Sexual connotations associated with the Brazilian black man and "mulata" woman: positive images or dehumanizing stereotypes?

afro brazilian women
Nielson Silva and Monica Rangel
 

In modern day Brazil, the power and economic structure is dominated primarily by men of a European phenotype or something close to it. On television, in magazines, in its halls of power and on its modeling runways, Brazil continues to present itself as a reflection of its European ancestors while almost completely ignoring its African and indigenous heritage although anyone who has visited the country is surely to come away with a different idea of what Latin America’s largest country’s citizens look like. During most of the year, save for the soccer field and the musical stage, Afro-Brazilians are largely hidden from the spotlight, at least considering its their status as numerical majority in the Brazilian population. But then comes Carnaval season when descendants of the 4-5 million African slaves that arrived in Brazil over the course of three centuries are allowed to briefly shine for a period of about a week as the ultimate symbol of Brazilian “alegria (joy)”. For that entire joyous week in February, images of these brown bodies are broadcast to a worldwide audience often promoting the country as tropical, exuberant country of endless parties, fast times and easy sex. But alas, when its all over, blacks, it’s time to go back to where you came from!

The legendary Samba musician Candeia perhaps said it best in the lyrics to his song “Dia De Graça”:

Vamos esquecer os desenganos (que passamos)

Let’s forget the disappointments (that we went through)

Viver alegria que sonhamos (durante o ano)

Experience the joy that we dreamed of (for the whole year)

Damos o nosso coração, alegria e amor a todos sem distinção de cor

We give our heart, joy and love to all without distinction of color

Mas depois da ilusão, coitado

But after the illusion, poor thing

Negro volta ao humilde barracão

Black people go back to your humble shack 

The image of poor, hard-working but sexy black body is one of the tools that elites use to attract millions of tourists to the country every year. The virile “negão (big, black man)” and the hypersexual “mulata”. According to the stereotypes, the mental capacity of these people leaves much to be desired, but the bodies are the sources of unbridled sensuality and boundless sexual pleasure. The funny thing about Brazil is that while it promotes the figure of the mulata as a sex symbol and the ultimate sexual experience, this same woman is mostly invisible on the cover of the magazine most often considered to be the bible of female beauty, sensuality and sexuality: Playboy (Brasil) magazine. To be sure, no one likes to be stereotyped, but being considered a source of considerable sexual expertise, adventure and fantasy are compliments that one should proudly wear as if it were an “S” on the chest, right? Let me just confirm that I’ve had this discussion about the image of the viril, well-endowed black man with both Brazilian black men as well as American black men and I have yet to meet anyone who has a problem with this stereotype. This discussion of black men is common on online forums, social networking sites and websites. Here are just a few comments of the hundred or so that I saw at the website Bolsa de Mulher.

The title of the discussion was: “homens negros…fazem seu tipo…? (black men…are they your type?)”

 

“Wow !!! (This is) too much. The majority of my girlfriends like black men, they say that they were good in bed, well-hung. I always preferred white guys and they (girlfriends) would tell me: “The day that you try one, you will not want white guys.” Now I am with a black man and I say IT’S ALL GOOD!!! He’s strong passion, good in bed and I really don’t want white men. I recommend, whoever never tried (a black man) you don’t know what you’re missing.”

 
 

“Hahahaha….they say that his “id (member)” is enormous…but they’re not my style…”

 
“I am a black woman married to a black man. Black men are handsome, really. And this thing about black men being more sexually potent is folklore. My husband is wonderful, but this goes beyond his skin color. There is involvement, chemistry, passion and desire. I believe that this history came up partially to compensate for the shameful stain in the history of this country, which was slavery of Africans. And this girl that posted that nonsense, my God, she is sick.”

So in the three comments, we have a woman, presumably white, who supports the sexual stereotype of black men based on her own experience. Next we have a woman who can only speak of what’s she’s heard since black men aren’t her style. Next, we have a black woman who is married to black man and whose attraction to black men is based in other attributes that she finds pleasing. So do sexual stereotypes do a disservice to black men or black people in general or should people accept these ideals as compliments? Here’s what writer and blogger José Nunez had to say on the topic. And stay tuned for more as we delve further into the subject of sexuality through a Brazilian lens throughout the rest of the week.

Stereotypes of the Brazilian mulatto and negro: The sexual connotation of the black Brazilian 

by José Nunez

The centuries-old stereotypes to which blacks are connected and enrooted should not be a source of pride for anyone, these are the characterizations to which the negro has been stigmatized throughout history that have the power to keep him in the same condition of any black slave. There are many stigmas, but the most troublesome are those related to sexuality and sex, this sexual look on the black man and black woman is a prison of our colonial history and slavery in Brazil, from a time when black women were sexual objects of plantation masters and their children, and black men were desired by white women because of their physical vigor and their lack of civility and morality, in the white and Christian manner, which allowed them sexual practices and performances that for the white, Christian man was taboo.

Sexual intercourse with a slave, was certainly much more pleasurable for the slave owner than the intercourse with his wife, this is easy to explain knowing the human sexual depravity, the power relations involved in it and the distance between sex, morals and feelings. The mulata woman that gyrates her hips and the black man with the abnormal sexual black member should not provoke pride in anyone, these characterizations and the words of a sexual nature is a machine to degrade black men and women and reduce them to sex objects in the social imagination, leaving them where they were placed in slavery between the excluded and the inferior. Unfortunately, Brazilian Carnival is the most powerful machine that exists to reduce mulata women to their gyrating hips and the sexual connotation of her color.


Demilson Silva and Grazi Dantas
With a certain informality, I mean a movie, a comedy, where the character asks her husband to “do me like a negão”, this scene seems harmless, but it is more than enough to demonstrate the sexual connotation, fun and the function of sexual object in which the negro and the word “negão (big, black man)” are overloaded.
 
Any reference to black is always associated with religious, culture-laden prejudices, work devalued and brutal work of all kinds, violence of every kind, crimes and exclusions of every kind, when there is some reference that apparently is valued, this enhancement is accompanied by stigmas, stereotypes that holds blacks to an incapacity and a grotesque caricature of disability of their behavior, culture and history.

Raphael Neves and Andressa Vieira
 
To have certainty that this sexual connotation of which the black is victim is in fact a machine of exclusion it is enough to note that the power, the portion of society that has all of its rights guaranteed and the elite, are dominated by individuals to whom are not are attributed not one sexual connotation or stereotype. The power, the rights and the elite are for people who own the superior knowledge, the intelligentsia and the sciences that build society in any part of the world. Black culture is reduced to cultural collaboration, allowed by those in power, entertainment and fun and profit of those in power, cultural heritage, manipulated and used to consumerist and capitalist taste, ie, uncharacterized product in the hands of power.
 
I would not vote for a black man for president of the republic only because he has a huge sexual member, I would not vote for a mulata woman with her gyrating hips, but I would vote for a black man and a wonderfully intellectualized couple like the Obamas, who make us proud.
 
Why not value our great poet Cruz e Souza (1), Machado de Assis (2), Lima Barreto (3), etc? Why not value the intelligentsia of Martin Luther King or Mandela’s wisdom.

Willians da Silva and Juju Mota
 

The appreciation of physical beauty in blacks is a reflection of the prejudices suffered by them and it is also a reflection of the sexual connotation of which blacks are victims since slavery, this behavior and this self-affirmation is the result of an inferior look upon themselves as if this was the only way for blacks to be valued by society, even if this sexual appreciation keeps them excluded and without civility. As if that weren’t enough, now there is an appreciation of elements that are a result of our exclusion, as is the case of the slums and of the customs resulting from our lack of knowledge and social chaos.

The preservation of culture can also be the preservation of our exclusion and misery, conservation cynically permitted by the power that represses.
1. 19th century Afro-Brazilian poet
2. 19th/20th century Afro-Brazilian novelist, poet, playwright and short story writer, widely regarded as the greatest writer of Brazilian literature.
3. 19th/20th century Afro-Brazilian novelist and journalist

Source: Artigos ImparcialistasBolsa de Mulher

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About Marques Travae 2897 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.

32 Comments

  1. I love your blog page. I went to Brazil about 7 years ago. All I ever knew about Brazil was their beaches, very fair skin mixed race women, the Amazon and the thong bikini. I was truly amazed to see so many people that looked like me and when I was in Bahia I thought I saw Nigerians. We need to start seeing ourselves in a more positive image and that starts by first imagine seeing yourself as doctor, lawyer, intelligent human and not this sexual creature. I find it degrading that black men and women are viewed like this all over the world. I was shocked to see nude paintings of black women on the streets of Rio as common as newspaper stands in the US. I was really ashamed and stayed in my hotel room till the next day when we went to Bahia. Sexual stereotypes are one of the most horrible forms of labeling and often times makes us victims of sexual crimes especially against our children. It's funny because other races have these stereotypes about us but yet they are not viewed as being sex craved and animalistic. It just makes me sick to think people see us like this.

  2. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Black Women of Brazil. As a social scientist of race in the diaspora (and specifically Brazil) this is an amazing resource I am so happy I stumbled upon it. This article asks great questions! Makes great points! Is so relevant!

  3. We must remember that we (Black people) didn't create these stereotypes. Racist white people did, as a means to justify and cover up the white slaveholders' abuse of Black women, and to scare white women away from Black men. This is, indeed, the legacy of slavery. Therefore, we must be suspect of any pride which we attribute to these stereotypes. It is important that, no matter what, we love who we are as people of African descent in the Diaspora, and that we love and embrace the power and the strength of our history and our culture. Moreover, we men cannot allow these stereotypes to distort our respect or corrupt the beauty of Black women. Lastly, we Black men must realize that, first and foremost, we are spiritual beings and not solely carnal sex machines. Our spiritual essence should be our first definition of identity. Great article. Keep it up.

  4. I agree with some parts of this article but not everything: there is something real about black bodies stereotype, they are stronger, usually, in gym and everything that is physique including sex. This is a fact. Apart from that, a person deserve to be considered a whole person in all aspects with his-her feelings and character… I hope that my english is understandable, I am white but I had almost only balck boyfriends, in my life.

  5. Hello Manuela,Your english is fine, we understand you. Notice that you mentioned you are WHITE, and I quote your words"but i had almost only black boyfriends, in my life". The fact that you voiced your admiration about the physique of black men plays right into the stereotype. It make me wonder if you only date black men because of the myth. I really hope you don't, because if you do this you are a part of the problem. Dating whomever you are attracted to is great, however please be conscience of your reasons. Black men(my brothers), Afro-American; Afro-Brazilian; Afro-Central and South American; Afro-Caribbean and African women need love to. Without these women, you nor I would exist. Thanks for posting the article. I will have to inform all of my male friends.(signing off with love, from an Afro-Dominican/Afro-American male)

  6. THIS COULD NOT HAPPEN IN ENGLAND, BRAZIL MEDIA RUTHLESS IF THEY THINK CAPTURING A BLACK PERSON AS SEX CRAVED WE GOOD ONLY FOR TAKEN OUR CLOTHES OFF

  7. brazil looks a great country to visit if this the portrayal of black people i will not be visiting this country anytime soon and recommending out of the question, very racist

  8. Simply, let Brasilian govt't and businesses of Whitemen stay out of Afrika. Brasil can't treat Afrikan-Brasilians one way and come to Afrika talking nonsense. We will take on these hypocrite….Izwe Lethu

  9. Wow… what are they feeding these people? They are the best or the worst looking people, ever… BUT for the economy… the US is heading this way too…. how did brasil get this way… maybe we can stop our downfall…

  10. Manuel Garreffa, while everyone is entitled to their own opinion, you've merely managed to perpetuate the same stereotypes spoken of by this author. I guess what im saying is that you have missed what he was saying. The author does not wish to down play or take away from the physical manisfestations of what is a strong or beautiful black man or woman. He has however, tried arduously through this article to educate blacks that they are not only their physical endowments but can be recognized also as intellectuals and accomplished individuals who've reached higher hights through means not associated with their aptitude to entertain or based solely on their looks, or physique. I say you missed it because even though you acknowledge that black men might be stronger than white men it does not attribute much to this particular conversation. It is such a premise that influenced the capture of blacks that were sardine packed and conoursed to plantations all over the world, via the middle passage. Slave traders would cite that our color suited us for field work for extended periods in the sun and that we were stronger in essence to do manual labor. I think you need to get the true essence of the article and then make another comment.

  11. the black women showed here are passistas, the get called mulatas but they are from rio de janeiro escola de sambas and they are passistas and it is a rich tradition from those escolas…thank god for the passistas and for their sensualitywhy should white women get to be the only ones who are sensual, who can pose nude? i guess it would be better for you all if only white womem get to be the rainha de baterias…actualy that is what is happening…phase the black woman out and let the white models and actises who no nothing about real samba be the most beautiful..point out the racism, point out that these wonderful passistas and their high art are only shown for those few weeks of pre carnival and carnival…they should be on tv all year and we whould know their names as celebrities and respected for their high art… pelvic thrusts are part of afro diasporic culture, that shouldnt be criticised, sensuality shouldnt be criticiseddont mess with brazilian sensuality, mess with its racismdont point nervous fingers of pious uptight values at the nudity and sensuality and culture, point fingers at the hypocricy , racism, and how the media squashes black beauty and senscuality except for carnivaldont ever mess with the passistas…ever…long live the passistas and their marvelous art , their sensuality and their incredible afro diasporic dance art…you commenters have no idea what you are talking about

  12. i really think the author of this blog should do a tribute to the passistas and their incredible artits funny how nudity and sensuality can be accepted in modern dance and ballet, yet is actualy set up as scrutiny here?is anyone here doubting the leval of high art and skill and sensuality of the passistas from the escola de sambas in rio de janeiro?when people start sacrificing the art and culture to fit some stale notions of what they think is acceptable or not, something is going to be stifled…attack racism not culture

  13. actualy, these arnt just american veiws, the other commentors above saying bad things about brazil are from other places.its very strange , this referance to "hip shaking", the only ones just "hip shaking" dancing the samba are the ones who dont know how,like the gringosi guarentee you the passistas shown above are absolute highest leval of tuned presician high energy, control of a ballet dancere with the stamina of a 440 meter speed sprinter, and a ginga that you all couldnt muster if you tried, that is pure samba no pe do rio de janeiro

  14. i have often wondered about Brazil, a country with a predominance of African heritage and culture which seem to be suppressed. I live in Guyana and I see mostly white Brazilians comming to guyana to live and work in the mining industry where they practise the same type of racism. I look forward to the future when Afro Braziliams will increase their presence in the economy and politics of Brazil, reflecting a true representation of their population. The strugle must continue for better education and cultural unity.

  15. its really interesting when concervative christians, muslims ,orthadox jews and the taliban can hold hands with militant woman's lib political activist views and black american political activist views to condemn the sensuality of the black brazilian female passistasinstead of getting to the crux of the real damage of racism in brazil, people are stuck on their own sexual hangups defined by uptight political activist dogma or pious nervous religious hangups…dont bring that mess in on brazil when discussing the passistas…respect them and treat it for the high art and culture that it is and dont superimpose uptight hangups from other places in on brazil…sesuality is where brazil seperates itself from most of the rest of the world, for sure its an incredible referance point about how to have sensuality present in your daily life…the real racism about the passistas is that they should be recognised year round for their art, they should be celibrities, and we all should know their names…not regulated to just 2 weeks in carnival…now that is marginalisation and colorisation

  16. its funny how wayward political agendas can stifle culture really fastim all for equal pay for women, and for stopping domestic violence against women, but when women's lib militant activist agendas started making women feel strange for dressing sensualy because it makes them "sex objects", they crossed over a line they should never have. if they ever came to a brazilian beach talking that mess, they should be stoned off it really fast, by the brazilian women who really know how to live their sensuality to the fullestim a big beleiver in the aceivements of the black american civil rights movement.some political agendas do work, but, others only filter down into tired dogmas. like that the fine art of tap dancing was shucking and jiving for the white man.thanks to a stupid political dogma agenda, the great art of tap dancing has never recovered.art is delicate, it can easily be suffocated , repressed, stifled…look at the political agenda of jim crow, of communism, of fundimental religion..all represion and stifling of art and culture and people,loaded with agendas and dogmasto have people saying these derrogatory things about passistas, lumping them into just sex objects shaking their hips…do any of you actualy have any idea how dificult it is to dance samba? and all it takes is a bunch of disgruntled uptight dogmas to start the stifling of great art…for sure outside of brazil its being stifled and scrutinised exactly as we see hereany black american putting down hip shaking, based on some political agenda, doesnt really know their own afro diasporic culture and how this "hip shaking" is tied into the dance/drum concepts that came from pre arab/north atlantic slave trade , that are the oldest manifestations of human genius and advanced mathematics on the planet.and the passistas are probably the highest example on the planet of black beauty , sensuality and high art rolled up in one devastating packedgeuptightness about sensuality because of religios dogma is self explanitory and all you uptight christians can go hold hands with uptight orthodox jews and fundimental islamists and the talaban and condemn nudity and hip shaking all you want, just dont bring it down here to brazil…do you hear that? get out

  17. Anonymous, whoever you are. Your comments are appreciated but, one thing people need to understand is the intent of this blog. The intent of this particular article was not about the art of dancing Samba, which should be respected indeed. There is work, practice and skill that goes into any woman's routine when she can samba well! But again, disrespecting the art of dancing the samba is not the point here.The point of the article and indeed this blog, is to highlight the fact that in the Brazilian imagination, black women represent only a few images: the domestic and the mulata de Carnaval. It is enough to hear the many stories black women tell of answering the doors of their own homes and being asked if their boss is home. This is EXACTLY because this is the image black women have in Brazil. Did you read the story of Maria Augusta Arruda in this blog. With all of her academic achievements she was barred from the Copacabana Palace EXACTLY because she was thought to be a Carnaval dancer who had no place in such an establishment for "respectable" people. The story of Ala Flavia, the daughter of the governor of Espirito Santo, who was beat up because it was assumed that she was a domestic using the wrong elevator. When Brazil presents and accepts another image of black women beyond the sex toy or the domestic then you can complain about this article. When Brazil and the Brazilian media wants to accept black women and consistently put them in prominent roles in novelas, on news programs as host of TV shows, as top bankers and politicians, then you can come here and complain about this article. If you still don't understand the point, I challenge you to use the search word "whiteness" on the blog, read the articles that come up and challenge our position!If you've read our articles about the overwhelming invisibility of black women in prominent positions in Brazil you will recognize this as true. Our objective is to present black Brazilian women in a variety of images and we will continue to discuss this problem of representation. If you have a problem with that then perhaps this is not the blog for you.Thank you for your comments!

  18. "The mulata woman that gyrates her hips and the black man with the abnormal sexual black member should not provoke pride in anyone, these characterizations and the words of a sexual nature is a machine to degrade black men and women and reduce them to sex objects in the social imagination, leaving them where they were placed in slavery between the excluded and the inferior. Unfortunately, Brazilian Carnival is the most powerful machine that exists to reduce mulata women to their gyrating hips and the sexual connotation of her color"I dont agree with this quote from a book at all in your post here, are you going to ban me for not agreeing with you? i dont agree with "sexual objects" psycho analasys, and i dont find it rings true.i also think you should have defined what passistas are, what is their history.the story of the passistas comes from the fonte of black brazilian rio culture, the escola de sambas.they train at a very young age and it is a rich traditiongood that you mentioned their names, that is exactly what is needed, but to just regulate them to media represented sex object characters as mulatas is a huge mischaractorisationif you read my posts correctly, i mostly was refering to the crude comments, i stated the passistas should be recognised year round which is in agreement with a part of your post. im surprised you wouldnt come in and defend the passistas instead of letting these crude comments pass…if you are in agreement with those comments and let the quote above go with out challenging it in some way, you should be challengedyou bring up sexual stereo types but only bring in passistas as the example for the women…i find that suspect. they are passistas of rio de janeiro samba schools and have a very rich history ..you do them a disservice…dont put forth political agendas and then incriminate artists who are on a leval with the greatest ballet dancers in the world…do you condemn nudity in ballet or modern dance as sexual objects?are you going to ban me for challenging what i find as weak arguments and dumb comments?i said attack racism not culture and the passistas are culture, i am in no disagreement with any of the articles you mentionedyour problem is you want to railroad the passistas without really telling thei story…no , i dont agree with that

  19. Hello again "anonymous":Let me get right to the point. I will cite your comments and respond…"I dont agree with this quote from a book at all in your post here, are you going to ban me for not agreeing with you? i dont agree with "sexual objects" psycho analasys, and i dont find it rings true."I don't have a problem with respectful disagreement at all. But if the image of black Brazilian women hasn't been reduced to that of sex object, can you explain why someone like Maria Arruda, a professor at a university, would be denied entrance to accept an award for her achievement? There are so many stories of black women being confused for domestics or Carnaval mulatas, how do you explain that if they are not reduced to this image in the social imagination? What it is that attracts so many European and North American men to Brazil in search of cheap sex with brown-skinned women?"if you read my posts correctly, i mostly was refering to the crude comments, i stated the passistas should be recognised year round which is in agreement with a part of your post."This is exactly my point. It is only during Carnaval that you see the consistent presence of black women in the media. The other 51 weeks of the year where are they in the media? And if this is the only image they have on TV, what image does this associate with them when they are usually partially/near nude with cameras focused in on specific body parts?"dont put forth political agendas"What is this political agenda that you speak of? I have already stated that the idea of this blog is to give a more complete image of black Brazilian women. Yes, they are domestics and Carnaval passistas, but also mothers, polticians, singers, doctors, lawyers, and executives. But you don't see this on Globo, SBT or Record. I don't have a problem with art or the beauty of the body as long as there are images that balance that out and for black women in Brazil, that doesn't happen. When always presented as dancers or domestics, what image do you think sticks in the social imagination? And also, nearly EVERYTHING becomes political at some point. "are you going to ban me for challenging what i find as weak arguments and dumb comments?"Again, I have no problem with opinions as long as they done in a respectful manner. There are others who I will consider banning because of their aggressive, disrespectful comments if they continue. I have no problem with your comments. We simply differ on a few essential issues. "i said attack racism not culture and the passistas are culture"By speaking to the fact that black women are often portrayed in only a few stereotyped manners, I feel we ARE attacking racism because it is the image and beliefs associated with certain groups that leads to racism in the first place. Thanks again!

  20. first of all, let me make it clear, i never attacked "gatasnegras", i am in agreement with all the articles you put up that will show racism and the obsticles of black brazilian womenif images of black women in sexy costumes is only portrayed for two weeks in carnival, while the white woman is held in high beauty esteem all year around, id say the image of the black woman and sexy and beautiful isnt getting out of the box at all. by the way, those men coming down for cheap sex , would be looking for it in the dominican republic, thailand, and anywhere that they can get it, which , im personaly not against legal prostitution either, which is permitted in brazil by the way.but the truth is, passistas and the women in these costumes are not the feature in the establishments that are profesional. like in the now closed "help" disco, passistas were never a part of it at all…but here is the really sad part, because the real passistas cant get work as passistas year round, i know for a fact that some of the women who turned profesional, are passistas….but dont take that as a stereotype, its just a fact that i know some passistas life situation got so bad that they turned profesional sex workers. if they worked year round as passistas they wouldnt have to.just the beach life is enough to stimulate sensualy starved men from uptight countries .they dont have real sensuality in their lives so they come to brazil and get their mind blown because the regular woman is sensual just going to the beach.that is where i dont want political sexual agendas mixed into judgements about the passistas…as i said, im all for equal pay and attention on violence against women, but i think the sex object agenda was a yoke forced on people to wear that isnt really valid in all its aspects. there is huge room to question it and certainly not aply those standards to brazili fully commend gatasnegras for having other fantastic posts about black brazilian women who have aceived things and have put up with hardships. i think you can include passistas also , they both can exist and both need much more recognition and respect. i totaly came in on this post with honest and good intentions and i see that it is put as a question, which i would like to answer "no", the pictures you are showing are not dehumanising..that is why my intentions arnt arguing against gatas negras, its to debate exactly the issues brought up in the question of the post, i hope you can accept my posts in that spirit

  21. here is the thing, those pictures are of passistas of rio. prostitution for tourists (because the truth is, the prostitution at the truck stops in brazil is bigger than for the tourists)is huge in other northeast cities like salvador, recife, belem. and, the passistas arnt a part of the cultures of those cities at all.almost all the situation around prostitution in brazil doesnt involve passistas. you dont go to a show of passistas and be able to buy sex.so associating passistas with sexual tourism is , in my opinion, a mistake, especialy how deep it is from the black fontes of the escola da sambas with a very rich traditionand, i am extremly worried about the slow diminuation of the passistas. globo really doesnt show them hardly in carnival anymore, only the white actrises and models who have taken over rainha de bateria. globo shows anything but the passistas. the art of the passistas is lost in the whole shuffle.some of the commenters and the quote from the book i described dont see the art of the passistas at all…these kinds of mentalities surly are going to diminish the art of the passista. powers in rio worried about uptight atitudes from around the world will want to diminish the passista even more as the world cup and olympics come down.when i see those picture you brought in , gatanegras, i see the highest leval of sensual art and beauty , representing some of the most incredible culture and dancing ability ( i do think its important to state how incredibly hard and dificult it is to dance samba in referance to the quote i brought in that just regulates it to hip shaking and gyrating and something to not be proud of)that is meant to be coupled with incredibly powerful drumming and dancing expresion , one of the most spectacular in the spectacular african diasporic dance and drum culture where ever african slaves were brought. i say they are positive, not dehumanising, i relate to them the way i can relate to pictures of great ballarinas and modern dancers.to belittle the passistas as just gyrating hip shaking , is to belittle afro diasporic culture, something the west is very good at doing .that is why i attack political agendas that really come out of western thinking .not that all political agendas are bad. but, some political agendas do great damage filtering down into dogmas that are just heavy yokes on our necks…not on mine, i cut those yokes freethe thing about the black brazilian men, i just dont get this "member" thing…i wonder how really prevelant it is in brazilian psyche…because it seems directly out of the black american political agenda …because the truth is, black brazilian men and women are totaly marginalised in brazilblack brazilian men that get to be looked on as sex symbols, have to be famous rich celebrities or the ilusion that they are to even get catagorised as sexy…the regular black brazilian man and woman are marganilised right out of the picture. the black woman isnt a sex object, its the white woman blond that everyone wants..the black woman is just sex..not the object..its really that bad

  22. Anonymous: Let me first say that your points and comments are appreciated. In regards to this comment and point, I wasn't arguing that passistas are part of the sex tourism industry. I'm not saying that at all. What I AM saying is that when Globo broadcasts images of naked or nearly naked black women on television to other countries through its international arm and it doesn't present black women in any other way throughout the year, it paints a one-sided portrait of black women. When Sargentelli took his mulata show around the world people didn't see black women as journalists, politicians or doctors. My only point is that when the exposure is so one-sided it contributes to the stereotype. It is the image that people who don't even live in Brazil have of the country and while it is true that white women are moving in on what has usually been reserved for black women in Carnaval, the image of white women in Brazil is varied. White women dominate the modeling stage (SPFW, Fashion Rio, etc), represent 99% of all the women's magazine covers, they are the vast majority of female journalists (news, actresses, variety shows)and are consistently voted most beautiful. All I'm saying is when there is no balance, stereotypes arise. We try to offer a balanced portrait of black Brazilian women on this site. We post photos because we believe these women deserve to be recognized as beautiful, sexy and voluptuous. We talk about black women as domestics and mulatas de Carnaval, but we also present black women in ways that Brazil's media never does.

  23. gatasbrasileiras…absolutly, i see that you do…my argument was never with gatasbrasileiras, it was certain points in the thread, and the thread posted as a question, and, i felt i could question those points but mostly at some of the atitudes by posters.i feel they are taking the points i question and putting their judgement on the passistas, and putting it downthe thing i say is, i dont really see passistas put on globo hardly at all except the show ,hulk, that has the top contestants do a competition 2 weeks before carnival ( of course the rest of the year, there is nothing ) and the other carnival leadups are shown also, but, it really is much more about gossip about the actrisses and models than the real passistas. only adriana bombom got media coverage. for sure they will never go into the profound artistic aspects of the afro diasporic value of the drum / dance dynamic that is the passistas with the bateriaas far as sargentelli (from a differant era to be sure), i ask the question, are the people who like sargentelli really only liking the passistas for sex objects? isnt it as equaly posible that lots of people, maybe the majority , like the passistas because they are spectacular and for the dance they do, which is incredible (see, the passista doesnt get a pass at being beautiful and sexy just because of the way she looks, like the white girls get a pass on, they have to be able to dance like nobodies business also)? there are always people who are more than ready to exploit sexual aspects.i dont have anything against sargentelli because i dont think he was in bad taste…maybe pushing the name mulatas is, but, he at least he showed the art , and gave some girls a career, there is an actress at globo who used to dance for sargentelli.i think passistas are much higher art than las vegas show girls, but, dont lots of people see lots of las vegas show girls and like it because its exiting and a specticle , rather than its just sex objects ( which is out at their brothel ranches in los vegas…they are differant things)of course i think the brazilian media, especialy tv , is extremly racist and discriminatory to black brazilians. i think passistas (and its funny, i dont think they show them enough, and you may think their portrayal at all is demeaning in the context you have stated, by not showing black brazilian women in various positive rolls, which, i think they should have plenty of both)arnt even close as to the more serious issues of racism in brazilian tv. ill never forget a special mini week show they had where elisabeth filardes (sp?) actualy played a maid and prostitute at the same time…talking about killing two birds with one stone…anyway, i like very much what you all are doing at gatasnegras, and, i apreciete sharing my views about this subject, obviously i am passionate about what i am talking about

  24. Sand_Mo,"We need to start seeing ourselves in a more positive image and that starts by first imagine seeing yourself as doctor, lawyer, intelligent human and not this sexual creature". Thank you so very much for something I've been saying for "quite a while now", but people still aren't hearing, or don't seem to care about.If I hear or read one more time, "it's because you Americans are so repressed" or "the body is a beautiful thing why not show it off", I think I'll truly vomit all over myself. This is a freaking cop out and nothing more than a ploy to get this 'would be' or other actors/actresses to take their clothes off, and sadly they're falling for it hook, line, and sinker.Thanks once again Sand_Mo, as it's past time that my Brazilian sisters and brothers stop falling for this mess, and keep their clothes on, to prove they can still get the job done.

  25. If that were the only reason behind the sexualization of Black bodies, you'd also see White body builders and athletes sexualized. Eastern European and German women can be quite strong, but you don't see them portrayed this way. You don't because the skin color/race is just as important as any structural differences.

  26. I’m confused as to why the men are called black while the women are labeled “mulata” (assuming that’s Spanish for mulatto). In the pictures used in this article, the women look as black as the men. Maybe I’m missing something, I know nothing about Brazilian culture, but that’s just confusing.

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

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