Meet the mom going viral for her uncanny resemblance to ‘Encanto’ character Luisa

·3 min read

While “We Don’t Talk About Bruno,” might be the most popular song from “Encanto,” Luisa’s solo track “Surface Pressure” is also capturing fans’ attention for its relatable lyrics about being the backbone of your family.

Early in the film, Mirabel, voiced by Stephanie Beatriz, notices that her older sister Luisa, voiced by Jessica Darrow, has an eye twitch. Mirabel suspects that Luisa is stressing about something, but her sister denies that anything is wrong at first.

Finally, in “Surface Pressure,” Luisa opens up about how her superhuman strength puts a heavy burden on her daily. She describes how the Madrigals and the entire town rely on her abilities to fix all their problems. The pressure is weighing on her, literally and figuratively.

The song personally connected to TikTok star Maribel Martinez who told TODAY she listened to “Surface Pressure” before she watched the movie. “People kept commenting that I looked like (Luisa), so I saw one of her songs on TikTok,” she explained. “I was like, wow, she’s strong and masculine, but yet (has) feminine features.”

She added, “I’ve never seen any cartoon character or Disney character ever look like a feminine but yet masculine woman. It’s not a normal thing you see every day.” She thought Luisa’s character design was “super cool,” so she decided to watch “Encanto” with her daughter.

Martinez’s reaction to the movie was a mix of awe and amazement. “I was shocked because I was so glad to see that I could see myself in somebody else,” she said.

After watching the film, the mom of two recreated a few fan-favorite scenes of Luisa on social media. She has shared videos on TikTok of her mimicking the moment in “Encanto” when Luisa sassily moves boulders with her hips, acting out Luisa’s cry when she realizes she is losing her powers and flexing her muscles while lip-syncing to “Surface Pressure.”

One clip, which currently has over 10 million views, features her singing along to the lyrics, “Give it to your sister, it doesn’t hurt. And see if she can handle every family burden. Watch as she buckles and bends but never breaks. No mistakes just.” This was the particular line from the soundtrack that stood out to Martinez.

“Not only was I physically the appearance of this character, but the song just related to me so much in my own livelihood,” said Martinez, who was raised in a big family like Luisa.

“I was raised as the oldest but I am the middle child out of seven of us altogether,” she shared. “I’m the fourth one. And my older siblings were adopted out and I was raised as the oldest. So I had a lot of pressure on me growing up.”

In more recent posts, Martinez has fully committed to the look by rocking Luisa’s signature red bow, curls, white top and blue skirt.

Her page has collected almost 9 million likes. She said she was surprised and grateful to see people supporting her. As “Encanto’’ continues to dominate social media conversations, her fanbase has been growing as well. Multiple social media users have reached out to Martinez to share their “specific traumas” and how they also relate to the movie’s themes.

“I feel like I’m in the spotlight right now of being a role model,” she explained. “And seeing how people are like, ‘Wow, you’re inspirational’ — I think it’s so beautiful to see that.”

While uplifting other social media users is important to Martinez, she also hopes “Encanto” and her body-positive social media posts 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 said.

Martinez continued, “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.”