-RIO DE JANEIRO
A country famous for it’s shapely women in string bikinis all over the beaches, Brazil is losing it’s luster to a now heavier population of women, with thicker waists and more curves than before.
Clothing designer Clarice Rebelatto, founder of Lehona, a plus-size bikini line, is transforming swimwear for the women who opt to throw out their size 12 all black one-pieces.
With 14 styles including dramatic neck plunges, straps that are basically strings, and bottoms less moderate than the U.S is used to, Rebelatto offers a bit more than the crowd favorite “fio dental” or “dental floss.”
Sold exclusively at specialty shops for Brazil’s big and tall, Lehona launched in 2010 and will cost you about 130 reais or $75.
A conventional swimwear line launched in 2008, Acqua Rosa, added plus-sizes to the mix, which is now more than 70 percent of it’s sales, said director Joao Macedo.
Luis Rebelatto, son of Clarice Rebelatto stated, ”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.”
A 2010 study by the statistics institute said 48 percent of adult women and 50 percent of adult men in Brazil were now overweight. In 1970 ten percent of the population was considered underweight and most malnourished.
While one of the largest consumers of cosmetic surgery, ten percent of Brazilian teens and adults exercise regularly, a 2008 study found.
Analysts blames Brazil’s rapid belt bust on the swap of beans and vegetables for chips and processed meat.