Actress Barbie Ferreira has not only gained wide acclaim for her role as Kat Hernandez on HBO’s Euphoria but has also inspired fans with her unapologetic embrace of her body.
The 22-year-old started her career as an American Apparel model but soon used her platform to become an outspoken advocate famous for her unretouched photoshoots. Now, with a greater platform than before, she has utilized her fame to raise awareness about fat acceptance, size diversity in the industry, and white privilege.
Fashion, in particular, is one area in which Ferreira loves to make a statement. And her distinctive personal style is thanks, in part, to her stylist Chris Horan.
Horan has earned himself a reputation for dressing a number of recognizable stars like Riverdale‘s Camila Mendes and activist Rowan Blanchard. It was actually through Blanchard that Ferreira and Horan met. The two hit it off instantly, with Horan admiring her “edgy gothic-ness” and mix of feminine and masculine style.
But dressing a girl with curves like Barbie was a bit out of his comfort zone at first. He told Teen Vogue,
“I learned so much from Barbie just by working with her and it was a learning curve for me in the sense that I didn’t think that way. I was like, ‘Oh great, this luxury brand makes plus-size,’ but then she was like, ‘Yeah, but it’s a black plus-size jumpsuit…I want to wear things that my friends wear.’
“That really opened my eyes. It makes me want to be like, ‘You’re right. You fully deserve all of those things. So I’m gonna be creative and figure out how to make it happen.’”
Horan added that the primary thing he tries to accomplish with her look is to offer options that are fun and “worthy of her personality.” Ferriera likes to wear what she wants and he tries to tailor the clothes to match that attitude.
“I love that Barbie commands the attention of being like, ‘You can’t tell me how I should look. I’m gonna wear what I want.’ I think a good example of that was her MTV Movie Awards look when we did that custom latex dress. I think that’s one of my favorites because it has a nod to Euphoria with latex, but it’s a hot silhouette. She was wearing Tiffany pearls and that was a special one.”
For her part, Ferreira has taken some fashion pointers from her Euphoria character Kat, whose wardrobe is often pulled from pieces out of her own closet. In an interview with them, she noted that she has taken her sense of self-expression “to another level” with daring outfits that include skin-tight looks and bold colors.
While viewed as a modern fashion muse, Ferreira has been openly critical about the industry itself. She has accused the fashion world of employing “capitalist schemes” around body positivity and criticized the media for questioning her body confidence in nearly every interview.
Even so, Ferreira has used her experience as a motivator and has actively pushed for more representation and visibility for models of all races. She’s also called out high-fashion designers for their lack of inclusivity and failure to include plus sizes.
“If I only [wore] the big designers I would not fit in anything. The big designers are cool, but you can’t buy them, no one can afford it. It’s not fun. It’s boring at that point.”
Stylist Horan agreed and told Teen Vogue that the fun, vibrant, clothing choices for plus-size customers just aren’t there.
“I think there are not enough options. I mean, there always needs to be more, but there are not enough options for anyone, you know, teenage to whatever, for going out with your friends. You want to be able to shop with your friends. I think the experience of being able to shop with your friends is so important. You shouldn’t have to just wear, again, a black jumpsuit.”
Ferreira doesn’t shy away from the topic of her weight, nor her right to live her life and wear what she wants at any size. And as a celebrity with so many young followers, Ferreira has become an influential player in shaping the body positivity movement. Her self-confidence and carefree attitude are a welcome respite for plus-size women and girls who are tired of worrying about their weight.
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Ashley is a Blerd and pop culture glutton with a penchant for video games. She is a freelance writer, whose articles have appeared in Black Girl Nerds and Screen Rant. Life is happiest for her when she’s able to indulge in her childhood hobby, by putting pen to page.