Note from BW of Brazil: Damned if you do and damned if you don’t. How you see today’s piece will depend completely on one’s political stance and morals. Before we get to the piece, here’s a few facts. As in so many other areas of Brazilian society, black women are also extremely under-represented on the covers of Brazil’s adult magazines. A little more than a year ago, Aline Prado, the former Globeleza girl, became the eighth black woman to grace the cover of the magazine. If Playboy Brasil only produced one issue per month for only the past two years, or even three years, it wouldn’t be such a big deal considering how invisible black women are in the media. But the fact is that Playboy Brasil has been around for decades! In fact, in previous post, we pointed out that, until then (mid 2012), out of 430 issues of the magazine, only seven featured black women on the cover. This puts black women in a sort of “catch 22” situation. Why?
As numerous posts on BW of Brazil have pointed out, the black woman in Brazil is consistently depicted in the media as the sexy mulata or the in some position connected to household chores. She is rarely featured in the top fashion shows, nearly invisible in TV commercials and also rarely featured on women’s magazine covers. As we saw in the controversy surrounding last year’s Globo TV series, Sexo e as Negas, many black Brazilian women reject being depicted in such hyper-sexualized manners. So how do we react to the selection of the beautiful Ivi Pizzott as the cover girl of the latest issue of the iconic men’s adult magazine? The answer is a bit complex. But here goes…
1) If we analyze the move of the media toward blatant, overt sexuality over the past few decades, we see a clear intent of pushing the envelope in terms of what is acceptable standards of behavior and depictions of moral values.
2) With the establishment of point one, this blog’s stance is that black women should be evenly represented in all areas of society and not just those associated with sexuality or menial labor. If this were the case, there wouldn’t be such uproar (positive or negative) when a black woman is featured in such a role. The issue is when these women are ALWAYS depicted in such manners.
3) Black women who wish to participate in the media have choices to make as the opportunities for them are so small and equally limited. And in such a market, any woman who wants to advance in her career will have to set certain boundaries on things she is willing to do or not do. In other words, she has to decide whether she is willing to “play the game”. But she must keep in mind that her decision will affect the choices of the aspiring stars behind her. In such a market, if this woman isn’t willing to be the sidekick of a controversial TV host, dance nude for millions of people or portray a character that seems to have a different sexual partner on every series episode, there will be thousands of other women who would gladly take that place. And as such, the quality of such representation diminishes for all.
Ivi Pizzott, a dancer on popular Faustão variety show, becomes the ninth black woman to cover Playboy Brasil. But is it worth it?
May cover, Faustão dancer is ninth black woman to pose for Playboy
Courtesy of UOL and Extra
Ivi Pizzott, one of the dancers on the program Domingão do Faustão aired by TV Globo (on Sundays), will be on the cover of Playboy (Brasil) for the month of May. She’s the ninth black woman in the history of almost 40 years and 476 issues of the magazine in Brazil, to be put on the cover. She joins a team of women like actresses Isabel Fillardis and Juliana Alves, dancer Rosiane Pinheiro and the former BBB (Big Brother Brasil, reality show) participant Jaqueline. The city of Brotas, in São Paulo, provided the backdrop for the photo session.
The dancer was best known to the general public after making a pair with the heartthrob Klebber Toledo in the latest edition of the “Dança dos Famosos” one of the features of the Domingão program. This is the first nude photo shoot of the dancer who was born in Niterói (of Rio de Janeiro state). She is 29 years old, works as a model and is a student of Performing Arts.
Possessing a degree in accounting from the Federal Fluminense University (UFF), Ivi came to work for some audit firms before joining the dance group on the Sunday program. She is also very present in Carnival.
This year she was featured parading for the Acadêmicos do Cubango samba school, in Rio de Janeiro, and for Camisa Verde e Branco in São Paulo. “My relationship with Carnival is beautiful. I come from a family of sambistas (samba musicians). I’ve gone out for many years, gone out from a car, as a passista (Carnaval dancer) and everything else…I love it a lot and plan to keep going until the end of life,” she said.
One curiosity: at the peak of her career, basketball player Marta, from the same generation of Paula and Hortência, came to sign up for a cover, but ended up only being in a spread, making room for a cover shoot for actress/model Sônia Lima in 1991.
Note from BW of Brazil: The topic of the ninth black woman to make the cover of Playboy Brasil quickly became a topic of debate in black-oriented social network communities. Below is how a few people expressed themselves on the topic. All comments translated from Portuguese to English. Comments in the original Portuguese can be found below.
Taís – It makes no difference for me in any way. Playboy is a magazine that objectifies the woman in every way. How much girl. Pretty and you’re looking to earn money from it.
Andreia – if that’s what she wants for her, I don’t think anything, Playboy makes no difference in my life, whoever poses nude feel free, I’m indifferent to this. Only I think that for a man to keep looking at a photo of naked woman must be very badly resolved and perverted nowadays
Ademir – He must be unresolved or a pervert? No! Neither one nor the other, a man, in particular myself, I do not see any problem in seeing artistic photos of any magazine that has this proposal. And as Ivi is on the cover of Playboy I believe that for this selection they were careful to maximum and investigated the popularity of the girl. It was her merit! Black, beautiful and public woman. Maximo respect.
Taís – I don’t think Playboy pictures are artistic. Because really that’s not the intention of the magazine
Ademir – I respect your opinion. But the work of a photographer is not simply to show the private parts of the woman. The work is artistic….besides being sensuous of course.
Taís – If it were artistic the magazine would not be masculine. It would be for all sexes. The magazine’s goal is to reach the male audience, bringing the woman as an object in its cash cow. The artistic expressions are universal.
Ademir – I understand your point of view. Ok Taís…
Andreia – They are perverts YES.
Rose – If she wants to come out, it’s her right. I personally find the photos artistic and Playboy is not only naked women, it has materials and interesting interviews. If the white women can have visibility there, why can’t she?
Rose Araujo Just a parenthesis: Playboy has existed since 1900 and a bit. She’s the NINTH black woman. Nothing new, right.
Ademir – I don’t buy playboys but I’ve seen many…including Juliana Alves who is black, actress and artist. And Andreia I’m not a pervert.
Taís – I don’t criticize men who buy. Sex is healthy part of human behavior. Now I wonder how many women buy Playboy? How many feel the will to see such artistic expression?
Luciane – We can see the issue from a few angles: Playboy as a men’s magazine that objectifies women, ok. The black woman, also sexualized (as well as the black man), but to be the hot bunduda (big butt girl) that rebola (shakes the hips) on Globo (TV) in Carnival, not for selling this same magazine … And in times of pages like “não mereço mulher preta” (I don’t deserve a black woman) seeing a black woman populating the largest magazine of its kind in the country, has its positive side. But I’d rather see us blackening many other magazines that we have at our disposal, scientific, fashion, decoration, entertainment, etc., etc.
Faiza – Just the fact of Playboy being a magazine of nude females where you rarely see a black woman, I consider important the level of representativeness, some people think it’s derogatory to women as a reinforcement of stereotypes, dealing with the case of a magazine like Playboy, that besides being erotic, considers the beauty and plasticity of the woman that I think can be positive. Congratulations Ivi!
Rose – The woman have the right to do what she wants with her body without being judged or condemned for it. Feminism argues that. The issue of objectification is another agenda. This includes media and advertising that is still sexist, racist, etc.
Marcos – In the first place, she has the right to do with her body what she wants provided that it is a conscious choice. In the specific context of this magazine, I don’t particularly see any political attitude in posing nude. Being the ninth or any position doesn’t contribute. Determined actions can have great meanings in accordance with the context. I being black, do all need or want to contribute to the black cause? What motivates a person to pose nude? Many questions come up in this discussion.
Déborah – I agree with Faiza: It’s very important black representation in a magazine like Playboy, which I consider artistic nude, like Ademir said. I am a woman, straight and I’ve seen some Playboys. It is absurd Ivi being just the 9th black woman. I think we, the black movement activists, we should unite and buy the Playboys and any other magazine that puts a black man/woman on the cover. I do this even if I don’t like the magazine. Just like blacks vote in programs such as The Voice Brasil, among others. Besides this voting for candidates for councilors, black deputies, that is also very important.