Brazilian male interests are shifting from the old buttock fixation
to the anatomic part favored by their American counterparts. The Carnaval parades in
Brazil were a mirror of that, with scores of women parading bare breasted. The issue
becane a cover subjetct for weekly news magazine Isto É.
By Francesco Neves
In an explicit challenge to the Catholic Church and groups of Salvador (Bahia state)
residents, the Bahia Carnaval extended into Ash Wednesday this year with a crowd of 10,000
people following the lead of singer-composer Carlinhos Brown through the streets of Barra
and Ondina neighborhoods. The week before, archbishop Dom Geraldo Magella Agnelo had made
an appeal that the Church’s day of penance was respected and Emtursa, Bahia’s
tourism authority, had schedule the Carnaval celebration to end on Tuesday night. However,
all of this didn’t dissuade Brown and thousands of revelers to extend the party, which
started at 10 AM and continued for close to three hours. "The Church need to be
uplifting and not something lethargic that takes you down," stated the musician.
For Álvaro Reis, president of Associação de Moradores da Barra (Barra’s Association
of Residents), the revelry was in violation of an agreement between the association, the trios
elétricos, and City Hall. Brown, the leader of the group Timbalada, says that the
party that he invented is already a Salvador tradition, even though it only has three
years. Now there are people threatening to go to the courts to prohibit the party
happening again next year.
Fabiana Andrade, 22, the belle who used to date soccer star Ronaldinho, seemed to be
all over during the Carnaval. With naked breasts and very little else hiding his privies
Fabiana was showing it all in three different escolas de samba, two of which became
champions: Imperatriz and Império Serrano. She was candid about what was hers, and what
had been approved by the hand of a surgeon: "I added some silicone to my breast four
months ago, my the buns are real and my own."
Fabiana is living proof that Brazilian male interests are shifting from the old buttock
fixation to the anatomic part favored by their American counterparts. The Carnaval parades
in Brazil were a mirror of that, with scores of women parading bare breasted. The issue
apparently is so momentous that weekly news magazine Isto É dedicated its cover
story to the subject matter. "With or Without Silicone – the New National
Preference" it proclaimed on a recent cover over a picture of a top-less girl.
According to the magazine, exhibiting their bare boobies is a way for women to show
their power, the same way feminists 40 years burned their bras in protest against male
dominance. Women want to feel desirable, sensual, pretty, wrote the magazine, adding:
"In this Carnaval, the squalid and anorexic model was forever retired. Women invest
in exuberance and fill the streets with cleavages and toplessness. The fashion now is
bountiful breasts, be they silicone prostheses or not."
Brazilians seemed engaged in a new game this past Carnaval: guessing who had or who had
not had a silicone implant. It wasn’t that many seemed interested in hiding it anyway. One
of the hottest ticket in town, TV presenter Joana Prado, better known as Feiticeira
(Witch) praised the work of her surgeon after São Paulo’s daily, Jornal da Tarde,
published that her left implant had ended up under her arm while rehearsing the samba at
escola de samba Salgueiro. "How these people make up foolish stuff. I’ve never had
any problem with my prostheses. The surgery went smoothly and it was a big boost to my
The preference battle between breasts and buns seems to be placing younger men against
the older generation. Some celebrities have joined the fray to guarantee that the buttocks
remain the main object of desire. For renowned cartoonist Ziraldo this invasion of boobies
is just a fad. Writer Ruy Castro declared "I am for bunda (buns) and I won’t
change my mind."
Talking to Isto É psychologist Jacob Pinheiro Goldberg said American males
prefer larger breasts due to the matriarchal model of the US, while in Brazil this change
of tastes has more to do with a female movement to grab power. "Buns were exploited
to the limit," Golberg explained. "But TV presenter Tiazinha was the apex and
the beginning of the end for beauty standard. The Brazilian man always had this need of
self-assertion, a fixation on the buttocks, as if he wanted to possess a woman without
watching her in the eyes. Today, on TV, while the cameras insist on focusing on the
derrieres, the dancers wish most of all to show their breasts. It’s the power between male
and female that is changing in Brazil. The woman shows her breasts to win her space.
Breasts are object of desire, instrument of pleasure, and the image of the maternal
figure." A proof that buns are still hot is the summer hit song Melô da Popozuda
(The Big Butt Girl Song). The refrain: "Vai popozuda/Levanta a sua bunda/Oh!
Raimunda" ("Go, big-butt girl/Raise your ass/Oh! Raimunda).
The Olinda (state of Recife) Carnaval continues to grow in popularity. There were 1.5
million revelers in town this year, double the size of last year’s crowd. There, Carnaval
continued unabated passed midnight of Ash Wednesday. One of the main attractions was the
Bacalhau do Batata bloco (Carnaval group), which was created 28 years ago by
Isaías Ferreira da Silva, a waiter better known as Batata. The idea is to unite all the
professionals like himself who have to work during the days of Carnaval and cannot join
the fun. As in other years, Carnaval in the Olinda-Recife metropolitan area had is tragic
component. There were 30 murders during the four days of partying and 15 people killed in
traffic. By comparison, last year there were 36 homicides and 37 in 1998.
In Rio, the world-famous escola de samba competition once again gave its top prize to
Imperatriz Leopoldinense, the same club that was champion last year. The escola
edged its competitor, Beija-Flor, the runner up by a mere half point, getting 299.5 points
from a possible total of 300. The choice of the best is made by a panel of experts who
give scores from 0 to 10 in several categories. Imperatriz almost had a perfect 10 score,
getting 9.5 only for mestre-sala (master of ceremony) and porta-bandeira (standard-bearer).
Imperatriz, which spent $700,000 for its paradeless than the $850,000 from Beija
Floris sponsored by bicheiro (illegal animal lottery game chief) Luiz Pacheco
Drumond, the Luizinho, who is also president of the Liga Independente das Escolas de Samba
(Samba Schools Independent League), the association that stages the annual Carnaval
The directors of Beija-Flor complained about the jurors, saying that they should be
chosen by the school themselves and not by the league’s president, "because the
jurors are friends of the League’s leaders." To which Luizinho replied: "These
protests are fallacy. Carnaval is a big surprise that is on the jurors’ hands."
Abuse of alcohol, high speed, and dangerous passing were the main causes responsible
for the 108 deaths during the four days of Carnaval on the Brazilian federal roads,
according to Federal Highway Patrol. There were also 926 people that were injured in a
total of 1471 car accidents, despite a concerted effort by 3.500 patrolmen in 2,000 cars.
Is it "everything goes" during the Carnaval days? Not exactly. The police and
the Catholic Church still have their say. Pressure from Rio’s church hierarchy, for
example, prevented the use of religious images during the escolas de samba parade.
Model Angela Bismarchi, 27, was almost arrested because he was not wearing anything
besides painting in the color and shape of the Brazilian flag. She was parading for escola
de samba Porto da Pedra, and only was spared detention because a friend wiped
out the flag’s yellow lozenge painted on her belly.