Barbie Ferreira has described how she felt when she decided to reclaim the word “fat”.
The New York-born model first entered the fashion industry when she landed an American Apparel campaign and has since gone on to work for the likes of Aerie, Lane Bryant and Adidas Originals.
While curvy models are still breaking down barriers within the fashion industry, Barbie has now described how important it was for her to take ownership of one word with a lot of stigma attached.
“Fat was a terrible, terrible word for me growing up,” she told Oyster magazine. “When I was able to reclaim it and call myself fat, and identify with it, that was the best moment ever. That was the moment I really started to feel free. Like, all those times those kids made fun of me and called me fat – well, I don’t care. I’m making money off of being fat. What are you doing?”
Since launching her career, Barbie has built up a reputation for embracing her figure and refusing to have photoshoot imagery digitally altered. And she hopes that she can encourage others to shake off certain labels.
“I call myself and my friends fat all day, but that’s because we’re all using it lovingly, and understand the total s**t we’ve all had to go through. Of course, if you’re using it in a derogatory way, that’s terrible. But we are fat. Plain and simple. We’re fat in an industry of size zero girls,” the 21-year-old IMG model shared. “So, it’s fun to let go of that heaviness of this word that has had so much weight to it – no pun intended.”
In her interview, the brunette beauty also spoke about how she has grown personally and professionally in the past two years. Specifically, she’s no longer afraid to advocate for her beliefs.
“Before, I’d always felt like I’m just some stupid girl. But now I know I’m here for a reason,” she smiled.
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