Anna is a native New Yorker who loves concerts, travel, good coffee, and her Jack Russell terrier, Charlie. She’s a multimedia journalist who earned her master’s degree from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. Her true passion for telling stories keeps her inspired.
Size 12 model Barbara “Barbie” Ferreira has been a voice for body positivity in the past, and her new ad for Aerie by American Eagle is no different.
The Wilhelmina model, who has a 30″ waist and 44″ hips, posed in a bathing suit for the lingerie company’s “Aerie Real” campaign. And the best part? The 5’8″ model’s figure is completely unedited in the campaign.
“Not being retouched in the images is something that is very important to me,” the New York model says in the company’s video. “People knowing that that’s what I look like without anyone’s perception of what my body needs to look like. The world needs more women who are so strong.”
Aerie’s body-positive campaign was launched in 2014 in an attempt to challenge supermodels standards, which often leads to bullying those who don’t fit into that mold (as we’ve seen from that cruel Facebook page targeting plus-size women).
“The purpose of ‘Aerie Real’ is to communicate there is no need to retouch beauty, and to give young women of all shapes and sizes the chance to discover amazing styles that work best for them,” Jennifer Foyle, aerie’s Chief Merchandising Officer, said in a statement. “We want to help empower young women to be confident in themselves and their bodies.”
Strutting around in a fuchsia bikini, Ferreira appears confident and comfortable in the skin she’s in.
“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, the company’s global brand president, told Refinery29.
Some viewers bashed the company for using a heavier model in the campaign (as expected), but others were pleased to see a size 12 woman in the ad.
“Barbie! You are so inspiring and I’m really proud of everything you’ve done and everything you will do! Please always stay true to yourself because I couldn’t be more thankful for you!” one viewer shared in the YouTube video’s comments.
Another said, “She is absolutely beautiful! No matter what size you are you are gorgeous and you were made wonderfully! Love this campaign!!”
Forget the haters! Women like the ones above are whom Ferreira hopes to inspire.
“The fact that my pictures can be seen by girls who may have a similar body type as me and they can hopefully be kinder to themselves,” she told Elle.com of why she’s most excited for her campaign. “I just want to make sure girls know they don’t have to carry the weight of achieving nearly impossible standards on their shoulders every day. They’re worthy!”