barbie ferreira strips down and opens up about fat-shaming in fashion

"They didn’t want to put my fat body in their store. They didn’t want to put my rolls anywhere. They didn’t even want to pay me."

by Hannah Ongley
22 May 2017, 4:20pm

Curve modeling isn't all body-positive affirmations and chocolate cake on the catering table. It can be just as cruel as straight-size modeling, and Barbie Ferreira is not afraid to call bullshit on exclusiveness of any kind. The refreshingly real role model has touched on everything from shitty catering to fat-shaming to racism in fashion as part of StyleLikeU's "What's Underneath" series.

"This industry is so toxic, for anyone," Barbie says, maintaining that microaggressions take a particularly heavy toll on curvy models of color. "I don't understand why black models have to bring their own makeup and their own tools," she says. Why are you not trained to do everybody's hair? That's your entire job. It's actually so irresponsible that we destroy young women before they're even into the world, before they're even full adults we destroy them completely." Barbie calls out "completely socially irresponsible" cultural appropriation and whitewashing of certain campaigns. "If you're hiring a white model to do a Chinese shoot, that means you literally didn't try for five seconds to try find a Chinese model."

At one point Barbie talks about being cut out of an unretouched campaign. She found a video of herself on the brand's YouTube channel and posted it herself, after which it went viral. Still, she never got paid for the gig. "They didn't want to put my fat body in their store," she says. "They didn't want to put my rolls anywhere. They didn't even want to pay me." Luckily other brands have been so short-sighted. Barbie was the first size 12 model to score an unretouched #AerieReal campaign, and is now represented by Wilhelmina. Seems honesty is a pretty good policy after all. 


Text Hannah Ongley
Image via YouTube

Barbie Ferreira
body image
What's Underneath
Plus Size