University of Wisconsin–Madison

Rio’s Beach Culture

By Jasmine Brandon

Beautiful beaches are part of what Rio de Janeiro is known for. The two most popular beaches are Copacabana and Ipanema. When at the beach, you are not to bring a towel, because you will stand out… and not in a good way! Instead, beach goers use cangas, which are a thin piece of fabric that can be laid on the ground and dry fast. After drying, it can be fashioned into a wrap, bag, dress, and so much more. When sitting on the sand, enjoying the water and soaking in the sun rays, you are sure to be approached by vendors selling a multitude of items, from jewelry, food and drinks, and cangas. As the sun starts to set, it captivates beach goers. During summer time, people clap while the sun is setting! The most incredible thing about the beach, in my opinion, was how body positive the beach environment is. I have never seen so many people of all different shapes and sizes be so comfortable with their bodies. It was incredible to see that body positivity zones do exist.