Josiane Lyra is the first black Miss Plus Size of Brazil


Note from BW of Brazil: Although when most men think of Brazilian women, there is a certain image that comes to mind, Brazil, like any other country, has a wide diversity of women. In recent years, more women of the “Plus Size” variety have been stepping forward and demanding their right to be considered every bit as desirable, worthy and beautiful as their their slimmer sisters. Now whether you like women who carry a few extra pounds and are proud of it or you feel that the question of obesity or being overweight is an issue Brazilians need to start taking more seriously, the “gordinhas” (overweight women) are here to be seen and recognized. Check out Josiane Lyra’s story below. 

Josiane Lyra is the first black Miss Plus Size of Brazil

by Fabiano de Abreu

Josiane with contest organizer Eduardo Araúju
Josiane with contest organizer Eduardo Araúju

Saturday, November 23, was special for many overweight women. They are Plus Size models who dedicate their lives participating in contests and doing works such as GG models. And the night was even more special for Josiane Lyra, who received from the Miss Plus Size Carioca 2012, Amanda Santana, the crown and sash of Miss Plus Size Carioca 2013, and even more special still because she became the only black Miss Plus Size in the history of Brazil. Josiane Lyra had received the Miss Congeniality award on the same night.


The cultural producer and organizer of the competition Eduardo Araújo, was honored by the International Plus Size Model Marlucia Felix and journalists Rodrigo Teixeira and Juliana Caldas, representing the candidates. Given a trophy to the producer as a cultural icon for 2013, Eduardo Araúju is the forerunner of the Miss Plus Size and Miss Maturity competitions in Brazil.

Winner of Miss Plus Size Carioca, Josiane Lira thinks only of Carnival


The model, chosen on Saturday, November 23, also holds the title of first passista gordinha (overweight Carnaval dancer): ‘I see in the mirror the authentic carioca woman’.

By Carol Marquesdo

Josiane Lira made ​​a promise this year. If she was crowned Miss Plus Size Carioca 2013, she would never again participate in a contest. The drastic decision, she explained, was due to losses in other competitions. “I didn’t want to lose again, creating expectation and not seeing my name announced,” she explains. What happened on Saturday, November 13, however, left the model without voice, without air, without believing. “I was the last of 12 finalists to be classified. I won Miss Congeniality and I thought ‘not this time.’ But when they said I was elected Miss Carioca I almost fainted,” she says.


At 32, the resident of Caxias in the Baixada Fluminense area of Rio, almost couldn’t participate in this edition because she was unemployed. A billing clerk, she hopes that with the title will come invitations and job offers. “I put together my termination and unemployment benefits and hope to resolve some processes on behalf of my child’s pension. I’ll turn myself around, but I have hope,” says Josiane, who received a prize of R$1000, a ticket to (northeastern state of Alagoas), a boat ride in the lake region, clothes, a churrascaria (Brazilian style BBQ) coupon and an erotic kit: “they want out on a date, right?”

Eduardo Araúju crowns Josiane Lyra as Miss Plus Size Carioca 2013
Eduardo Araúju crowns Josiane Lyra as Miss Plus Size Carioca 2013

She is dating however she wants to keep her distance. “Only dating really. I don’t want anyone messing up my career,” she says. With 260 lbs (118 kg) distributed on her 5’11” (1.81 m) frame, Josiane already had her incarnations with her generous shape. Today, she thinks. “I see in the mirror the authentic mulher carioca (woman from Rio),” she says.


Last year, Josiane got yet another title: the first plus size passista (Carnaval dancer). Her dream was to come out in a samba school. Rhythm in the hips and legs she had, but the body… “I didn’t even want to know. I went to court at Grande Rio, my favorite (samba) school, I took a newspaper clipping that had come out and I spoke of my dream. I think that they liked my poker face because I managed to come out on the side of the dancers of the school,” she recalls.


This year her costume is almost ready. And Josiane doesn’t want a special place just because she’s now Miss Plus Size: “I always wanted to show that I could be like any woman. I don’t need to be in the spotlight. My thing is coming out on the wing with the others. Skinny, chubby, short, tall, we are all equal.”

Source: Ego, Arehnavip Magazine

About Marques Travae 3747 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.


  1. Sou de origem africana dos meus bisavós e fico muito feliz pela Josiane, Ela merece pois é uma lutadora…

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