By Phillip Picardi. Photos: Courtesy of Teen Vogue.
In our September issue, fashion writer Nicolette Mason wrote: “Body positivity has become trendy, but it’s important to remember that it’s a work in progress for the fashion industry. There may be more diversity and visibility of curvier bodies than ever before — thanks in part to the Ashley Grahams of the world — but for the new crop of young curve models, the framework for how ‘plus-size’ bodies are approached in fashion is still being constructed.” See the full video here.
Among those young curve models stands Barbie Ferreira, who has appeared in campaigns for brands like Aerie, Lane Bryant, and Target, as well as editorials for Idol, Vogue.com, and (of course) Teen Vogue. Barbie’s rise to fame — and acceptance in the industry — is something that stands in sharp contrast to the other models du jour. She doesn’t have famous parents, for one, nor has she been signed to Victoria’s Secret, prompting a frenzy a followers. Instead, the audience she’s built — amassing over 350,000 people on Instagram alone — has hit “follow” because of one thing above all: She’s real.
Scrolling through her ‘gram, or even her Twitter, you’ll see that Barbie is constantly engaging with current events — especially as it pertains to social justice and identity. (One of her most recent posts is a photo celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day, with text that says “F*ck Christopher Columbus.”) But more frequently, Barbie will post photos celebrating her body, calling attention to the industry’s double standards…and the fact that she’s killing it regardless.
We asked Barbie to host a video series for us where she takes us through the various facets of her own mantra of body positivity. Every day at 8AM this week, we’ll be posting each episode to YouTube, so you can watch along as Barbie banishes misconceptions along with the badass women she’s collected in her life.
For our first episode, Barbie throws a “Body Party” of her own, where she hosts a bikini photo shoot for her and a few friends. Each of the people you’ll see here has a dynamic story to tell about their own journey of body acceptance — whether that’s one of gender identity, of embracing their curves, or how struggling to find the right weight or shape can be tied to our happiness.
For the second episode, which you see here, Barbie invited her mother to come cook a traditional Brazilian meal with her. To clarify, Barbie doesn't appear to be much of a cook herself...but mom's a CHEF who has worked with one of the world's most impressive culinary masters. For Barbie, her relationship with food is intrinsically tied to how she sees and experiences the world, especially since she's been raised on quality cooking her entire life. But the perception among her peers (read: casting agents, straight-sized models) is that she's "lucky" because she doesn't "have to watch her weight." There's a pretty widespread misconception that "plus" models can eat whatever they want — but that, as you'll see here, is hardly the case.
We'll be publishing Barbie videos every weekday at 8am through next Wednesday. Check back for more!
This story originally appeared on Teen Vogue.
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