30 November 2014

Hot Bodies

5 January 2014

We woke up in Rio de Janeiro. Location is a big deal for two girls who grew up lamenting the boring happenings of suburbia. Obviously we now recognize and appreciate our stable upbringings, because maturity.

We were staying Leblon, which is down the beach from Ipanema and Copacabana. On Sundays, the city diverts traffic from the lanes nearest to the beach and leaves them as pedestrian / bike lanes. The result is almost overwhelming. I live in a city that has beaches but they're a little removed. The beaches in Rio were right up against the city. One totally residential block, one commercial block and then beach. It's not set up for tourists with a boardwalk or beach shops or lunch areas. The beaches in Rio are part of the life in Rio. I'm so glad to witness it.

5th of 14 attempts...

We tried that thing again that involves me taking a picture of Angie. Rio is a big deal to Ang. It's a place she'd wanted to visit for visit for a long time. We originally planned to go in 2016 for the Olympics - because we love the Olympics. But two years seemed like an unreasonably long time for my travel-addicted pal. I wanted to take good pictures of her there. But I'm just not that kind of friend. So I evolved. My motto became "quantity will yield quality." I just took a bunch of Angie shots when I needed one. I think the results were positive.

After buying a chopped coconut for sustenance, we began walking down the beach. It didn't take long for us to realize we were way overdressed. I was wearing my travel uniform of gym clothes and toe protecting sneakers. It was 100 degrees. I knew I was going to be sweating and I refused to feel bad about it. Wicking material made sense to me. Ang's approach was to wear dark rompers that were light and hid the sweat. Either way, we were wearing too much. The Brazilians, we observed, dressed for the weather. That meant as much exposed skin as possible without being considered nude.

Zero Fs given...

Let's talk about this photo shall we? As we were walking, we noticed three people in blackface / whiteface. They were just walking and stopping to talk to people every now and then. They weren't selling anything or passing out flyers or being at all antagonistic. They were just there. No one aside from Angie & I seemed to think anything was amiss. The trio approached groups of Brazilians, who literally come in every shade of human pigment I've ever seen. I'm talking Ginger to Ghanan. we didn't see anyone offended or annoyed. We passed them and Ang turned back to take a picture.

We didn't notice the butts until later.
I love them.

This picture represents Rio to me. If these women were American they'd probably be ashamed of their bodies. They's probably be wearing cover ups and carrying more accessories to make themselves seem smaller. But these women are not American. These women are Brazilian. They give zero Fs. They are as they are and they'll go to the beach as they want. While these women are my personal champions, we saw their message so many times. We saw women of many different shapes in two piece bikinis. They weren't hiding, they were just living. It's possible the women of Rio have just as many body image issues as the women of the United States, but I sincerely doubt it. It felt really good to suspect we could be wearing fewer or more revealing clothes and that no one would care.

But seriously. What's happening here?
 While many of the women were confidently letting it all hang out, a lot of the men were exercising. I found it exciting exhausting to watch.

There were hoses at every volleyball net to keep the sand cool.
These work stations were pretty frequent. Some had misting stations.
Many were in use... never by me.
"Let's tie ropes between trees and work on our core strength!"
4th of six attempts.
Do dah-do.

Sorry SF.
Their gay beach is better than ours.

There are a lot if warning signs advising against going any deeper into the water.
It's rough in there.

2nd of only three attempts!

I never realized I keep my hands on my hips so often. 
Like all the time...
Happy place!
Ang took nearly 700 pictures during this one day, most during our walk down the beach. So I'm going to go ahead and say Rio was everything she had hoped it would be. Can you imagine her excitement when we actually saw some sites?


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