Plus-size bikinis are all the rage in Brazil

Brazilian women are often pictured as Gisele look-alikes, known primarily for their toned bodies and the teeny-tiny beachwear they favor that leaves little to the imagination. But now, an increasing number of bikini manufacturers are reaching out to a different portion of the Brazilian population--plus-size females.

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Designer Clarice Rebalatto said that the idea for her plus-size only beachwear line, Lehona, stemmed from the problems she had finding swimsuits that would fit her own size 10 figure. The line features trendy bikinis with patterns and low necklines, styles that differ dramatically from the typical, modest cuts associated with plus-size bathing suits. Since its launch in 2010, Lehona has not only triggered an outpour of support and enthusiasm from customers, but also seems to have indicated a change in what is cosidered an acceptable body image for Brazilian women. 

Rebalatto wasn't the only one who noticed the lack of options for plus-sized beachwear in Brazil. Swimwear label, Acqua Rosa, introduced a plus-size line back in 2008. Now, the brand owes more than 70 percent of its sales to plus-size sales. And the trend doesn’t stop at swimwear. Sao Paulo’s metro system just installed extra-wide bucket seats for heavier commuters. The city will also soon host its first ever Miss Plus Size contest.

Personally, I think it’s about time that a plus-size market opened up in Brazil. Though it’s important to remember there’s a fine line between plus-size and unhealthy, there’s no reason that females who aren’t sample size should have issues finding clothing or cute swimwear, simply because a certain image is associated with their country. Latina women--including Brazilians, famouse for their amazing rear ends--are known for their curves. So why not flaunt ‘em if you got ‘em?

What do you think of the plus-size trend in Brazil? Would you wear a plus-size bikini?

Images via Lehona.com, AP (Miss Plus Size)