Cuban-born model Vida Guerra has filmed a sexy new ad for a PETA fund-raising campaign. “Donate Today to See Vida's Full New Naked Ad!” says the animal-rights organization’s website; minimum donation was set at $5. (A PETA spokesperson says the ad will soon be free for all to see.)
To urge Latinos not to eat meat (and raise a little cash), the former FHM “Model of the Year” was photographed showing off her bounteous talents—she won the magazine’s “Best Butt Award” twice, after all—as she knelt coyly on a pile of chile peppers, looking over her shoulder and nibbling one of the bright red veggies. “Spice Up Your Life: Go Vegetarian,” the English-language version of the ad reads. (There's a Spanish-language version, too.)
“I’m Cuban, so we grew up eating meat. But I didn’t like it,” says Guerra. “I’d say, ‘Rice and black beans is just fine with me.’ But my mother, you know, would say, ‘Tu estas muy flaca!’ Then one day I saw my dad kill a chicken and ever since then I was grossed out by chicken.”
In her ad’s accompanying behind-the-scenes video (because you knew there had to be one of those), Guerra extols the virtues of going meatless.
“I believe that being a vegetarian can definitely benefit, especially the Latin community because we’re used to just eating meats and meats,” she says. “The health benefits that you get as far as cholesterol, heart diseases, a bunch of diseases, actually—if you eliminate meat and dairy from your diet. I challenge anyone to try it out for 30 days and then evaluate.”
“Vida's spicy chili-pepper ad certainly suits her, and everyone who makes a donation on her page will be given special access to see it,” said a PETA blog post about the initiative.
Alright, fine. It’s not like we haven’t spent some time urging Tío Tino to chill on the chorizo and maybe eat a spring of broccoli or something. Far be it from us to bust someone for their culinary and ethical choices: Vegetarian, vegan, follow your bliss.
But: A Latino-oriented ad festooned with chile peppers? Urging people to be “spicy”? While we appreciate the geographic sensitivity to the fact that it wouldn’t have been right for Guerra, as a Cuban, to pose with a cactus and a serape—much less with a burro—don’t the peppers also seem a little, um, stereotypical?
“They had that ad campaign out before,” says Guerra. “The other ad that they had was Sophie Monk laying on the chile peppers. But I guess you know, hot, spicy, Latin—it all goes together. Maybe that’s why people are looking at it more and forgetting about the other ones.”