Monday, February 22, 2010

Some photos from Balneário Camboriú; white shoe; billboards

These white shoes shine with undue brightness, causing a sort of visual imbalance, drawing far too much attention to the feet and away from the face.

Having a perfectly white shoe and sock is important to Brazillians. Cleanliness is also considered highly important (at least, in private spaces: in public places you can really do whatever you please). White is the most popular colour for trainers for women. Men wear a wider range of colours, and often their shoes are decorated with exciting stripes. The socks are always made of a certain spongy cotton.

Is the trainer (when worn as a normal shoe as opposed to being worn for the playing of sports) the most hateful American cultural export ? It surely ranks high on any list, but is it nastier than chewing gum, Chicken McNuggets, mass obesity, Tele-evangelism, car culture or political correctness? Perhaps readers have their own suggestions?


These huge billboards, which dominate the town of Balneário Camboriú, are plainly aimed at negociating female vanity. Female vanity is big business in Brasil, and I'd suggest that at least 90% of retail space is given over to it (but I am estimating here). The clothes they advertise are not cheap, plainly out of reach of the overwhelming majority of women: it is an industry geared to satisfy the vanity of their elite.

The quantity of these billboards is amazing: they are both impressive and oppressive, suggesting a sort of cult; a cult in which beautiful females are accorded unusually high status.

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