Role Model of the Moment: Barbie Ferreira
Barbie Ferreira is more than just “plus-size”
While Barbie Ferreira isn’t against the term “plus-size,” she doesn’t like being put in a box or being labelled as different from other models. “What the body-positive movement wants is to stop categorising people,” she told Glamour magazine. She said body positivity wants “to let people of all body types be able to do anything, whether they’re slightly bigger than the average model or a lot bigger.”
Barbie added: “It’s time to open up the doors so that people of all body types are able to be in all lanes of modelling, not just one niche. The body-positive thing has been happening for a long time, but it hasn’t been shown to everyone.”
Check out Barbie’s viral video interview for #AerieREAL below:
Real Talk With Barbie
She has a complicated relationship with body positivity
When Barbie first started modelling she was a size 10-12 with perfect proportions and a slim face. She was a plus-size model, but sometimes she would have to wear padding to make herself fit in plus-size clothes. She told Jezebel: “I feel like I contributed to the watering down of what body positivity really means.”
Now that she’s a size 14, she’s acutely aware of the importance of representation of all body types. She said: “There’s a severe lack of representation of fat people who don’t necessarily look like me, or look like the plus-size models who are doing well right now.”
If you want to read more about the issues facing plus-size models today, have a read of our article Is Plus-Size Modelling As Body Positive As We Think?
Barbie Ferreira is a social media queen
Before her modelling career took off, Barbie was a rising social media influencer. From Instagram to tumblr, she built a loyal group of followers who fell in love with her firecracker personality and unfiltered posts. Now boasting 1.1 million Instagram followers, she posts everything from #nomakeup selfies to red carpet outfits to videos of her pet sphinx, Morty. But through all her success, she still makes sure she stays in touch with her followers (who lovingly address her as “mom”).
She calls her stretchmarks her “lil stripes”
When Barbie Ferreira posted a picture of her stretch marks on Instagram, the post went viral. People were astonished at the unapologetic photo of her natural self. But this is just how Barbie rolls. She hates when a model is photoshopped into oblivion and loses all of her apparent imperfections. By posting pictures of her authentic body, she’s showing the world that nobody’s perfect, not even a model—and being different is what makes them beautiful.
Barbie makes a point of modelling for companies that keep it real and unretouched. From her first campaign with Aerie to the steamy shoot with Missguided, she knows how important it is for consumers to see bodies like hers.
Her mother is her role model
Born in Queens, New York, Barbie is of Brazilian heritage, something she is incredibly proud of. Raised by her single mother, her grandma and her aunt, she told Latina: “I saw my mom jump through every hoop under the sun to allow me these opportunities. She immigrated here, with my entire family, only a couple of years before I was born. We came from nothing, and she worked her butt off to get me everything I ever wanted.”
Barbie counts her mother as her role model in life. “Her independence, motivation and sensitivity are so important to me. I grew up with such a strong support system that I was never made to feel unattractive or not good enough.”
Check out this super adorable Teen Vogue video of Barbie cooking with her mum!
Barbie Ferreira Cooks With Her Mom | Teen Vogue
She’s a successful Youtuber and actress
Barbie Ferreira has been rocking Youtube for a while now with her Teen Vogue series “Body Party”, where she explores what it’s like being a plus-size model in the fashion industry. She also has a Vice series How to Behave, an etiquette show where she explores different topics like money, dating, food and style in a way that’s both hilarious and meaningful.
Barbie has recently transitioned into acting and now stars in the HBO show Euphoria, the Gen Z answer to Skins. She plays Kat, a smutty fanfic-writing virgin turned latex-clad cam girl. You read that right. What drew Barbie to this role was the chance to play a plus-size character who is complex and defined by more than just her weight.
Have a look at this down-to-earth video Barbie Ferreira did with StyleLikeU. She talks about everything from fat-shaming to racism in fashion, and how she’s learned to feel empowered in her body.
Barbie Ferreira: A Curve Model Lets It All Hang Out on Fat Shaming in Fashion
WANT INSPIRE CHANGE IN THE MODELLING INDUSTRY?
The Photo Studio can help you gain the experience, knowledge and confidence you need to take the fashion industry by storm ⚡ Submit your details below and let your modelling journey begin!