Brazil is known for it’s rich culture, Samba music, lush landcapes, and beautiful beach bodies sporting itty-bitty bikinis. But a growing group of women are expanding the definition of what a “beach body” is.

Just like in America, Brazilians have packed on a few extra pounds. Because of this, some swimwear designers are listening to their customers’ needs and creating cute beachwear–and yes, bikinis–in larger sizes.

This is a huge (no pun intended) change for one of the most body conscious nations in the world where everything from butt implants to liposuction is common practice. Previously, plus-sized women who wanted to hit the beach were limited to grandma-style cover-ups or shots and t-shirts, but now, they have options.

Apparently, the lack of clothing options for larger women extends to many “normal” sized women as well.

“Honestly, the problem went way beyond just bikinis. In Brazil, it used to be that if you were even a little chunky, finding any kind of clothes in the right size was a real problem,” said Clarice Rebelatto, herself a size 10.

“And I thought, ‘I’m actually not even that big compared to a lot of women out there, so if I have problems, what are they doing?'” she told the Associated Press.

To counteract this lack of options Clarice Rebelatto started her own plus size swimwear line, and other designers have followed suit.

Rebelatto’s line bucks traditional plus-size swimwear trends that are meant to cover-up a woman’s “trouble-spots,” and instead puts them on display. Her designs including plunging necklines, bright colors, vivid prints, and tiny bottoms.

Clarice’s son, and director of her company, Lehona, says plus-size women want what other women want: options.

He told the AP:  “We’re working from the principle that bigger women are just like everyone else: They don’t want to look like old ladies, wearing these very modest, very covering swimsuits in just black.”

Although everyone isn’t embracing many of Brazil’s “gordinhas”– or “little fatties”–the Rubenesque women who sunbathe on some of country’s pristine beaches don’t seem to care at all.


*Read more at the Associated Press & Jezebel

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  • studies report that “2020, more than 80 percent of U.S. men and more than 70 percent of women will be overweight or obese.”
    So somehow it is accepted in the US, otherwise you will not have such numbers.
    You can be chubby and healthy. But because the media “standard” is slim most people don’t want to see your hanging belly.
    Those women look happy, feel good in their skin and yes we can’t all be the same.

  • MW


    I hope the third time’s the charm.

    I originally saw this post on Jezebel and the comment section is like night and day for the same article. Understandably, Jezebel is a decidedly feminist blog/e-zine but sometimes, as much as I love Clutch, the comments here are vitriol. Let’s stop pretending that all so-called plus sized women are unhealthy and glorifying unhealthy lifestyles (because particularly outside of the US, bigger women ARE indeed healthy) and that comments to that effect aren’t just thinly veiled judgements.

    Perhaps this is a matter of our own collective self-esteem but if I were plus sized, or had some sort of perceived imperfection, I wouldn’t want to read Clutch comments. . . even as the articles aren’t glowingly biased and mean, the comments are.

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a woman enjoying her body and loving the sun. What would one expect her to do, not go to the beach and stay locked up in the house because she has on extra pounds?

    For cultures that aren’t heavily influenced by American society, the views on a woman’s body and the acceptance for what it is serves to be completely different. I’m from the West Indies and though some of these ideas are changing with the influx of American culture, a girl at a size zero (i.e. my sister) is usually trying to GAIN weight, not lauding her thinness over other people.

    In a country where MOST of the people are overweight and obese, I find the American way of thinking so harmful! What do you do, just ignore what you see every day and say that most women are a size 6 as opposed a 12? Or perhaps these women shouldn’t enjoy life the way you do. . .

  • LoveAll

    Im a skinny and these ladies have more confidence than me. I do wear bikinis b/c I have long legs and a 2 piece doesnt give me that ostrich look. Skinny girls have it hard too

  • MK

    I think they all look good, I am a size 10 myself and I’ve wore a bikini before and I am not from the US or Brazil.

  • I all for people being catered for. I hope this woman gets rich :D