Barbie Ferreira Opens Up About Her Unretouched Aerie Campaign

Aerie, American Eagle’s lingerie offshoot, has made a statement on the internet by using photos that haven’t been retouched. Between making it a point to cast models with more realistic-looking bodies and refusing to photoshop celebrities such as Emma Roberts, Aerie is proud to promote positive body image. For the brand’s latest swimsuit advertisement, they casted “curve model” Barbie Ferreira, a teen model who is all about keeping it real.

Barbie quickly became known for her social media presence (about 219,000 Instagram followers and 64,000 Twitter followers) and her outspoken stance on body image. We decided to catch up with her about how it feels to be the newest face of #AerieReal.

Mallory Llewellyn: Were you nervous about doing a campaign that you knew wasn’t going to be retouched?

Barbie Ferreira: Yes, as any young girl would. Wearing your bikini for millions of people to see, with no photoshop, is not an easy task with any body. I just thought of it as something bigger, something that can change the fairy tale expectations of women—we jiggle a lot of the time!

What was your first thought when you watched it?

BF: I thought it was really cute and I am really happy with it. I feel like it’s something special that the world should see, an average bodied woman selling clothes.

What advice would you give the younger you about body image?

BF: I would’ve told myself that one day I’ll be wearing a bikini in front of everyone without having a flat stomach and it’s going to be great. I’m going to be beautiful and I’m going to have to get over it. I was really insecure to the point where I wouldn’t wear a bikini in public and thought I needed to lose a drastic amount of weight to ever be a model. I was wrong!

How have your fans been reacting to this campaign?

BF: My followers have been really cool about it. They aren’t used to seeing that body type in an ad and I think they really enjoy it. A lot of them have told me that they finally feel normal and worthy now that body representation is finally happening for a major swimwear brand.

What’s your favorite item from Aerie right now?

BF: I have always loved the bras and undies, I’m especially crazy about the bralettes. I still wear all my Aerie gear that I’ve been collecting since I was in middle school.

Barbie shares more secrets to positive body image HERE.

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