How Barbie Ferreira Shut Down Body-Shamers

Barbie Ferreira's plot line in the first season of "Euphoria" centered around a sudden shift in the way she dressed, walked, and saw herself. Ferreira plays Kat Hernandez, who is originally introduced as a self-conscious teenager who grapples with her image and body weight. As the season goes on, though, Kat recognizes the power she has over men on the internet, leading her to trade her subtle wardrobe for bold lips, even bolder outfits, and powerful statement makeup (via YouTube).

In the second episode of Season 2, however, Kat finds herself dealing with toxic positivity as the result of the physical changes she has made. Instagram influencers surround Kat, applauding her confidence and telling her that she simply has to love herself to feel good about her body. Kat tensely reveals that she hates herself and struggles with the way she looks, but the influencers continue to praise her and bombard her with messages. The episode of "Euphoria" reveals how slogans typically associated with toxic positivity sometimes stifle real insecurities people have about themselves, and ultimately do more harm than good.

Off-camera, Barbie Ferreira deals with many comments just like these. Thankfully, the actress has found a healthy way of coping with the body-shamers.

Barbie Ferreira calls out backhanded compliments on social media

In a recent interview with Who What Wear, Barbie Ferreira revealed that the stress "of being this person who 'loves themselves'" is largely a projection of what other people think about her. As Ferreira told the outlet, "It's so funny that people just assume that. What — did I say that? I never said that. You guys just say that. You posted that on me." The actress believes that wearing what she wants and existing in a plus-size body shouldn't automatically equate to her being confident. She stressed the importance of allowing people of all sizes to wear whatever they want without trying to draw unnecessary attention to the matter.

"It's not radical for me to be wearing a crop top ... [Comments like those are] just backhanded compliments. I've been doing this since I was 16. I'm 25," Ferreira continued when asked about the issue. 

Ultimately, she hopes the episode of "Euphoria" where Kat faces an influx of Instagram comments has brought awareness to the narrative of plus-sized people dealing with toxic positivity. "I think bigger bodies are not as 'trendy' as they used to be, which is really sad to me. But it's more of a conversation of the fact that we all struggle with self-love, and I don't think any young person has really figured it out yet," Ferreira said. "I hope other people [watching] can also feel the same way and release the pressure of being perfect and happy all the time ... Because that just doesn't exist."