Rio cracks down on nude sunbathers

Thong capital says: Floss is fine, but don't cross that line.

Published January 24, 2000 5:00PM (EST)

Naked butt cheeks are ubiquitous on the beaches -- and sometimes even the
public buses -- of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, thanks to the popularity of the tanga
(thong) and its even teenier counterpart, fio dental (Portuguese for "dental

The barely-there bathing suit bottoms are the swimwear of choice for proud
young things (and not-so-young things) in search of a tanned derrihre. But
those who favor the complete all-over body tan are in for a shock: Rio's
beach police have recently announced plans to slap nude sunbathers with
obscenity charges.

According to a Reuters report, those who insist on tanning cracks in
addition to cheeks could face time in prison, where the sun never shines.
The decision was made after a local paper turned the spotlight on fully
exposed sunbathers on popular Recreio Beach. In 1994, a proposal to set
aside stretches of sand for nudists was turned down, and to this day, there
are no official nude beaches in Rio, where the majority of the population is
Roman Catholic.

Still, baring it all remains a popular activity with models and samba
dancers -- who, it could be argued, have a professional need to sunbathe au naturel. Otherwise, those unsightly tan lines could detract from their assets.

By J.A. Getzlaff

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