Flaws and all. Plus-size model Barbie Ferreira embraced her stretch marks in a Monday, December 12, Instagram, but trolls went on to taint the message.
“mi lil stripes are out here,” the Wilhelmina Models signee, 19, captioned the shot of her belly. “soothing them with vitamin e oil n noticing how cute my body can be despite lil changes !!!”
True to the Internet’s sometimes cruel nature, haters confronted the Aerie lingerie model, online and in real life. “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. Pointing at my stretch marks. By a woman,” Ferreira captioned an Instagram later that day, screenshotting a Teen Vogue tweet and article about her post. “Id 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.”
Despite her successful career, Ferreira maintained that the industry still hasn’t warmed up to the curvier figures taking over fashion. “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,” she continued. “This industry is not cute, never has been. I don’t want to sell you this idea that all these brands are so body positive when it’s so few that actually represent what women look like not just an idealized version of a thick girl (like they try to do to me.) girls are not treated like people in this industry !! At all !!”
And sadly, the likes of Ashley Graham and Tess Holliday aren’t considered counterparts to their slimmer industry peers. “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,” she wrote.
While Ferreira doesn’t plan on hanging up her high heels anytime soon, she still feels weary about the negative reception that refuses to fade away. “I am so privileged to be here but the flaws in this world make me feel like absolute garbage at the sake of getting paid and trying to spread my message,” she admitted. “Not only the consumer is being told they’re not good enough- even the girls in the pictures are given the same shit. But y’all got me trapped cuz I need to make a living and enjoy tf out of representing curvy girls all over !!! Jokes on me .”
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!