Brazilian beaches, Rio's in particular, have a certain dress code. Namely, minuscule, barely there bottoms that range from invisible thongs to lightweight tangas
that provide as much coverage as a (really meager) slice of pizza. When I went to Rio on a trip a few years back, I brought my smallest bikini, and with the help of a couple caipirinhas, I hit the beach with my butt more exposed than it's ever been in public.
And I was still the grandma. Women 50 years my senior were wearing bottoms smaller than mine. I saw butts much flatter, much rounder, much higher, much lower, with more and less cellulite, wrinkles, tone, and muscle. I saw more butts in that one day than I'd seen up until that point, which was thrilling at first...but then it became normal. For that day, butts became as exciting as noses or elbows. And Brazilian supermodel Cintia Dicker says that normalized semi-nudity shouldn't be exclusive to her native land.
Having grown up in Campo Bom, an hour-and-a-half south of Rio, Dicker is one of the country's most famous models, and one of the industry's most versatile. She's as likely to appear on the cover of a fashion magazine as she is in one of the ads inside. She's also done her fair share of swimsuit modeling, and now has her own line of swimwear
that, obviously, is stocked with that infamous Brazilian-cut bottom. Her line is mainly for Brazilians, but she's hoping that the Cariaco mentality becomes an export. "I design for Brazilians, but I live here [in New York]. Women here — and everywhere! — all have beautiful bodies, no matter what their size and age. I don't know why they don't show them off more."
In other parts of the world, we're expected to work toward achieving the "ideal" butt, hiding the one we have until we get there; In Rio, the "ideal" butt exists, for sure (Brazil has one of the highest rates of plastic surgery
in the world), but having a behind at all is treated as reason enough to show it off. Ahead, we talk to Dicker about the elements of a really solid Brazilian bikini bottom.
Photographed by Jeff Olson; Styled by Emily Holland; Hair by Eloise Cheung at Kate Ryan Inc. for Phyto Paris; Makeup by Allie Smith at Sarah Laird using mac cosmetics; Modeled by Cintia Dicker at The Society Management