“La Flor Más Bella/The Most Beautiful Flower” is Netflix’s newest teen sequence, and in some ways, it looks like your typical coming-of-age story. The 10-part sequence follows underdog Mich as she units out to beat highschool. But the present is obvious from the very starting that it is distinct. It’s set in Mexico, advised in Spanish, and focused to anybody who’s ever felt totally different.
“Having a curvy, brunette, Mexican protagonist who embraces standard and folkloric traditions and customs, and who additionally is aware of she is fabulous and is proud to be all of that, representing so many, it is the most effective revolution,” present cocreator Michelle Rodríguez says. “La Flor Más Bella” is loosely primarily based on her life, rising up in Xochimilco, a neighborhood in Mexico City well-known for its canals and colourful barges.
According to govt producer and Campanario Entertainment’s cofounder Jaime Dávila, Netflix initially reached out desirous to do a YA present set in Mexico. So he tapped his community, who rapidly nominated comic Rodríguez. “She simply made us snigger, which is already actually crucial factor. And then secondly, every thing she represented and every thing she was saying was so highly effective to us,” Dávila tells POPSUGAR. “It felt actually highly effective for our group — giving Latinos the chance to speak about sure points that perhaps they do not discuss.” Those points vary from classism to physique positivity, queer rights, and racism, including as much as a fairly totally different present than we’re used to seeing.
For Rodríguez, that distinction is simply her private expertise. “Sharing what I’ve discovered alongside the way in which has at all times appeared to me like an ideal thought,” she explains. “And if doing so makes somebody on the market hook up with me, to my story, and really feel represented and motivated to maintain going, then that is a fair higher incentive for me to do it.”
“This is a narrative a couple of younger woman from Xochimilco — you’ll be able to’t get extra particular than that,” Dávila says. “But I believe we have all been underestimated, I believe we have all felt misunderstood — that is common. And so I hope that individuals, by means of the specificity of this younger Mexican woman, additionally see themselves.” Asking audiences throughout the globe to see themselves in Mich’s particular circumstances looks like an enormous leap ahead for Latina illustration.
Take, for instance, how “La Flor Más Bella” portrays Mexico. For Rodríguez and Dávila, the intense, stunning Mexico of the present is solely their fact. “Mexico is a fascinating place,” Rodríguez says. “When I began telling my story to the author, Fernanda Eguiarte, she was fascinated by Xochimilco and the tales I lovingly advised her of the place that raised me. Immediately, we determined that Xochimilco and Mexico can be essential characters on this story. Showing a vivid Mexico, the place you might be who you might be, is a part of the invitation to really feel pleased with being who you might be.”
“The Mexico you see in media of drug wars and violence nonstop, it is simply not true. The Mexico that we shot in ‘La Flor Más Bella’ is the Mexico I do know. It’s vibrant, it is stunning, it is numerous, it is difficult.”
For Dávila, it was additionally a political name. “Being a Mexican American meant for me, personally, being in Mexico loads. And each time after I would come again, folks would say, ‘Wow, what was it like? Was it actually harmful?’ And you are like, ‘No, I used to be visiting my aunt’s. It’s a metropolis, a traditional metropolis,'” he remembers. “The Mexico you see in media of drug wars and violence nonstop, it is simply not true. The Mexico that we shot in ‘La Flor Más Bella’ is the Mexico I do know. It’s vibrant, it is stunning, it is numerous, it is difficult.”
Part of that complication is race, class, and colorism — a tough topic the present would not draw back from. In reality, Mich’s major antagonists are a bunch of white Mexicans at college. They’re the favored youngsters and the bullies — their mild pores and skin granting all of them types of favors from their friends and their lecturers. One of them additionally occurs to be Mich’s cousin, Brenda, who antagonizes her prima nonstop. And even because the present units up Brenda because the villain, it is cautious to complicate that. Brenda could wield her energy cruelly at college, however she’s caught with a house life that had her develop up too quickly. Indeed, she’s jealous of Mich’s upbringing and her capacity to like herself regardless of society’s requirements.
“In Mexico, oftentimes, in your personal household, you may have totally different shades, you may have totally different colours, and your loved ones treats you in another way in consequence. I noticed it in my circle of relatives.”
“In Mexico, oftentimes, in your personal household, you may have totally different shades, you may have totally different colours, and your loved ones treats you in another way in consequence. I noticed it in my circle of relatives. I see it with my grandma, God bless her,” Dávila recounts. When it involves Mexican movie, telenovelas, and even information anchors, the illustration has traditionally been on the lighter aspect. But “La Flor Más Bella” challenges that, decentering the blond prima for the darker, heavier Mich.
“People are so usually judged by a canopy, and I simply suppose it is such a mistake,” Dávila says. There’s a plot within the present the place Mich, an incredible singer and performer, desires the lead within the faculty musical. They’re doing a tackle ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ and the trainer prefers the blond, slender Alice of the Disney cartoon.
Mich would not let the drama trainer’s racist worldview cease her. With the assistance of her supporting associates, she asserts that she is Alice of Xochimilco and retains at it. Yes, typically she will get annoyed — particularly when her white boyfriend of a yr nonetheless refuses to take their relationship public or when she seems invisible at college, even to the principal. But that is Mich’s story, and she or he is set to be the central character in her life, it doesn’t matter what the world throws at her.
“She just isn’t a sufferer, neither is she a personality who’s there purely for comedic aid. Having such a personality is therapeutic, inspiring, and highly effective for all of us who’ve by no means felt represented on display earlier than. Recognizing that we’re fabulous is one thing that we’re not taught at college and typically not at dwelling both,” Rodríguez explains. “That is why it’s so essential that this Mich reveals everybody how fabulous she is, so that every one those that see themselves mirrored in her know there’s nothing to be uncomfortable about. This is your physique; dwell your life!”
As a excessive schooler, Mich is determining who she is. But whether or not she’s grappling with how others understand her physique, her personal sexuality, or the racial politics of Mexico, self-love stays. That’s actually the place the present finds its energy. “People ought to really feel higher about themselves and simply love themselves. Because that is the key . . . and it is laborious, proper? It’s actually laborious. It’s actually difficult in a world the place you are getting so many messages from media, from your personal household,” Dávila attests.
“Ever since I used to be slightly woman, I dreamed of being an artist, and I assumed that I couldn’t be within the tv, music, and theater trade, as a result of I not often noticed girls like me,” Rodríguez says, explaining how society’s expectations affected her rising up. “‘The Most Beautiful Flower’ is the sequence that I’d have preferred to see as a baby and adolescent; even now, I’m nonetheless letting the message this story conveys sink in. I hope the viewers connects with the story and with Mich, who is aware of find out how to have a good time variations and who believes that flaws might be superpowers.”
Mich’s self-love actually does really feel totally different from a coming-of-age heroine, and that is earlier than including in how the present normalizes Mexico or the way it asks viewers to interact in complicated conversations round race, class, and sexuality in Latin American society. It questions who’s worthy of affection and why. Taken all collectively, these components arrange a brand new sort of illustration. One that, as Rodríguez says, has the potential to be the most effective sort of revolution.