The “Girl from Ipanema” may soon have to cover up, at least if she wants to appear on a postcard in Rio de Janeiro.
Postcards of bikini-clad beauties frolicking on Rio’s famed beaches could be banned from sales in the city’s shops and newsstands in an attempt to discourage sex tourism.
The Rio state assembly approved the ban on Tuesday night, and state governor Rosinha Matheus has 30 days to ratify it.
“These postcards ... attract to our city the wrong kind of tourist and promote deplorable sex tourism,” said the bill’s sponsor, deputy Alice Tamborindeguy.
“I hope the governor sanctions this proposal because otherwise we are doing a disservice to the state and showing disrespect for women.”
Postcards of lithe and tanned women in bikinis on beaches such as Ipanema and Copacabana are ubiquitous at sales points in Rio. The image was immortalized in the bossa nova song, “Girl from Ipanema.”
With its sun, sea, mountains and sultry lifestyle Rio is a popular tourist destination. But prostitution is also rife, and the United Nations and other groups have expressed concern that it is growing as a magnet for foreigners seeking cheap sex.
Last March the Brazilian government launched a campaign to stop the sexual exploitation of minors by tourists, which including involving hotels in cracking down on their guests.