L’équipée Girls: Salons, Sun And Saturday Nights In Rio

A group of five Parisian girls, called l'équipée, are on a mission to find out what beauty really means around the world. The beginning of their trip around Brazil saw them in Rio.

A group of Parisian women, called ‘l’équipée’ girls, who all have a love of vintage motorbikes, are off on an adventure to find out what beauty means around the world. On this leg of their journey, they’ll be spending three weeks riding through Brazil. On their way they’ll meet women from other cultures to discover what beauty really means. Watch part two of their video diary below…

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Weekend: Rio de Janeiro

It was a special day for “l’équipée” girls, the group formed by French bikers Louise B, Louise D, Cecile, Cindy and Pauline. On Saturday, they finally arrived to Rio to embark on their motorcycling adventure across Brazil. But, first up, they made two mandatory stops: a quick swim at the beach and a feijoada lunch at Casa da Feijoada. It was then, they had their first experience as a Brazilian woman: they spent their Saturday afternoon at the beauty salon.

With a passion for the divas from the 1920s, 30s, 40s and 50s, hairdresser Evânio Alves welcomed the girls to his home – where he looks after all his customers. There, he had scattered across his walls photos of iconic actresses like Marlene Dietrich, Lauren Bacall and Elizabeth Taylor. But what does it really mean to be a diva?

‘They do not exist anymore,’ he says. ‘In the digital age, celebrities are more reachable than ever and fame does not last for longer than five minutes. A diva has to be surrounded by mystery; she must live in certain isolation.’

The girls’ next stop was Lapa, where, on Saturday nights, streets get packed with people awaiting to dance in one of the neighborhood’s many clubs. The experience wouldn’t have been complete if they hadn’t dared to try a few Samba de Gafieira steps! They still can’t sway like a true Carioca, but the Brazilian adventure is just beginning…

Sunday began with a surprise. Despite weather forecasts predicting a full day of rain in Rio, the sun was shining on the Carioca waterfront. The girls ended up in the neighbourhood of Leme, where they met a female beach volleyball team. Taking the opportunity to discover how Brazilian women live and what they like, they saw this as a golden opportunity.

The girls asked for permission to join the game – which is typical of Louise B, Louise D, Cecile, Pauline and Cindy, who just love to experience local life. On the beach they met Danielle, Amanda and Mel, who not only is a good volley player, but also a great samba dancer – so naturally the girls asked her to teach them a few steps! The girls bonded over their love of long hair and l’équipée girls discovered that many of the girls in Rio love using extensions.

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Our French girls on the road couldn’t stay for long in Leme because they had to meet the coordinators of the Meninas Black Power blog. The project was conceived in 2011 by historian Elida Aquino, 31, with the aim of strengthening black women’s self-esteem. It was in this meeting that “l’équipée” girls, who until now had been lucky enough to experience the positive side of Brazil, first confronted one of the country’s grey sides: racism. During the three-hour conversation they had with Élida, they were convinced, more than ever, of the extreme importance of cherishing the different types of female beauty – not only in Brazil, but also in France.

Keep following the l’équipée girls’ diary on marieclaire.co.uk to see how they get on in their quest to discover what beauty means around the world.

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