So excited to see the new face of the #AerieReal campaign has been announced as Barbie Ferreira, an 18 year old American size 12. The company, which is very against the idea of re-touching anyway, has just gone one step further in the land of body positivity by hiring this beautifully normal lady.
Global Brand President of Aerie, Jen Foyle, told Refinery29: "we cast Barbie because she's got nothing to hide, she's strong and beautiful and embraces her real self, which is the spirit of the Aerie message."
I've got to say, after the amount of campaigns recently which have promised to banish re-touching but have then hired a stick of a woman anyway, this is properly refreshing and I am SO excited to see a woman sitting in a bikini, at a size 12, confidently.
Although Barbie is a very normal size, most of us who have a figure like hers are simply too embarrassed to flaunt it and so I hope that she will serve as a true inspiration to many, because this really is beauty personified!
Barbie herself said: "Saying I have a normal body is powerful within itself because people tend to think my fat makes me abnormal." She, like us, doesn't like the term "plus size" saying "I just don't like the term plus size, it reminds me of the word oversize and I am not with it... Curvy is cuter. One day I won't have to say curvy model and I can just say model. The ultimate dream."
(Ours too by the way)
Of course, and thankfully there has been an incredibly positive reaction to this campaign, but, because there are some wanky people out there, there has also been some criticism. Thankfully however, Barbie is not taking it lying down:
"Having to remind myself that people are so cruel and wrong about bodies because they never see average bodies on their screens and it is new to them. I don't really care much about what they say except [it's] just supper inaccurate shit. Like I'm promoting obesity. What?!? I'm not close to medically obese."
"My body is super average, it's a size 12. I work out, I eat extremely health, I live my life. Body perceptions are so warped that people think MY body is unhealthy and obese because it is on camera."
"Society is extremely irresponsible for sending this message to people. People are so used to Photoshop they think it's real life."
So Aerie, thanks for the reality and Barbie thanks for being a legend. I hope this campaign spreads far and wide and by the time bikini season comes around this summer, we can remember these images and flaunt our curves!!