New Aerie model with average-sized body faces unnecessary backlash
Over the past few years, the fashion industry has gotten much better about including plus-size models in campaigns. However, until now, they've left out an important body type — the in-between.
Barbie Ferreira, a 19-year-old model who actually calls herself "Queen of In-Between," is set to change that as she's the newest model for the #AerieREAL campaign. For the past two years, American Eagle Outfitters' lingerie and loungewear label, Aerie, has only used untouched models for their various advertisements. Now, they're taking that mission a step further by featuring Ms. Ferreira — the curvaceous model who neither fits within the plus size nor the regular size brackets as they're currently defined (aka, most women in America today).
While the ad photos have yet to be released, Aerie did post a teaser video of Ferreira by the pool speaking boldly and positively about her body. One of the first things she says is, "I'm unapologetically real no matter what anyone's opinion of me is." That, in essence, is what the #AerieREAL campaign is all about.
"We cast Barbie because she’s got nothing to hide, she’s strong and beautiful — she embraces her real self, which is the spirit of the Aerie Real message," Jen Foyle, Aerie's global brand president, told Refinery29.
However, there are always haters out there who want to tear down a beautiful woman for taking pride in her body. Unfortunately, soon after the video went up on YouTube, Ferreira started to receive some major backlash on her social media feeds. Here are just some of the negative comments she received on the YouTube video itself:
Yes, these are incredibly hurtful, insensitive comments, but what's worse is they're entirely untrue. Ferreira, by general body standards, is not fat, but the more trolls out there who proclaim she is, the longer the unhealthy skinny look will remain the societal measuring stick.
However, as long as Ferreira has a voice, she intends to fight back against this gross misconception. She shut the trolls down on Twitter with a few simple, pointed tweets:
The good thing is that overall, society's views on body size is changing. Yes, Ferreira is one of the first few models to represent the in-between, and that means she'll receive more flak than others. The same was true for all the plus-size models who came before her, but the more varying sizes we see taking up billboard and magazine space, the quicker the trolls will fall away. It just takes inspiring women like Ferreira who love their bodies, and refuse to be told they're anything but beautiful.