RIO DE JANEIRO — Electrical tape on private parts. Really?
Welcome to the latest fashion fad in beauty-obsessed Rio de Janeiro, where some women are sun-baking in bikinis made of black tape in search of tan lines so perfect that they practically jump off the skin.
“Here’s where you get the white tan lines that make all the women jealous,” said Alexandra da Silva Prazeres, tanning with about 20 other women at Erika Bronze salon, one of several using the technique in Rio.
It works like this. First, a piece of gauze is placed over a woman’s private parts. Next go the strips of electrical tape to mimic a bikini. Then small pieces of wet paper towels are placed over parts of the tape. Using sticky tape instead of a cloth bikini ensures crisp lines that stay just so.
Holding black electrical tape and scissors, beauty salon owner Erika Martins instructed a woman to stay still while she carefully placed tape between her buttocks where the bikini would have gone. After a few more strips, the young woman was ready to bake, Rio style.
While pulling it off would normally hurt, temperatures close to 100 degrees Fahrenheit (40 Celsius) ensure plenty of sweat and a smooth removal.
“You must have a lot of determination because it’s tough,” said 36-year-old sunbather Miriam Rodrigues of the heat. “But we can handle it.”
Martins said she decided to start the salon after years of experimenting with the technique on herself and friends. She said in working-class neighbourhoods women often use similar techniques, as they are far from the beaches.