If you haven’t yet caught Euphoria, where’ve you been? HBO’s hit high school drama has taken the world by storm- and a lot of it can be credited to Barbie Ferreira’s star turn as Kat. Since making her name as a model, Ferreira has turned her hand to acting, and the results speak for themselves. Find out more about the rising star with these ten quickfire facts.
1. She made her name with Aerie
Ferreira’s modeling career started after she sent photos to an American Apparel open casting call (coincidentally, she was working for the brand from one of their store locations at the time). In 2016, she went viral when untouched photos of her were released as part of a campaign for Aerie. The #AerieReal campaign generated a ton of positive publicity for the up and coming model, and her name quickly became synonymous with the new body positivity movement that was just starting to make waves across the country.
2. She’s hosted shows for Teen Vogue
Before Euphoria took her career to dizzying new heights, Ferreira was making her name with a pair of online video series for Teen Vogue and Vice. Body Party, her Teen Vogue piece, focused on “the various facets of (Ferreira’s) own mantra of body positivity” (according to the show’s writeup, at least) and followed the model as she “(banished) misconceptions along with the badass women she’s collected in her life.” Her How to Behave series for Vice, meanwhile, revolved around a new topic in each episode, with titles as far-ranging as ‘A Guide to Getting More Money’ and ‘A Guide to Healthy Sex.’
3. She made her HBO debut on Divorce
While we know and love her best as Kat, Euphoria wasn’t Ferreira’s first time on HBO. In 2018, she made her network debut as Ella in the second season of Divorce, HBO’s comedy-drama starring Sex and the City’s Sarah Jessica Parker and actor Thomas Haden Church.
4. Her mom’s her biggest influence
Ferreira was born in Queens, and raised in Maywood, New Jersey by her mother, aunt, and grandmother. The female-dominated household of her childhood was a huge influence on the model, and she cites her mother as one of her main inspirations. “I grew up with a single mom, a wild grandma and my aunt,” she shared with Latina. “I saw my mom jump through every hoop under the sun to allow me these opportunities. We came from literally nothing, and she worked her butt off to get me everything I ever wanted. Her independence, motivation, and sensitivity are so important to me. I grew up with such a strong support system that I was never made to feel unattractive or not good enough.”
5. She’s Becca’s first-ever spokesperson
In January 2020, Ferreira revealed the latest string to her bow: the title of cosmetic brand Becca’s first-ever spokesperson. Although the brand has collaborated with the likes of Chrissy Teigen and Jaclyn Hill in the past, their partnership with Ferreira is on a whole different scale, and its one the model herself is clearly thrilled by. “It’s my actual dream to collaborate on this level with a makeup brand,” she shared with Byrdie. “And Becca makes such iconic, high-quality products. I don’t think anyone else compares to it.”
6. She’s got a huge Juul pod habit
Since quitting smoking, Ferreira has replaced cigarettes with Juul pods — and found herself just as addicted. Despite having cravings for the Virginia tobacco flavor Juuls in particular, she’s trying hard to kick her new habit “I’m actually trying to quit my Juul because it’s really bad for you,” she told Interview magazine. “I used to smoke cigarettes, and I’m not condoning it for people who haven’t smoked cigarettes before. My mom smoked in my face as a newborn so it’s just kind of like this generational thing and I’m trying to quit it.”
7. She’s directed a music video
In 2018, Ferreira added a new credit to her already lengthy resume when she directed the music video for “So Cool” by Dounia. The video marked the model’s first foray into directing, an intimidating experience but one she found so much the easier by the people she had around her. “From MUA to cast to the DP, everyone was someone I admired and they were such troopers through the hecticness of it all,” she told Dazed.
8. Don’t call her plus size
When Ferreira first started gaining attention as a model, people were only too keen to stick her with the term “plus-size”. Despite being proud to represent the fuller sized woman, it’s a term the model herself rejects, as she told WM Magazine. “I don’t really like it. I think they have that term because people like to put everything in little boxes,” she explained. “Plus-size modeling, I think, is an unnecessary term. We are going to get the jobs we are going to get that we usually wouldn’t in the near future. At one point, I think it’s just going to be modeling.”
9. She’s proud to be a role model
When Ferreira first started modeling, she was still struggling with body dysmorphia issues. Since then, she’s become one of the body acceptance movement’s most active proponents, with an influence that can’t be overestimated. Her role in helping young girls accept themselves is something she’s incredibly proud of, as she explained to Teen Vogue. “Knowing that girls are inspired to not have the burden of self-hate, even if it’s a tiny way, makes me happy to no end,” she shared. “It gets me up in the morning and softens a lot of the blows I get. We’re in it together.”
10. Her 2020 resolution is to learn to drive
She may have conquered the modeling world, social media, and TV, but there’s still one area Ferreira hasn’t managed to dominate — the roads. Despite taking her test on several occasions, the New York native still hasn’t managed to pass…. although if she succeeds in her 2020 resolution, that license might be coming sooner rather than later.