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.

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  1. When I visited Brazil a few years ago, there were already plus size women on the beaches. The message that sent the message to me was that women in Brazil embrace themselves as is and I felt better about wearing my bikini despite my stretch marks!

  2. I would SOOOOOO totally wear this…In fact, I’ve been looking for a bikini for non-beach wear as I often attend Russian Banyas and ideally you should be naked, but since they are co-ed, a bikini is the next best thing.

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