Miniskirt student rebounds as Brazil Carnival star

Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:34am EST
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By Ana Nicolaci da Costa and Stuart Grudgings

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - A Brazilian woman who was bullied by fellow students and expelled by her university for wearing a miniskirt had the last laugh on Monday when she was transformed into a star of Rio's annual Carnival.

The image of Brazilians as an easy-going people took a hit around the world in October when video posted on the Internet showed Geisy Arruda being hounded out of her Sao Paulo university by hundreds of students, some of them shouting "whore."

The private Bandeirante University expelled the 20-year-old tourism student for "provocative" behavior.

"What happened to me really stirred people," Arruda told reporters as she prepared to parade perched high on a huge float that she shared with drag queens.

"People related to me and have been very kind -- this has strengthened me a lot."

The theme of the parade by the Porto da Pedra samba group was art and the world of fashion. Arruda played the part of English queen Elizabeth I. In a cheeky nod to the source of her fame, she wore a dress styled on the tiny pink skirt that got her expelled.

"My outfit represents the virgin Queen Elizabeth. It's a mixture of Geisy and Queen Elizabeth," she said. She added she felt an affinity with the 16th century queen because Elizabeth also "suffered a lot of prejudice" for being unmarried.


<p>Revellers of the Portela samba school participate in the second night of the Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome, February 15, 2010. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes</p>