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Brazilian Style (fat clothes vs. the bikini)

Monday, October 21, 2013

When I was at my heaviest, Lane Bryant was my favorite shop. I wore oversize styles that would hang in straight lines, not hug my body or wrinkle around my rolls of fat. I dressed like the cartoon character "Cathy". I avoided photos like the plague.

Then I went to Brazil fo a year. My Brazilian friends LOVE their cameras, and take group photos and "selfies" anytime, anywhere. No group outing, however large or small, is complete without photos.

When I saw myself in the photos, I was forced to see how my clothing compared to theirs. With so MANY photos, I could no longer write it off as "a bad shot".

Not only did my oversize clothing utterly fail to hide the fact that I was fat, it make me look even bigger. And to add insult to injury, it made me look unfeminine. despite embroidery, prints. and nicely matched outfits.

Brazilians are extremely fashion and body conscious, but even an overweight Brazilian woman would wear stylish, feminine, form fitting clothes. She would not be caught dead in the tent-inspired fashions that are thrown at large women in the USA. (Think Queen Latifah instead of Roseanne.)

Skinny jeans? Check.
Form hugging tops? Check.
Short skirts? Check.
Tight dresses? Check.
Bikinis? Check.

My Brazilian friends could not understand why I preferred my one-piece swimsuit and didn't want to buy a bikini! I eventually did buy one, even though finding one in my size was a special kind of shopping hell there. And I learned to wear it without (as much) shame - at least sunbathing on the lawn behind my house.

This week, to my surprise, I discovered that my bikini top is too big. Good thing I no longer dread swimsuit shopping!

Since coming home, I have been gradually shifting from my old "fat style". In sorting through clothes as I lose weight, I see that baggy clothes don't look good on me now that I'm thinner, either. Even my T-shirts were huge - they have now been designated as workout clothes only.

And I leave you with this fabulous and fun video of sassy, sexy, feminine women:

Don't tell me they are not HOT!!!!!
And so are WE.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Just loved this blog! I lived in Sao Paulo for four years and it was an amazing experience in so many ways. I love how candid Brazilian women are about bodies-they tell you when you look good and when you don't look good and it really takes the hidden shame away from the whole body thing. And they truly have the best jeans because they don't try to flatten and hide a women's shape. Que saudades!
    1576 days ago
    What a great blog. I had to lean that a heavier person looks better in clothes that fit her.I too tried to hide me and looked bigger although I didn't think so then. I know better now! emoticon
    1600 days ago
    Snappy tune. You have been doing great, and it shows. emoticon
    1602 days ago
    I love this post. I wear baggy clothes... would love to have the guts to wear tighter things but I can dream it WILL happen. Thanks
    1605 days ago
    I have been travelling back and forth to Brazil and after my first trip 2 years ago, I decided that I wanted to lose my body shame and start developing a more Brazilian attitude. Haven't gotten a bikini yet, but I haven't been in Rio in the last year, only Sao Paulo where there is no beach, only shopping malls. I started dressing better so I "fit in" and didn't look like a gringo and found out that I like it.
    1605 days ago
  • KANOE10
    I love the Brazilian and music. What a great place to be where you are encouraged to wear lovely clothes at any size. Good for you losing weight and having that bikini top get too thin.
    I weighed 342 and never liked my clothes. I agree with your comments about the American plus sizes. I also thought they made me look older.

    You are doing great on your healthy journey!
    1608 days ago
  • BRADMILL2922
    That is a great story of how you can change your attitude about something! Good for you that you have! I would love to visit Brazil!
    1609 days ago
    Love it, we so need to live closer, I think I have one of those outfits of course in black cause isn't it slimming, lmao! You are amazing my friend, keep rocking that bikini! emoticon
    1609 days ago
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