Model Barbie Ferreira: 'Girls Are Not Treated Like People in This Industry'
The young model gets real about the harsh realities of being a part of the fashion world.
Barbie Ferreira has been making waves in the fashion industry after being featured in a few unretouched campaigns, including the All Women Project and Misguided+. The body-positive diva recently took to Instagram to tell her followers that stretch marks are absolutely normal and that an incredible amount of women have them.
"Noticing how cute my body can be despite lil changes," the young model captioned her photo.
Several media outlets picked up her empowering post, including Teen Vogue, and Barbie took the opportunity to remind us all that sharing her "flaws" with the world is a much bigger deal than we'd think. The fashion industry holds women's bodies to a highly unattainable and unrealistic standard, and she reminded us that even though we're in the midst of a body-positive movement, we still have a long way to go.
"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," she wrote. "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," she continued. "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 used these incidents to make it known that even brands who claim to be body-positive aren't as welcoming and accepting as they advertise themselves to be. "This industry is not cute, never has been," she wrote. "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!!," she said.
"If you think my abuse is bad, ask a runway model who went from a 34- to a 35-inch hip. They will tell you they flat-out get told to starve and that they're looking fat. Shit isn't as pretty as it looks but ... I'm here to infiltrate from the inside. 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 [and] show just our usually thin faces."
She wrapped up her heartbreaking post by adding that she felt privileged to be a part of the fashion industry, but the pressures of looking a certain way are ever-present, regardless of your shape and size.
"Anyway, just wanted to rant because 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 wrote. "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 [the fuck] out of representing curvy girls all over!!! Jokes on me."