While the country’s beaches are renowned for their tanned and beyond-toned bodies, Brazil’s swimwear industry is apparently beginning to embrace a wider range of figures. In keeping with the skin-centric beach aesthetic, a growing market of plus-size swimwear lines are cut to look “significantly more audacious than the standard U.S. [designs],” and are popular for that reason — responsible for an increasing percentage of many labels’ revenues against sales of smaller sizes (up to 70 percent in the case of one line, Acqua Rosa). “It used to be bikinis were only in tiny sizes that only skinny girls could fit into … [but] finally, it seems like people are beginning to realize that we’re not all Gisele,” says one proudly “voluptuous” beachgoer.
Gisele Bundchen. Photo: Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/2011 Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho