Brazil goes a little less wild for this year's Carnival

When Erika Moura made her debut as Brazil’s Carnival muse in 2015, she wore nothing but strategically placed swirls of glitter paint and matching heels as she sambaed across TV screens to promote the annual celebration for the country’s biggest broadcaster, Globo.

This year, the station has done an about-face, dressing the muse it calls the Globeleza — a combination of its name and the Portuguese word for beauty — in more demure Carnival costumes that represent the country’s numerous local celebrations.

The piece also shows the 24-year-old, who got her start in Sao Paulo’s parades with the Mocidade Alegre samba school, dancing alongside performers who represent Brazil’s racial diversity and regional differences.

This shift in Carnival culture came as a surprise for many Brazilians, although not an unwelcome one. Some chalk it up to Brazil’s moves toward a more conservative society, citing voting patterns in its most recent municipal elections and the growing number of evangelical Christians in the country. Others say it’s a sign that Brazil is becoming more conscientious of its multiculturalism and its roots.

Patricia da Silva Souza, a 27-year-old office assistant who was heading out with her girlfriends Saturday night to celebrate Carnival at one of Sao Paulo’s street parties, said she loved Globeleza’s new look.

“It is much more creative and inclusive,” she said. “They put in other representations of Carnival too, not just what it looks like in Rio. It finally shows what Carnival is all about, and that’s not just body paint and glitter.”

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