community, as everyone relies on her strength to fix their problems. “People kept commenting that I looked like (Luisa), so I saw one of her songs on TikTok,” she said. “I was like, wow, she’s strong and masculine, but yet (has) feminine features.”
After watching the movie with her daughter, “I was shocked because I was so glad to see that I could see myself in somebody else,” said Martinez. Later, she added, “Not only was I physically the appearance of this character, but the song just related to me so much in my own livelihood.”
So she decided to recreate some of Luisa’s scenes on TikTok, in part to inspire her daughter.
“For my daughter, I just want her to always find a way to love herself the way she is. (To) know it doesn’t matter if she’s different,” she told TODAY. “I’m the parent who will support no matter what my child chooses to do with their life as long as it makes them happy.”
In her videos, Martinez has recreated scenes from her “Surface Pressure song,” and Luisa’s despair when she felt her burden was too heavy.
Her account has 9.8 million likes on TikTok, and many fans have weighed in on her interpretation of the Disney character. “My daughter loves your videos and wants to be strong like you,” wrote one. Another added, “My daughter (4yrs) is losing her mind. She’s watched your videos constantly since we came across your profile. You’re amazing!!” And one repeated her own 5-year-old daughter’s reaction to watching Martinez: “It’s Luisa she is beautiful and strong.”
Martinez isn’t the first to see herself as one of the characters from Encanto. Tiktok user Hannary Araujo posted a video of her daughter identifying as the main character Mirabel, the only Madrigal family member who hasn’t realized her magical gift and Instagram user Kaheisha Brand has shared photos of her son, Kenzo Brooks, identifying with Antonio, the child who is blessed with the ability to communicate with animals.
It’s amazing to see all the diverse ways that people relate to Encanto and its characters. Keep those videos coming!
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