Sign of the times: It takes three months for samba school to find women without silicone breasts

Photo of Mocidade Independente de Padre Miguel dancer in 2013
Photo of Mocidade Independente de Padre Miguel dancer in 2013

Note from BW of Brazil: Well it’s a new year and it’s January which means one thing. The madness of Brazilian Carnaval is right around the corner. Very shortly, scantily clad women and rowdy Samba School choruses will dominate the airwaves everyday for weeks as the country heads into the fall season. In fact, the symbol of the official Carnaval season arriving has already been broadcast on Globo TV. The winner of last year’s Globeleza (Globo beauty) contest, Nayara Justino, has already been seen dancing the samba nearly completely nude in the Globo network’s yearly commercial officially telling viewers “Carnaval time has arrived!” 

Besides the fact that this is about the only time of year one will see an abundance of women of color, another interesting fact recently came out that speaks to standards of beauty and what people are willing to do to achieve this standard. Plastic surgery is by no means rare in Brazil, but ask yourself…How difficult do you think it would be to find women to dance in Carnaval who didn’t have some sort of breast augmentation? I mean, breast surgery isn’t THAT common….is it? Well….

The sambódromo with no silicone

In Rio, a surprising thing happened: a samba school opened a process to select women without plastic breasts and it took three months to find them

To have perfect curves on the runways in 2010, model Ângela Bismarchi had her twelth plastic surgery. This photo is from 2009.
To have perfect curves on the runways in 2010, model Ângela Bismarchi had her twelth plastic surgery. This photo is from 2009.

by Francho Barón

It is internationally known that Brazil is a country where the cult of the women’s buttocks is a question that occupies a privileged place in male clubs. In recent decades, the preoccupation with well-shaped breasts has also gained prominence in large urban centers like Rio de Janeiro or São Paulo. In Rio, an interesting thing happened that was so unprecedented that it must be summed up in two acts: the first, a samba school convened a selection process of 20 women with a non-negotiable condition that they cannot have silicone breasts. The second, the same school took three months to find them. The question that any person would have is if the Carnival group required, moreover, that the bodies be sculptured. The answer was no. The 20 selected are normal women, which in some cases exceed forty who earned their living far from the runways, for example, in the peripheries of the city as employees of a printing company. The news revealed, candidly, the difficulty experienced by the school in finding the 20 women that had breasts without any surgery. And in the reading that can be made of this in a country like Brazil, where the cosmetic surgery clinics and academies operate at full throttle.

The 20 selected will parade in the next Carnival parade of the Marquês de Sapucaí (the Sambódromo designed by the late architect Oscar Niemeyer) on a car on the wings of the Mocidade Independente de Padre Miguel samba school, one of the most traditional groups of Rio Carnival. The fact could seem like an invitation for reflection for a society  obsessed with certain physical standards of beauty (like the butt and prominent breasts) that at the same time looks suspiciously at the practice of going topless on beaches.

According to data of the Sociedade Brasileira de Cirurgia Plástica (Brazilian Society of Plastic Surgery), breast augmentation is the second most commonly performed aesthetic intervention in the country. Only liposuction was ahead of the procedure. In 2011, nearly 150,000 Brazilian women had breast operations. The data clearly proves the growing craze for beautiful breasts extending through Brazil, known for being one of the most traditional destinations of the so-called “scalpel tourism”. The quality of Brazilian plastic surgery is world renowned, driven by the likes of Ivo Pitanguy, always present on the lists of the best plastic surgeons in the world.

The plastic surgeon Eric Frederik, who works in Rio de Janeiro, says that interest in breast implants in Brazil were exacerbated by economic circumstances in the country and the easy access to credit. “People who before had no means, and which now belong to the so called new middle class, opt for this type of treatment,” he explains. The same source notes that the Brazilian woman had never been characterized for having voluptuous breasts, but in recent decades legions of women 18 to 30 embraced the “American standard to the detriment of the French,” characterized by minimalism. “Globalization and the media had a lot to do with it,” he adds.

The architect Mayene Precioso, 35, decided two years ago to undergo a breast implant operation. “Since I was little I thought I had a disproportionate my body that had a lot of ass and little chest. It was one of the best decisions I made in my life because my self-esteem has improved greatly. It’s only a matter of aesthetics, but of feeling good about myself,” she explains.

Contacted by El País, a director of the Mocidade Independente de Padre Miguel samba school did not explain the reasons that led the group to select women without silicone breasts.

Source: El País Brasil, G1

About Marques Travae 3747 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.


  1. I’m angry at all the rude comments made on the youtube video of Miss Nayarya. I think she’s beautiful and happy that she won, but the comments about her are downright disrespectful. She doesn’t deserve that. I hope more career opportunities are available for her in the future.

  2. I don’t understand this. Black women in Brazil complain about being fetishized instead of being viewed as elegant ladies, and they still participate in tv-PROGRAMS (You know what a PROGRAM is, right?) like this? Sure, white people come from a completely different background than people of African descent, and yes they have a totally fucked-up view about the human body, but dancing around buck-nekkid on national TV is not the right way to empower yourselves. I know that black women are underrepresented in the media, and I know that you’ve been marginalized since the day you set foot on “Brazilian” soil centuries ago, but reducing yourselves to being just an object of lust won’t do you any good. This is why I was glad that I didn’t see any blacks in the Miss booty competition that you’ve got going on down there (everybody knows black people in reasonable shape have the best bodies anyway, haha!) , you’re SO much more than a “booty”.

    Let those white folks have it, don’t validate these people’s actions. I don’t really know a lot about the carnival season in Brazil, or if there’s more than just the one in Rio, but I’d advise you to stick to your own, or make your own carnival(s) . Once they see you “disappear” to do your own thing, they’ll come running after you like a pack of zombies. They’re literally obsessed with everything about you (despite their blatant racism) , just wait and see. They’re always all up in arms when they see something that you/we do that they’re not doing (yet) .

    Stop c@@ning for these people, make your own “shit” that correlates with our standard of beauty!

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