Brazil has no women’s
movement to speak of and is not a
politically correct country. In a way this is good because we
men are spared the kind of harpies who make life a misery for
men in places like Switzerland and Germany. On the other hand,
women still have a long way to go before being taken seriously.
If you walk along São Paulo’s main street, Avenida Paulista, you will
see a giant poster the size of a house showing the bare buttocks of the Brazil’s
latest sweetheart, the delectable Juliana Paes. The reason why Juliana’s sensational
assets are on public view is because she was featured in the May issue of
It is difficult to imagine
other big cities decorating their best-known landmark with pictures of naked
women, but the people of São Paulo take it in their stride. There have
been no complaints from feminist groups, the Church, politicians, the media
or those poor misbegotten people who actually think Avenida Paulista is a
part of the city’s cultural heritage.
Avenida Paulista is so
ugly in terms of architecture that any pin-up (even an ugly one) would be
preferable to the endless array of soulless glass and concrete towers. Nor,
despite the fact that your correspondent is continually being accused of hating
everything about Brazil, has there been any complaint from him. Juliana is
the kind of dark-eyed tropical beauty European and American men dream of.
This acceptance shows
how Brazil has no women’s movement to speak of and is not a politically correct
country. In a way this is good because we men are spared the kind of cropped-hair
harpies who make life a misery for men in places like Switzerland and Germany.
On the other hand it shows that women still have a long way to go here before
they are taken as seriously as in places like the United States and Scandinavia.
The Not So Weak Sex
However, Brazilian women
do not feel they are downtrodden or that there is anything wrong or shameful
in someone like Juliana displaying her comely figure to any passing male.
It is an accepted career step for an up-and-coming actress, dancer or singer
to strip off and flaunt herself in Playboy or some other men’s magazine.
like Maitê Proença and Vera Fischer, along with one-hit wonders
like the girls from the Tchan pop group or the gorgeous little Japanese girl,
Sabrina, who appeared in the moronic Big Brother Brazil "reality"
show, have all done so.
Xuxa, reportedly Brazil’s
richest female entertainer, Ayrton Senna’s girlfriend, Adriene Galisteu, and
the sexy star of the musical Chicago, Daniele Winits, have also flashed for
publicity and money.
There are some girls and
women who have refused to pose nude for magazines, such as top model Giselle
Bündchen and virginal singer Sandy. However, Giselle might succumb one
day if the money is good enough and Sandy might surprise us all by replacing
her sugary image with something more raucous.
In fact, Sandy actually
came in for criticism a few months ago from readers of a women’s slimming
magazine because she did not show enough of her body in the photographs featured.
girl, in your correspondent’s view, the divine Thais Araújo is another
who has not posed for magazines. However, since she appeared for a full four
minutes in the nude in the novella Chica da Silva this does not count. No
wonder Thais is so popular in other countries where this novella was shown,
including the US.
Ordinary women are as
exhibitionist as the celebrities and, in this case, Brazilian men don’t even
have to pay for the pleasure of ogling them. Go to a beach on the coast between
São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and you will see thousands of women walking
around virtually naked.
They wear tiny bikinis
which cover a little bit in the front and virtually nothing at the back. Even
mothers and middle-aged women will walk around in front of their children,
relatives and the rest of the world displaying their behinds as though they
were Indians ambling through the rainforest.
To attract further attention
many tattoo their backs, legs and buttocks. These tattoossnakes, dragons
and Oriental signsare usually a turn-off. The result of having all these
womanly abundance on call is that most men find it impossible to relax on
a Brazilian beach.
If you are planning to
come here don’t bother bringing that stodgy 1,000-page Tom Clancy thriller.
I guarantee you won’t get past the first page.
Finally, don’t think this
means that Brazilian women are passive. In return for doing their part they
expect to be rewarded. It is not for nothing that the world’s fiercest women
were called the Amazons.
In his book Red Gold:
The Conquest of the Brazilian Indians, John Hemming quotes Amerigo Vespucci,
the man who gave his name to the New World, as writing:
"When they (the Indian
women) have relations with us Christians they show no trace of modesty…They
have another extravagant custom which seems incredible. Being libidinous,
the women make their husbands’ members swell so much that they look like animals;
they do this by the artifice of the bite of certain poisonous insects. As
a result many men lose them altogether and are left as eunuchs."
John Fitzpatrick is a Scottish journalist who first visited Brazil in 1987
and has lived in São Paulo since 1995. He writes on politics and
finance and runs his own company, Celtic Comunicações – www.celt.com.br
– which specializes in editorial and translation services for Brazilian
and foreign clients. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.