I related to her experience as a late teen/young adult who had been raised in a strict family with a rather religious and controlling father who was a bit wary of the moral implications of the budding fierceness that was arising within their daughters' young, ambitious and creative spirits. I also related to how Celia was viewed as unattractive and not the right aesthetic for the career she wanted to pursue as a singer. The racism within not just Cuban society but in the record industry was touched on quite a bit throughout the 80-episode series about Celia. Her dark skin and wide nose were seen as signs of undesirability at first and would have been a huge deterrence in her career, had it not been for the sheer magnificence and uniqueness of her voice and her exquisite talent as a singer and performer.
Everything about Celia's physical appearance that made her seem like an unsuitable candidate to be the face and voice of one of Cuba's premiere big bands "Sonora Mantancera", is exactly what I find so refreshingly unique and stunningly beautiful about her. I mean look at these pictures from her early years as a performer. All I see is a young goddess who is redefining beauty and talent. Her early career was especially challenging, since she was being considered by the Sonora band as a replacement to a much beloved Puerto Rican singer, Myrta Silva, who had finer, more European features and lighter skin. But the band leader gave her a chance and with that chance, Celia went on to break boundaries and be an innovator as a musician, social activist and bring back pride in the Afro-Cubano roots of both the music and the culture of Cuba.
Here she is, later in life, performing one of my favorite of her hits "Quimbara" live. This woman is one hell of a Savage Muse.........Azucar!!!!