barbie ferreira uses stretch marks to discuss body positivity in fashion

'I truly don't know how much we can do as curvy models when we're still thought of as mannequins — just ones who are cursed to only wear peplums and tunics all day to cover our 'flawed' bodies n show just our usually thin faces.'

by Hannah Ongley
13 December 2016, 8:22pm


It's pretty obvious that the #modellyfe isn't always exactly what it looks like on Instagram, unless of course you follow Barbie Ferreira. The 19-year-old body-positive pioneer has been lauded for her anti-Photoshop stance since she began calling bullshit on the industry status quo two years ago. Case in point: the photo she posted to Instagram yesterday of her stretch mark-lined stomach. While the internet appeared quite woke to the fact that stretch marks exist and are actually very common, leaving hundreds of sweet comments and thank-you notes, not everyone was so thrilled to see something so common finally being embraced. Especially not one grown-ass adult woman who proceeded to call the model out on them just a few hours later. 

"After I posted the picture of my stretch marks, not even a few hours later I was stood naked at work in front of strangers (super vulnerable position) and got asked what was wrong with my hips," Barbie wrote in a followup post. "Pointing at my stretch marks. By a woman. I'd be lying through my teeth if I didn't say micro-aggressions like this don't happen on the daily for me in this industry. And like I always do, I choke back the tears and keep going like nothing happened. Grown ass adults commenting on my teenage body needing spanx, bra cutlets to make me look "better," or Photoshopping my body to be "smoother" right in front of me — most of the time by plus clients."

Barbie says she has no interest in selling "an idealized version of a thick girl" nor in wearing only peplum and tunics to cover her "flawed" body (amen). "I'm here to infiltrate from the inside," she promised. "Not only the consumer is being told they're not good enough — even the girls in the pictures are given the same shit." We're not sure which is scarier — the woman being so oblivious to what stretch marks are, or being so unfazed by telling a teenage girl that they're weird and gross. Either way, judging by the responses to both photos, it's easy to tell who's on the right side of this debate. 


Text Hannah Ongley
Image via Instagram

Barbie Ferreira
stretch marks