#AerieReal just got a little bit more real.
According to ELLE, 19-year-old Barbie Ferreira is the most recent model to join the popular #AerieReal campaign, the American Eagle company’s photoshop-free initiative to encourage body positivity and diversity. The Wilhelmina-managed model, who has 243,ooo Instagram followers, told ELLE of her excitement over being featured in the campaign.
“I’m overwhelmed with happiness that I could be part of something so special and important to me,” she said. “The praise has really just proved that the world is ready to see change.”
The size-12 model thinks that being the face of the #AerieReal campaign will inspire girls to love themselves exactly as they are. “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!”
Although Ferreira explained that she hasn’t been retouched in other modeling jobs, she said that continuing to work in unretouched campaigns is very important to her.
“I rarely got retouched when I started modeling and it was crucial to me to show an accurate, realistic picture of me because that’s beautiful too,” she said. “Taking it a step further with such a major brand has been so exciting … I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time!”
Ferreira has encountered her fair share of Internet shamers with her success, but she certainly won’t let hateful comments change the way she feels about herself. In fact, she encourages other young women to follow suit and cultivate a positive body image.
“Unlearn your harmful behaviors,” she offered, “realize you can wear whatever you want and you were not put on this earth to do everything to be sexually appealing to people.”
Thank you, Barbie Ferreira, for teaching us to love ourselves unretouched.