By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – While only a handful of women removed their tops on Rio’s Ipanema beach on Saturday, December 21st, photographers flooded the beach to record the event.

Rio Topless Ipanema Protest a Bust, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
‘Toplessaço’ protest on Rio’s Ipanema beach on Saturday, December 21st, photo by Carlos Junior/

One photographer who attended the demonstration told The Rio Times that “it had more photographers than topless girls. It was a failure.”

Dubbed ‘Toplessaço’ the demonstration was held in protest of Brazil’s laws which classify female toplessness on Rio’s beaches or elsewhere in the country as an “obscene act” punishable by fine or a jail sentence of three months to a year.

Organized by actress and theater producer Ana Rios and her girlfriend Bruna Oliveira, the idea for ‘Toplessaço’ was born during the recent “Marcha das Vadias” (March of the Sluts) when the two witnessed disapproving looks of passersby.

“During the march, I realized that the existence of being topless was a very aggressive act. I heard several people saying horrible things,” Ana Rios explained to G1 before ‘Toplessaço’. “I told Bruna that it was crazy how people have such a violent reaction to the female body. There is an acceptance in the context of buying and selling [the female body], but not an acceptance of it in its natural context. In magazines, except for breastfeeding, it is very rare to see women’s breasts.”

The two then decided to hold the demonstration on the first day of summer this year. As the event drew near it began to make headlines. The Facebook event page was officially created on the night of Monday, December 16th and over seven hundred attendees were confirmed. O Globo had reported earlier on December 5th, that almost four thousand attendees were expected for the event.

However, beginning at 10AM on Saturday morning only a handful of demonstrators removed their tops on Ipanema beach. Reportedly, Rios herself was hesitant to go topless and did so only after repeated harassment from the photographers and onlookers.

“The initial idea was that it achieve an impact. Too bad it turned into a media circus,” Rios told O Globo. “What impresses me most are the men who came to see breasts. If on one hand it turned into a circus, on another, the discussion on the issue hit all sectors.”

Read more (in Portuguese).

* The Rio Times Daily Updates feature is offered to help keep you up-to-date with important news as it happens.


  1. “What impresses me most are the men who came to see breasts. If on one hand it turned into a circus, on another, the discussion on the issue hit all sectors.”

    Boobs are not news. The disturbing part is that there are so many “men” (and I use the term loosely) that feel compelled to stand there and make a “news piece” of women’s breasts. I applaud anyone who did NOT go out of their way to attend this for the message but still will spend the rest of the summer at the beach- topless, but without it being sensationalized. Boobs are FUNctional. They’re not news. They are stylish when presented well, they are not news. Wake up people. It’s almost 2014. Go to the beach however you like, naked if you wish. I’m all for it.

  2. I had assumed that Rio was sophisticated enough that topless bathing was a non-event. This hoopla about bare breasts does not help Rio’s image.

  3. When I lived in Rio about 10 years ago I ‘dared’ to go topless and was stoned by the locals!!! It’s ironic really because on the beach women wear their tiny tangas with their bottoms exposed. Now I’m back in Italy but my Brazilian isn’t happy if I sunbathe topless…..only if everyone is doing it, it might be alright. I really don’t get it. By the way, I had and still have, wonderful boobs!

  4. Actually no woman has ever gone topless on Rio beaches except those who are trying to seek attention for some reason or another.
    Brazilian women, believe it or not, despite the fame of being “hot’ and extroverted, are quite conservative when it comes to exhibiting their boobies on a beach or by a hotel swimming pool.. Most of them find it vulgar and bad taste. They know that men here would never approve their wives or girl friends to go topless on a public beach like Copacabana or Ipanema. And the families who go to the beaches regularly with their kids would certainly feel unconfortable and embarrassed.

    Sensuality here is something very peculiar, much more present in the attraction people exert on others not only through their tanned, fit bodies, than being uncovered and looking vulgar.. Nice girls are careful in the way they conduct themselves, with class and good taste. Sex appeal is something that has to be built up in your imagination, not something thrown at people´s faces in a cheap way.

    Brazilian girls are aware of their natural allure and a great part of that is in their knowing how to be sensual and charming with taste and decency. Of course, I´m talking about family girls, not hookers or publicity seekers..

    If you are a naturist or just want to go topless, you can always go to some far way beach past Grumari or Prainha.

  5. Thank you, Julio Amaral- I liked your comment best so far (not that the others previous to you were bad at all)…It’s wonderful when people can take the time to post intelligent feedback!

  6. Well said Julio. I totally agree with you. There is a time and place for everything, and a public beach or on the streets is not the place for nudity of any kind. You didn’t exactly put it this way, but, ” why buy the cow if the milk is free.”


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