All countries have their own particular styles of television entertainment. While the U.S. seems to love its abundance of housewives and singing shows, you’d be hard-pressed to find Brazilian TV without a few models in thongs. And one recent broadcast shows how potentially problematic that can be.
Reportedly taped in 2016, but only recently uploaded online, a Brazilian television segment on sunscreen took an unwelcome turn when a presenter applying cream on the body of a model appears to touch her inappropriately.
The model, Rayssa Teixeira Melo, a YouTube and Instagram personality, appears on the show in a bikini. Within just a few minutes, Melo transforms from being a willing model for the proper application of a sunscreen product to uncomfortable to understandably enraged. All because the man applying sunscreen was warned not to touch her backside, and yet he ended up touching her inappropriately — twice.
The first instance can be seen at the 3:45 mark in the video below:
The second incident — and ensuing slaps and throwing of sunscreen bottles — drops in around the 6-minute mark:
The video clip has received a smattering of press in recent days, including the Mirror and Metro.us, among others. While coverage has praised her reaction and defended her right to protect her body from groping, it appears the whole incident was a setup. At the end of the long video clip, the show’s hosts reveal the truth: The entire shoot was apparently a prank.
One YouTube user, Leitâo, explained: “It was a prank. A bad taste one. She was not letting him touch her a**. Around 0:40 he says “Isto aqui não é bumbum”/”This here is not your butt,” and then he says “Bumbum é aqui”/”Your a** is here” and rubs his hand on her butt.”
User Miguel Teixeira adds further context: “In the beginning it says, ‘Prank | Rayssa Teixeira thinks she will be part of a commercial,’ and at 9:10 he says, “You were a victim of a prank in our show!” It’s obviously the girl, even if you didn’t understand what they were saying.”
Another user, amerasia5189, speculates that the whole incident is merely an extended plug for the sunscreen brand: “They do that on purpose to make the video viral in order to make the [ad] on sun cream. It works.”
Yahoo Style reached out to the model Melo for comment and received some background and a reaction from her on the incident, which was translated from Portuguese:
“I work on local TV where I was a stagehand for an entertainment program,” Melo tells Yahoo Style. “The show’s production team called me to inform me that a tanning company wanted me to model for the business, for an ad that would run on my program, so I went to the station to record the ‘commercial.’ What I did not know was that it was all a prank on me. Everyone knew that the owner of the company would harass me but me, so I was being very authentic there. Nothing had been agreed on with me.”
Melo adds: “I apologized to the actor, but I was actually very nervous, very angry. … Even if it hadn’t been a prank, I would have done what I did anyway, because there are always men don’t understand ‘no,’ who try to grab women.”
“In the video I was even a little quiet because others depended on that work,” she continues, “because our program was about to go off the air, as the host has brain cancer, and the old program sponsors canceled their contracts due to the removal of the host. For these reasons, I was calmer than I would have been otherwise.”
Melo says this isn’t the first time she’s been pranked. “This was actually the second trick they played on me — the first one, for a lot less, I hit the boy, and even kicked him!”
Whether the prank was in bad taste or not, Melo’s response is absolutely valid. If a model (or anyone for that matter) asks you not to touch her, don’t do it — prank or no prank.