Rio Chooses 7-year Old as Carnaval Queen and World Gasps in Disbelief

Júlia Lira Queen of the drum section is an important role in Rio’s Carnaval parade. It’s a task and honor usually assigned to gorgeous actresses and models who appear in skimpy and daring attire parading in the Sambadrome.

Breaking with this tradition the Escola de Samba (Samba Club) Viradouro, one of Rio de Janeiro’s main escolas, has chosen a seven-year old girl to be its queen. 

Júlia Lira is the daughter of Marcos Lira, who is the Viradouro’s president and who claims he would never expose his litle girl in an erotic way. He also says that she will easily withstand 80 minutes dancing under in the street and points out that the girl will parade in a “very childlike costume.”

Child advocacy groups, however, disagree and say Júlia should never be allowed to parade in such a capacity. The final decision will be up to a family judge.

Júlia has been actively rehearsing for the Sunday presentation and has talked to reporters and posed for pictures. The girl has already memorized the samba enredo (theme song). The news had been given little attention by the Brazilian press until the international media picked up on it and transformed the story in a cause célèbre.

“I like to dance, play with dolls and I am a fan of the Jonas Brothers,” the girl told reporters after showing how good she can dance and before introducing them to her Barbie collection. “When I grow up I want to be a singer and a dancer,” she added.

Monica Lira, mother of the little samba girl ruled out the possibility of her daughter wearing clothes that would expose her sexually. “Julia will parade in a very childlike costume. She will be dressed as a child. I will not make my daughter dress as an adult Carnaval parade dancer.”

According to the mother the teachers and classmates in Júlia’s school have been very supportive of the girl’s participation in the Carnaval parade. For Monica, the daughter is living “the best vacation of her life.”

Talking to BBC, Carlos Nicodemos, Director of the Child and Youth Defense Council suggested that by choosing little Júlia, the Escola de Samba will contribute to “increasing the treatment of children as sex objects in Brazilian society.”

Nicodemos says he is not against the participation of children in Carnaval events since “this is part of the Brazilian culture.” He opposes, however, the exposure of the child “in a role, which traditionally is charged with great sexual connotation.”

Marcos Lira is unconvinced. For him, his daughter has the right attitude of a Carnaval queen and adds: “Any man who looks at a seven-year-old girl and gets excited should go to a doctor.”

And he goes on: “I would never dress my daughter in an erotic outfit. It would be an unfortunate gesture on my part and doomed to condemnation in my family. As a father I will not allow people to look at Julia with lecherous eyes.

“We are providing the documentation asked by the justice. The judge will say the last word and she just wants to know how the parade will be. Whatever is decided we will accept, without appealing. Also because the judge who handles the Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro is very serious and human. She knows that to put his daughter in the Sambadrome a father has to make sure the child will not be seen as an object of desire.”

Viradouro has already sent the child authority pictures of the costume Júlia is supposed to wear during the parade. If the judge authorizes her participation this will be the first time a child will head one of the segments (in this case the drum section) of the Carnaval parade.

For Julia her participation wouldn’t be a first since she debuted sambaing in the avenue, two years ago, when she was five and appeared among the sambistas on Marquês de Sapucaí, the Sambadrome’s avenue.

Viradouro is from the neighboring city of Niterói. Among the famous names who already wore the crown of queen of the drum section in that Escola we have actresses Luma de Oliveira and Juliana Paes.

Edson Pereira says that everything is going the way he anticipated. He is in charge of designing and manufacturing Júlia’s costume. “She’s having fun as a child,” he tells reporters.

“We know Julia doesn’t have the same sense of responsibility that a woman would have to assume the post of queen so we are treating this matter with ease. All I can say about her costume is that it will be a child outfit, transpiring purity and innocence. The drum section will be dressed in Pirates of the Caribbean’s Jack Sparrow style and Julia will also be in this context.”

The samba enredo is called “Mexico, a paradise of colors, under the sign of the Sun.” Actress Gisele Itié and Mexican singer and actress Thalia were some of the names entertained to be the queen, but negotiations didn’t pan out.

Thalia, for example, the Viradouro people say, demanded a private jet and to be paid in a bank account in Miami. She also wanted a luxury suite in the Copacabana Palace or Glória Hotel plus a ten-men private security force.


  • Show Comments (12)

  • Jake McCrann
  • Jake McCrann

    “holocaust denial”
    Listen to yourself. Are you saying I am a holocaust denialist when I point out that after the Wall came down in 1989 the polish were forced to admit that it wasn’t 4 million jews who died at Auschwitz but 1.1 million? And they even changed their plaque at Auschwitz from 4 million to 1.1 million.

    Or am I a holocaust denialist for pointing out that all the New York Times articles in the 70s looking for mengeles in Brasil turned out to be total bullshit as he had died 7 years before it? When they were accusing Brasil and Paruguay of hiding mengeles? Luls. Or you want to go further about their stories about Mengelese? Look up an article called “Lessons from the Mengele Affair”.

    Or do you want to talk about the now admitted fraudulent evidence that was presented against the Nazis in the Nuremberg trials such as “Jew Soap, Jewish Hair Matresses for Nazi Wives (Luls), Jewish Shrunken Skulls, Jewish Skin Tattoed Lamp Shades – all now proven and admitted by everyone in the world as having been frauds. And so you tell me you think those Nazis at Nuremberg got a fair trial?

    I will tell you Sir, you dont have a fucking clue what you are talking about.

  • Jake McCrann

    Cage Ratler
    Hye “cage ratler” – is that your real name coward? Put your fucking name to it punk.

    Tell me, who come is it that in 2000 years there are over 100 nation states who forced the jews to leave their state?

  • Jake McCrann

    “hahahahah only in BrASIL”
    Fuck off back to your sess pit you call Israel you Talmudic piece of shit.

    In Brasil rapists and pedophiles are murdered in prison – it doesn’t matter what years the judge gives them.
    Fuck you for speaking about Brasil like that. I bet you 1 million fucking dollars there were jews all around this. Go look them up!

  • Jake McCrann

    How many times do I have to tell you people? We in brasil have been taken over by the Talmud.

  • Jak McCrann

    “and an anti-science buffoon”
    Gee, and yet when I was at Melbourne University in 1993-2000 I managed to convince them to give me a Bachelor of SCience. And at that time they were only ranked in top 20 Universities in the world.

    Fuck all that maths and chemistry I majored in – I am OBVIOUSLY an anti-science buffoon.

    How do we know that is true? Well because a jew said so.

  • Lloyd Cata

    Why?….Why?….Why?….Ok, I Get It!…..On With Carnivale!!!
    Many comments point to Brazilian history, tradition, and culture. That is certainly a valid method of analysis of the ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ of this phoney controversy.
    The school, the parents, and the state could have resolved this privately once it entered ‘the fathers’ thoughts to have this girl perform. He could have, as Samba school leader, gone to the appropriate authorities to press the case for his daughter. THIS IS NOT HIS FIRST TIME TO THE RODEO!!! This case is not only about his daughter, or necessarily that she is a talented 7yr old, but the ‘precedent’ that this has never been done before. As an experience carnivale presenter, he understood this. So the media circus should not be about the little girl, culture, sexuality, or Brazil. This man, completely familiar with the rules or lack thereof, found a loophole in which to use his daughter, and exploit her talent. She may turn into the “Michael Jackson” of Brazil, but it began with her fathers understanding of how to ‘game’ the system and the media. Perhaps if some Samba school should use a homosexual boy we would get the point….heaven knows if its just about ‘dance’ we could be surprised.

  • Capnamerca

    Jake . . . .
    Did you get the message? Or do I have to reiterate? Go clean your glock, and while you’re at it, please forget to unload it first. Nobody is interested in your garbage ! ! !

  • cage rattler

    What I am saying Jake is that you are a certifiable idiot, and blathering nuisance on this site, a lying piece of shit, a bigot, and an anti-science buffoon, as well as an anti-Semite just to round things off. Now, why don’t you throw another shrimp on the barbie and FUCK the hell OFF. You have too much time on your hands, and not enough thought to make what you write interesting.

    Thanks for admitting you are a holocaust denier. Imadinnerjacket awaits you! We await your departure.

  • cage rattler

    Jake you retarded, antisemitic, foul-mouthed, bile-inspiring, fool, do us all a favour and shut your hummus hole, you’re about as interesting as a black-light poster from the 70s and about as intellectually stimulating as 1980s sitcom. There’s a Holocaust denial symposium being organized in Tehran, and they’re in need of their resident English poster maker. I other words…. vai tomar no cu seu otario!

  • Capnamerca

    [quote]And he goes on: “I would never dress my daughter in an erotic outfit. It would be an unfortunate gesture on my part and doomed to condemnation in my family. As a father I will not allow people to look at Julia with lecherous eyes.

    She knows that to put his daughter in the Sambadrome a father has to make sure the child will not be seen as an object of desire.”[/quote]

    For real? Does this guy honestly believe he can control the minds of the viewers? If he does not want his daughter to be seen as a sex object, he shouldn’t be putting her on a throne normally occupied by sex symbols. Very simple strategy for protecting one’s children. Don’t expose them to this sort of voyeurism.

  • cage rattler

    hahahahahahah only in Brazil…. this should have plane-loads MORE of flocking to Brazil’s shores. Smart move Marcos, once again Brazil, one step forward, two steps back…. hahahaha

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