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Model Barbie Ferreira: ‘This industry is so toxic’

In the latest video for StyleLikeU’s ‘What’s Underneath’ series, the model discusses her career, critics, and fashion’s beauty standards

The fashion industry is accused of spreading negative body image all the time. While most are only interested in pointing the finger, StyleLikeU is more focused on documenting and deconstructing people’s experiences, inviting them to strip off and open up for their ‘What’s Underneath’ video series.

With an impressive track record of guests (including Adwoa Aboah and Petra Collins) the latest clip stars model Barbie Ferreira, who talks about everything from anxiety and tokenism to her own struggles with gaining and losing weight.

Not viewing herself as a traditional plus-size model, Ferreira notes that while she used to think she’d have to “lose 30lbs” to be make it, she now credits her size with her success.

Of course, she has had to deal with her fair share of critics. “People think I’m morbidly obese,” she says, before revealing that people write “essays” on what they think is wrong with her online. “It’s so unheard of to be okay with yourself, that they’re like ‘What’s wrong with you?’” She also discusses how she helped a brand go viral by starring in a video for them, but was cut from the campaign and never even paid for the job.

“This industry is so toxic,” she says before offering her solutions for making it better – like not including plus-size models as a token gesture, but because a brand understands how important it is to show a different range of bodies. She also touches on the struggles that are even more difficult than her own, like those of black models who often are required to do their own hair and make-up because stylists aren’t as used to working with them. 

Watch the full video below, and read our interview with StyleLikeU’s founders here.