Curvy model Barbie Ferriera shared empowering Instagram posts about her stretch marks, and the problems that still exist in the fashion industry

By Julie Mazziotta
Updated December 13, 2016 10:17 AM
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Model Barbie Ferreira is proud of her stretch marks — and wants the fashion industry to appreciate them too.

The Aerie model shared an empowering, honest photo of her stretch marks on Instagram Monday, 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 !!!”

Her post quickly went viral, with Ferreira’s followers thanking her for showing that everyone — even models — have stretch marks.

But Ferreira shared a longer post later that day, explaining that the modeling world still hasn’t fully caught up to the body positivity movement.

“After I posted the picture of my stretch marks, not even a few hours later I was stood naked at work in front of strangers (super vulnerable position) and got asked what was wrong with my hips. Pointing at my stretch marks. By a woman,” Ferreira writes.

“Id be lying through my teeth if I didn’t say micro-aggressions like this don’t happen on the daily for me in this industry. And like I always do, I choke back the tears and keep going like nothing happened.”

Ferreira says that some of the companies that preach body confidence in advertising are far crueler to their models.

“This industry is not cute, never has been,” she says. “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 !!”

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Ferreira says she’s frustrated, but she’s going to continue “representing curvy girls all over.”

“Just wanted to rant because I am so privileged to be here but the flaws in this world make me feel like absolute garbage at the sake of getting paid and trying to spread my message,” she says. “Not only the consumer is being told they’re not good enough — even the girls in the pictures are given the same s—.”