Bikini Styles of Rio de Janeiro

Stephanie Amador | Ball State at the Games

Stephanie Amador | Ball State at the Games

Beach life to Brazilians is far different than compared to American beach life. In Brazil, everything a person needs to go to the beach is already at the destination. From beach chairs, drinks, and even local vendors selling swimsuits — everything is there for the everyday beach-goer.

As I glanced at different types of bathing suits on the beach, I began to realize all the numerous kinds of bikini styles Rio had to offer. “There is a variety to pick from in both price and design,” said Campus Brasil Hostess Rebeca Rocha.

Out of all the Brazilian Bikinis on the beach, the more revealing types are the ones that attract the most attention. These types are Tanga and Fio Dental, along with the regular-styled ones Americans would be familiar seeing (modest cut).

Modest Cut. This is the cut many Americans are used to seeing and would be more comfortable with wearing. It is the cut that covers the majority of the derriere, although compared to an average American bikini bottom, this cut still reveals more than an average-styled-cut bikini.

Tanga. This Portuguese word translates literally to thong. This cut is not quite yet considered a G-string but is pretty close to it. This is the type of cut that is the renowned for giving the Brazilian Bikini its reputation. “They are smaller yet have more form,” Rocha commented.

Fio Dental. Also sometimes coined the term as a ‘microkini’, this is the ultimate bikini that makes the phrase ‘Brazilian Bikini’ infamous. Fio dental, translated means dental floss, is properly named that due to its lack of only covering nipples and genitalia.

With these different cuts, there is a misconception about Brazilian Bikinis as for those with the “perfect” body, but this is just not true. Brazilian women (at least the ones that I came in contact with) have a sense of self-love. No matter if their figure is not considered the ideal woman’s body that would be found in the pages of a magazine, they seem in embrace themselves and their bodies. “…Wearing this [Brazilian Bikini] makes me feel more attractive, not shameful,” said Ipanema beach-goer Andra Santas. Also after following the “John in Brazil” Blog, he also blatantly highlighted a great point about this topic: “A skimpy swimsuit does not indicate a morally casual woman. It’s simply the style here. And people here — men as well as women — are more relaxed about showing their bodies. The attitude in Brazil is much more like it is in Continental Europe. So don’t assume that the girl there in the tanga is an easy mark.”

Gabriella Harbridge is a Ball State University student and writer for Ball State at the Games, a group of 50 journalism students traveling from Muncie, Indiana, to Rio for the Olympic Games. Follow them at, @bsuatthegames on Twitter and Instagram, and on Facebook.

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