No Longer Teeny: Brazil Gets Bigger Bikinis!

In response to burgeoning Brazilian waistlines, some bikini manufacturers are finally beginning to sit up and take notice of the demand for plus-size bikinis.

The statistics institute ran a study in 2010 that revealed 48% of women and 50% of men are currently overweight compared to 29% of women and 18% of men in 1985. “It used to be bikinis were only in tiny sizes that only skinny girls could fit into. But not everyone is built like a model," stated Elisangela Inez Soares, a size 12 Copacabana sunbather according to

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Clarice Rebelatto, a clothing designer and founder of the solely plus-size bikini line Lehona, was driven to create the revolutionary line as a result of her own bikini searching woes. “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," stated the size 10 Rebelatto. “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?'"

Since its 2010 launch the brand has become quite successful, this is likely due in part to the way the brand focuses on the desires of the plus-size women they cater to. "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," said Clarice’s son Luiz Rebelatto, who serves as the director of Lehona. The line features fun leopard and floral prints along with plunging necklines and stringy straps that truly make a statement.

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Swimwear line Acqua Rosa is has seen the same kind of success since they added plus-sizes to their existing line back in 2008. Those purchases now account for a whopping 70% of the brand’s sales.

Not all brands are jumping on the bandwagon though, including many high-end names. “Some brands, they don't want their image to be associated with chunky women," Luiz Rebelatto said. "Only the thin, the rich and the chic." We say it is their loss!

The sunbather Soares proudly announced, "God makes some people thin but he made me like this.”