It means “delicious.”
For a woman, it means sturdy thighs, nice wide hips, and shopping in the “curvy” section in a store. It means ordering more than just a salad and water for dinner, it means rejoicing in molho branco, sorvetes, e frango e carne e vinho tinto. It means to love life and to have it show on her body, the ripeness and fullness of pleasure apparent in the shape of her arms and belly and cheeks and thighs. It means to have a hearty laugh that resonates in the bosom. To be gostosa means to be fleshy and sexy, to have soft skin and a warm smile. To be gostosa means to be delicious, to have on your hips a little something extra to hold onto. When a woman is gostosa she wants for nothing.
Here there is no tiny skinniness, no skeletons walking around on the street looking fine. Here there is lovely plump, round, dangerously sexy flesh on the street–good thighs, good hips, perfectly proportioned with the rest of the body.
To be “linda,” to be “bonita,”–those are ways to say “beautiful.” And those are good ways, too. Lots of girls are pretty, muito bonita, ay que linda. But to be gostosa, that is a title not for everyone. In the States we worship bones and angles, shrinking into ourselves until we are just eyeballs and hair, colored and cropped just so. Up North we are tight and fine and tense and small. And trying to be smaller.
But not here. Here in Brazil, it is nice to slip into my jeans and feel them hug my legs and to know that whatever I was unhappy with up there in the North is alright here. Whatever made me wrinkle my nose about myself or frown with displeasure or dream about “getting fixed” is alright here. Is beautiful. Is actually delicious.