By Aida Toro
Julie Andrews, Betty White, Frances Bay, and Sandy Martins starred as grandmothers on films we all love. The roles they played as matriarchs in these films were positive, carefree, and influential. Izaura Demari, a 78 year old grandmother herself, known as the “Grandma of Brazil,” is a one of a kind woman. One to admire like we do Andrews, White, Bay, and Martins. The only difference here is that she is not an actress but an international influencer with over 15k followers on Instagram.
Izaura and I had a video call and the first word that came to my mind was: wow! Dressed in a stylish dress, lovely hat on, and some jewelry that gave her outfit a nice pop, she began to enlighten me about her journey as an influencer. Her son Mario suggested she create an Instagram account and publish photos on the platform since people would gleefully react when they would encounter her stylish self out on the streets, at museums, and malls of Brazil where she calls home. At times, folks would even ask her what fairy tale story she came out of.
“On trips, I ended up getting a lot of attention wherever I went, and people asked if I had a social network for them to follow me on,” said Demari.
As a result, she took the leap, with the help of her son, and created her social media accounts where she is known as Grandma Izaura. In one single week, she gained five thousand followers.
When you visit any of Izaura’s social media pages, you will more than likely first note her elaborate hats; a main part of her wardrobe always. Izaura mentioned she owns about 400 hats that have been purchased mainly throughout all of her travels.
“I've worn hats for years and I've always liked this accessory,” she said. “I think it makes women more elegant, not to mention that the wide brimmed hat helps protect my face from the sun and the short-brimmed helps with keeping the face warm in the winter.”
She said she doesn’t have a favorite hat and has a deep appreciation for each and every one of them since they are unique in their own way.
Izaura is an avid traveler and has visited more than 30 cities in Brazil, all the way from the cities of Paraná, Santa Catarina, to Rio Grande do Sul.
“My favorite is Gramado,” said Demari about the mountain resort town in Grande do Sul. “I arrive to Gramado up to four times a year and is, in my opinion one of the best cities in Brazil.”
She noted Gramado is welcoming and hospitable containing great places to eat and shop. The city also hosts the biggest Christmas party in Brazil annually, which Izaura loves attending.
Prior to becoming an influencer and inspiring the people of Brazil with her fabulous outfits and images of breathtaking landscapes, Izaura’s hobby was to grow orchids. She was married to her husband for 42 years till he passed away 16 years ago. After he passed away, she moved out of the home she shared with her husband to an apartment and contemplated what her routine would be.That is when her passion for travel blossomed. Recently, she moved to Florianópolis, the capital of southern Brazil’s Santa Catarina state, which is the destination that provides the backdrop to the majority of her photos.
“I try to post messages that inspire and photos of high spirits,” said Demari. “We already have a lot of bad things circulating in the networks, we have to change the tuning, so they vibrate positive things.”
She believes her target audience is mainly women due to her posts focusing more on women's fashion, style, and travel. If you want to catch this 78 year old sensation’s latest outfit or trip, follow her on Instagram @voizaurademari.
"Make your life exceptional. Stop the moaning. Live now and stop worrying about tomorrow or yesterday,” she said. “Make friends, adopt an animal, give goodness, smile more, make more trips, more walks, go shopping and say yes to life.”
My time with Izaura Demari was not only a delight but taught me the important cliche “Age is just a number,” and it is never too late to live life to the fullest.