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Peru: Wendy Sulca, YouTube Phenomenon, Teased Once Again

“Hello to Armando Esteban Quito [roughly translated as "assembling this little bench"]… and Jorge Nitales [jor-genitals]… a big kiss to Elsa Capunta [pencil sharpener]… we're your number one fans from Narnia…”. This is how Peruvian star Wendy Sulca greeted her supposed fans earlier this month on her Tweetcam [es], seemingly unaware that she was the victim of a series of pranks as she stated fictitious names, some with double meanings. The jokes mostly came from her Chilean “fans”.

The video of more than four minutes immediately spread like wildfire on YouTube, the same site that made her famous more than five years ago [es], inciting laughter and discomfort in some. In a statement she made to a Peruvian television show, Sulca confessed she is unhappy “with the jokes made in bad taste” and affirmed she does not have “that type of malice”. Also, some national journalists expressed their disagreement, arguing that people have taken advantage of the “innocence” of a girl who is just 16 years old.

And the fact is, to tell the truth, Wendy Sulca's songs and videos, that border between the unusual and kitsch, have earned her accolades, mocking and multiple critiques that cross boundaries. One clear example is the Spanish program El Intermedio, whose presenters have lambasted Wendy Sulca (along with other YouTube phenomenons, La Tigresa del Oriente and Delfín Quishpe) on multiple occasions:

Despite all of this, Sulca has won the sympathy of artists like Calle 13, Dante Spinetta, and Fito Paez and has been invited to give concerts around Latin America. The fascination with this viral movement, beginning long before the arrival of Gangnam Style and Rebecca Black's cacophonous “Friday”, has been described by renowned journalist Alma Guillermoprieto as “infinite and joyful capacity for self-invention” and she highlighted the following in the prestigious The New York Review of Books:

“Their self-confidence and optimism we can only envy, and yet they have lives we can barely imagine (how much did the rural violence provoked by Peru’s Shining Path guerrillas influence Wendy’s parents’ decision to migrate to the capital?). But millions of people admire these singers. This is not outsider but insider art of the deepest sort, forged in a hot-hot crucible, and it is we who stand on the outside, peering wistfully at the screen”.

About two years ago, Colombia's Revista Shock [es] (Shock Magazine) devoted a cover and special edition to Sulca, cataloging her as the “ultimate diva of our Latin America”:

“Más allá de La tetita y la Cerveza, el fenómeno de Wendy Sulca revela uno de los momentos más interesantes de la historia cultural reciente… Como una de esas estrellas infantiles cuyo inevitable crecimiento hace que su público se sienta medio estafado, ella ya está en esa etapa de la vida en la que comienzan a tallarle los vestidos que los mayores la han obligado a usar. Es una niñita risueña que comienza a destetarse”.

Beyond La Tetita (The Little Breast) and la Cerveza (Beer), the phenomenon that is Wendy Sulca reveals one of the most interesting moments of recent cultural history… As one of those child stars whose inevitable growth makes the audience feel half-cheated, she is already in that stage of life in which she has begun to be fit for dresses which older people force her to wear. She is a cheerful girl who has started the weaning process.

The trolling (provocative messages on the Internet) aimed towards Wendy Sulca was a subject of discussion on Twitter. Jorge Marín (@jorgemarin) came out in Wendy's defense:

@jorgemarin: Cómo puede existir gente inescrupulosa que le haga bromas a Wendy Sulca?

How can there be unscrupulous people that would play pranks on Wendy Sulca?

Other users, like Claudia (@claudiita1595), found the incident hilarious:

@claudiita1595 Acabo de ver el video donde trollean a Wendy Sulca en su twitcam. JAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJJA ELVA SURITA. NO PUEDO JAJAJAJAJA

I just watched the video where they prank Wendy Sulca on her tweetcam. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA ELVA SURITA. I CAN'T HAHAHAHAHA

Dummie (@sianale) argues that the joke played on Wendy Sulca

@sianale: la trolleada a wendy sulca es la verdadera marca peru…

the prank on wendy sulca is the true Peruvian brand…

Ignacio Martinez (@nachito79) expressed his skepticism about Wendy's innocence:

@nachito79:  Imposible que @WendySulca no se diera cuenta de los nombres que decía en su twitcam

Impossible that @WendySulca didn't notice the names she was saying on her tweetcam

Juan Aranguren (@jc_aranguren) proposed the following:

@jc_aranguren: Deberíamos inmortalizar a esta niña Wendy Sulca, hacerle un altar o nombrar alguna calle con su nombre.

We should immortalize this girl Wendy Sulca, maker her an altar and name a street after her.

Finally, Chichoelmalo (@chichoelmalo) emphasized:

@chichoelmalo: Nunca, oigan bien, nunca voy a superar el saludo a Elsa Capuntas de Wendy Sulca. Te amo Wendy, te amo.

I will never, listen up, never get past the greeting Wendy Sulca gave to Elsa Capuntas[pencil sharpener]. I love you Wendy, I love you.

In honor of the possibility of reinvention that Guillermoprieto points to, we leave you with the version of “Like a Virgin” by Madonna sung by Sulca herself:

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