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The Good, the Bad, and the J.Lo: Ranking Latino Celebrity Wax Figures

Wax figures are a tough subject to broach. When perfectly executed, a wax figure can really make you feel like you’re standing face-to-face with your favorite celebrities. If one detail is off, however, you’re more likely to feel like you’re about to die at the hands of that celebrity’s evil robot doppelgänger.

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The line between an uncanny resemblance and the uncanny valley is razor-thin. So much so, one can’t help but wonder why wax figures are a thing in the first place. Regardless, people pay to see them every day. The paparazzi still swarm them at unveiling ceremonies like they’re real people so… who are we to say?

This is especially the case with Latino celebrities, who seem to exist at both ends of the wax figure spectrum. For every figure that’s indistinguishable from its real-life inspiration, there’s another one that looks like a Lovecraftian monster in the first stage of its transition into whatever beast it will soon become.

Okay, maybe that’s a little dramatic. But they are still pretty creepy to look at sometimes. To give credit where credit is due, for better or worse, we wanted to list out the best and worst wax figures modeled after Latino celebrities.

Seriously, though. If the uncanny valley is not your thing, we have literally hundreds of other articles you should read instead.

Best: Anitta

We thought it would be best to start off on a high note. Honestly, it doesn’t get much better than Anitta‘s Madame Tussauds wax figure. The figure didn’t make its official debut until earlier this year, but Anitta had been teasing it on Instagram for close to a year before that.

The figure apparently took six months to make thanks to the work of 20 different artists. Looking at the video above, you’ll see a much more advanced recreation process thanks to facial scanning technology that wasn’t always available to the artists. The result is a figure that, against all odds, looks exactly like the celebrity who inspired it.

Maybe a little too much…

Worst: Jennifer Lopez

We think it’s probably best to rip the band-aid off now. There’s going to be a lot of J-Lo on this list. And not for the reasons you might have hoped. Unfortunately, there is not a wax figure artist on the planet who’s been able to capture J-Lo’s essence. The result is a series of horrific look-alikes, each one scarier than the last.

This is in no way a comment on J-Lo’s appearance. She’s one of the most beautiful people on the planet and has been for as long as we can remember. Maybe that’s why the issues with her wax figures are all the more glaring. Either way, don’t stare at these too long because we’re pretty sure you’ll get possessed.

Best: Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato‘s wax figure is one of the best out there, period. The resemblance is undeniable and the fact that she and the figure have the exact same smile is impressive and creepy in equal measure. Again, no hate to wax figures or the people who make them, but we have to draw the line somewhere.

All jokes aside, Lovato’s wax figure is a perfect example of what artists should be doing when they set out to recreate a whole human being. If you ask us, there needs to be a point in the middle where resemblance and essence meet. This Demi Lovato wax figure is a perfect example of that.

Worst: Jennifer Lopez, unfortunately

Jennifer Lopez Wax Figure
Courtesy of Getty Images

J-Lo, we love you! We promise! This isn’t about you at all, please understand. It just so happens that the people hired to recreate you with wax did a really bad job. And no matter how many times they try to fix it, it just seems to come out completely wrong.

There’s no reason why this needs to be true, but it is: there are so many bad J-Lo wax figures, we could do a whole article just focusing on those. It really shouldn’t be this difficult to make a good wax figure of one of the most famous people on the planet. But that’s where we are right now.

Best: Maluma

Speaking of J-Lo, the wax figure modeled after her “Marry Me” co-star Maluma is truly fantastic. There’s one picture where, for a split second, we couldn’t tell the difference between the two. Much like Anitta’s, the Maluma wax figure is a lot more recent, taking advantage of the cutting-edge technology available to artists today.

The result is something that hits the sweet spot we mentioned before: resemblance and essence. Sure, the figure looks like Maluma, but it almost feels like you’re standing right next to him.

It’s probably the closest thing we’ll get to a perfect recreation, at least for now.

Worst: Jennifer Lopez (just kidding, it’s Christina Aguilera)

Christina Aguilera Wax Figure
Courtesy of Getty Images

Poor Xtina. She deserves better than this. Seriously, it’s one thing to make a bad wax figure. That’s kind of the expectation. It’s another thing entirely to create a terrifying monster that looks less like Christina Aguilera and more like a crazed look-alike fan who wants to kill Christina Aguilera.

We don’t mean to be dramatic but… this thing needs to be ceremoniously destroyed as soon as possible. It is mere days away from coming to life and taking over the world. Have you seen the trailer for “M3gan” yet? This reminds us a lot of the trailer for “M3gan,” that’s all we’re going to say.

Best: Pitbull

Believe it or not, Miami ambassador and hitmaker Pitbull has one of the better wax figures on display at Madame Tussauds! Maybe it’s because Pitbull has such a specific facial structure, but this one is legitimately impressive. Whoever worked on it did an incredible job maintaining that resemblance/essence balance.

Much like Maluma, the differences between Pitbull and his figure aren’t immediately apparent. Sure, you can look at it for a few seconds and know who’s who, but the resemblance is definitely enough to make you do a double-take. If Pitbull’s aspirations as Mr. Worldwide are to be taken literally, we just need a couple hundred more of these to give the rapper a truly international presence.

Worst: Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo Wax Figure
Courtesy of Getty Images

If the creators of this wax figure were going for an artistic representation of Cristiano Ronaldo‘s essence, they nailed it. The exaggerated features are kind of cool to look at! One could even argue that this figure leans more towards essence than resemblance. That’s not necessarily a bad thing!

However, as a 1:1 recreation, this is truly terrible. No disrespect to the artists, they’re clearly talented people. But this is a representation of Ronaldo, not a recreation. Of all the bad wax figures on this list, this one is the least terrifying. Mostly because it barely resembles a human being at all. But that’s kind of the problem…

Best: Romeo Santos

The King of Bachata himself was the subject of a wax figure that debuted in 2017. It’s really good! We’re noticing that the best wax figures are usually accompanied by pictures of the celebrity standing next to them to really drive the resemblance home.

In this case, it’s well-earned. Seeing Romeo Santos stand next to his wax figure is an impressive sight. Fans couldn’t deny the resemblance one bit and his figure continues to be one of the best in the world. In fact, some people think that, in the picture of Santos standing next to his figure, the wax one looks more like Romeo Santos than Romeo Santos does.

Worst: Jennifer Lopez (we’re not kidding this time)

Courtesy of Getty Images

No matter how many times we say otherwise, the fact remains that J-Lo’s taken quite a beating in this article. At least, her wax figures did. We just can’t seem to wrap our heads around it. Why has this happened? Why do people keep letting it happen? Why is J-Lo letting it happen?

We’ll probably be asking ourselves these questions for the foreseeable future. In the meantime, we can’t help but mention the worst offender of all. In anticipation of the 2014 Brazil World Cup, FIFA collaborated with Madame Tussauds to unveil a wax figure wearing the outfit J-Lo planned to wear during her World Cup performance.

It’s a bizarre series of decisions that led to an even more bizarre unveiling. However, the worst part isn’t even the figure itself, but the fact that the artists seemed so hopelessly preoccupied with her butt. Like, seriously, what is going on here? And, again, who let it happen?

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