You may know her best as Kat Hernandez on Euphoria, but the truth is that Barbie Ferreira has been spreading the word about body positivity for quite some time now, serving as an advocate for plus-size girls and women long before the HBO series came onto her radar. But now, thanks to her role on Euphoria, Barbie Ferreira's platform is stronger than ever and getting the opportunity to introduce fans to a new type of confident female character has been a dream come true. In fact, she'd even go so far as to say that it makes her feel as though she's hit the jackpot in life.
“It’s like I won the lottery,” Ferreira revealed in the latest cover story for them. “Because you don’t get fat girl roles where you’re allowed to explore sexuality, where you’re not just the tragic, dowdy, chubby girl.” And it's true. All too often plus-sized characters get shoved to the sidelines in narratives, serving only as the supportive best friend and given just one defining characteristic: her weight. But Kat is different and refuses to be pigeonholed into such a tired TV trope.
Viewers first come to know Kat as Maddy's sarcastic friend, but after she soon loses her virginity at a party — only to learn later on that the guy had not only recorded the private moment without her consent, but then proceeded to send to her classmates — everything changes. At first she's mortified and embarrassed over what happened, but once she sees that many of the comments online are positive she realizes how good that kind of validation made her feel. So she seeks to find it again and again by becoming a masked online dominatrix.
As her praise and popularity continue to grow, so does her confidence. In fact, she undergoes a complete fashion makeover full of chokers, fishnets, and dark eye makeup. As time goes on, she develops more real-life sexual experiences and becomes more and more comfortable in her own skin — not because she tries to change how her body looks by losing weight — but because she learns to love herself as she is.
It's take time for Kat to get to that point of having a healthy relationship with her body and sex, but that's because society has made the world think that women need to look a certain way in order to be considered attractive. But what Ferreira loves most about Kat is how complex she is as an individual that extends far beyond her outward appearance.
“Everyone’s identity has so many facets; so many things influence the way you make decisions,” she explained to the outlet, adding:
“It’s hard to just talk about one thing all the time. I’m feeling really great about maybe never having to talk about my body like that anymore, or having to market my body as my only thing. I don’t want it to happen again with my sexuality. I love being queer. I love being fat. I love being Brazilian. I love being from New York. [All my identities] are what make me Barbie.”
And we love her for being all those things. Never change.