Model Barbie Ferreira is calling out the plus-size industry's lack of inclusivity

Model Barbie Ferreira is calling out the plus-size industry's lack of inclusivity
Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images
Model Barbie Ferreira hasn't been shy about speaking out on the struggles facing women who wear above a size 4 or 6. She's been outspoken about the importance of not being retouched (she models for Aerie, after all), as well as just how hard it is for a woman who's larger than sample size to take on a red carpet

And now she's now taking on the modeling industry as a whole, and its lack of inclusion of diverse and truly plus-size women.

It all started on Monday, with Ferreira posting an Instagram of the stretch marks across her hips with the caption: "mi lil stripes are out here. soothing them with vitamin e oil n noticing how cute my body can be despite lil changes." 

Barbie Ferreira
Source: 
Instagram

After Teen Vogue wrote about the picture, calling it "empowering," Ferreira took to Instagram yet again in an effort to call out the plus-size and curve modeling industries for not nearly being inclusive enough for larger, curvier women. 

Barbie Ferreira
Source: 
Instagram

"This industry is not cute, never has been," Ferreira, who's modeled for Target and Lane Bryant, 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!!"

And that goes for models who wear size 0 or 2, and models who wear an 8 or 10 or 12. 

Barbie Ferreira
Source: 
Mic /Instagram

"If you think my abuse is bad, ask a runway model who went from a 34- to a 35-inch hip," Ferreira wrote. "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."

Barbie Ferreira
Source: 
Mic/Instagram

Although Ferreira ends her post by calling it a "rant," there's lots of measured truth to what she's saying. Plus-size and curve models all do tend to have this idealized version of "curvy," with thin waists and an hourglass figure. Their faces are thin enough to still sport modelesque high cheekbones. Though they are otherized in the fashion industry, they still too often adhere to an unrealistic beauty standard.

Even though the plus-size modeling industry prides itself on breaking model norms, there's still plus-size model norms that these women have to conform to. 

And Ferreira just isn't here for that.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Rachel Lubitz

Rachel is a senior Style writer at Mic. She previously worked for The Washington Post's Style section for more than three years. Feel free to contact her at rachel@mic.com.

MORE FROM

‘New York Times’ interview sparks latest wave of GOP frustration with Trump

The President’s “disturbing” comments on Jeff Sessions and Special Counsel Robert Mueller drew sharp rebukes from his own party.

Jordan Edwards’ mother speaks out after Monday’s indictment of the officer who killed her son

“We will not allow Jordan’s death to be another statistic.”

Trump keeps saying he wants to “let Obamacare fail.” How would that happen?

There are several ways the administration could sabotage the law, experts said.

AIDS deaths are almost half of what they were in 2005 — but experts worry Trump could reverse that

Trump's proposed budget cuts could be detrimental for those living with HIV.

OJ Simpson granted parole after nine years in prison

After serving nine years in prison for a 2007 armed robbery, OJ Simpson was granted parole in a unanimous vote on Thursday.

Black Lives Matter activists respond to the police shooting of Justine Damond

“Some white people don’t feel the tragedy until one of them is murdered.”

‘New York Times’ interview sparks latest wave of GOP frustration with Trump

The President’s “disturbing” comments on Jeff Sessions and Special Counsel Robert Mueller drew sharp rebukes from his own party.

Jordan Edwards’ mother speaks out after Monday’s indictment of the officer who killed her son

“We will not allow Jordan’s death to be another statistic.”

Trump keeps saying he wants to “let Obamacare fail.” How would that happen?

There are several ways the administration could sabotage the law, experts said.

AIDS deaths are almost half of what they were in 2005 — but experts worry Trump could reverse that

Trump's proposed budget cuts could be detrimental for those living with HIV.

OJ Simpson granted parole after nine years in prison

After serving nine years in prison for a 2007 armed robbery, OJ Simpson was granted parole in a unanimous vote on Thursday.

Black Lives Matter activists respond to the police shooting of Justine Damond

“Some white people don’t feel the tragedy until one of them is murdered.”