Rubi Ibarra became an instant celebrity after the invitation to her “quinceañera" was accidentally posted publicly. The celebration of the "quinceañera", wherein families throw lavish parties for their daughters when they turn 15, is popular among Mexicans. It is reminiscent of the Filipino tradition of celebrating 'debuts' when a girl reaches 18 years old.
According to Fox News, a photographer reposted the video invitation made by the girl's father on his Facebook page. The video described the party as a "down-home birthday party complete with food, local bands and horse races."
At the end of the video, he mentioned that "everyone is cordially invited." But the mother explained that her husband Crescencio was only pertaining to the neighboring communities and closest friends. Netizens mistook 'everyone' to mean everyone in the world and it sparked commotion online.
As a result, reporters, photographers, and other citizens flooded the whole community of La Joya, where the party was held. An airline even offered a 30% discount to everyone flying to San Luis Potosi and used the slogan: "Are you going to Rubi's party?" Many companies and musical stars offered sponsorship as well.
"What happened with Rubi is an interesting example of how the internet amplifies and makes hyper-transparent people's personal lives and how traditional media look for stories on social networks to bring in new audiences" Sergio Octavio Contreras, who works as a communications professor at Mexico's La Salle Bajio University, mused.
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