LETTERS

LETTERS

By

Her name is Michelly Fernanda Machri and she is 20 years old. But everybody in Brazil
knows her as "a garota da Sukita" (the girl from Sukita), an orange
flavored soft drink, and thinks she is not older than 15. That’s because Michelly has
become famous playing an innocent Lolita who is constantly being courted by an ill-fated
and older Don Juan she politely calls tio (uncle).

Michelly, who is from Florianópolis (capital of Santa Catarina state), has lived in
São Paulo by herself for almost three years. Thanks to several articles published in the
daily press and magazines we know that the model met her boyfriend in the elevator, the
same way as it happens in one of the scenes of the commercial in which she is approached
by the "tio."

Michelly started her modeling career when she was 14. Her participation in a
competition by São Paulo’s teen magazine Carícia when she was 16, opened the
doors to the Ford modeling agency. Only recently, though, she was able to buy herself an
inexpensive car, a Fiat Pálio. She had been using the bus.

The commercial’s tio is 49-year-old Roberto Arduim. Arduim and Machri have
already paired in three episodes, but thanks to the success of the ad campaign six new
episodes are in the works. In real life, though, Michelly has no interest in older guys.

Arduim is always the loser in the ad scenes. First on the elevator, then when he is
barred from a party at the girl’s home. In a third episode, the old wolf is in a bar by
himself when the girl arrives with some friends. She gets close and asks: "Are you by
yourself?" He nods positively. The girl touches the spare chair by his table, asking,
"Can I?" When he thinks she will sit down with him, she simply takes the chair
and goes away with a thank you.

To become the Sukita girl—a creation of the Carillo Pastori ad
agency—Michelly, who was 19 at the time, had to try for the role with 90 other
candidates, most of them still in their early teens, the age of the character. She got the
part because while the other girls had heavy makeup to look older, she went with a washed
face.

Cláudio Carillo, 46, creative director of the company tells why his agency ad is a
hit: "The ad deals with middle-age big boys who want to be with little girls. Every
man faces, has faced or will face the same situation experienced by the uncle. We cannot
escape that."

TV, model agencies, magazines and ad agencies have been knocking at Michelly’s door. Playboy
and other men magazines were sent back with a resounding no, but she agreed to
sensuous poses—while keeping her clothes—for monthly magazine Trip.
"It was the first time that I posed for sexy pictures, but these portraits mostly
explore my little-girl side. I wouldn’t accept invitations to pose in the nude. For a
model, to pose naked is a career bust. This is something that might be cool for an
actress, who can get some promotion from that."

It’s a sure bet that she will soon be working in some prime-time TV novela.
Apparently unimpressed with the sudden fame, the model has plans to save money and retire
from modeling in three years. Her dreams? Go to a marine biology college. Travel to
Australia. Go back to her hometown, have two children and be a fulltime mother or maybe a
teacher like two of her three sisters. To move to Bahia would also be great. She wants to
live by the beach: "I want to be a marine biologist and I need to live in a place
close to the sea. In Bahia they have the Tamar (Tartaruga Marinha—Sea Turtle) project
and I love sea turtles."

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