Barbie Ferreira is just one of the stars of HBO’s latest hit series Euphoria, and now, the actress has opened up to Glamour about playing the role of Kat, along with the importance of seeing confident, well-rounded plus-size characters on-screen.
“A lot of the auditions I get are very stereotypical plus-size roles where either she’s very insecure or one-dimensional,” Barbie said. “So when I read the sides for [Kat], I had to really take a moment. I called my agent and said, ‘It’s like they’re in my head.’ It was a fully developed character. I related to her so much.”
“There’s a lack of complexity to plus-size characters a lot of times,” Ferreira says. “People are hating on Kat right now, which I totally understand, because I don’t think anyone in the show is one-dimensional, flat, or un-flawed. That’s kind of the point,” said Barbie, whose character starts off shy and insecure and later re-claims her sexuality and becomes more jaded,
“Yes, of course Kat’s body-shaming has happened and influences her, but it doesn’t take up the entire narrative,” she said. “Having a character that isn’t perfect and is making mistakes and has her own storyline in a show—we need to have more of that, where people aren’t caricatures of themselves. They are full human beings and their identities aren’t necessarily at the forefront of all their problems.”
Barbie also revealed that she appreciates Euphoria for creating a new kind of visibility around plus-sized characters.
“I don’t really see a lot of fat girls who are hot and secure in themselves on film and TV,” she said. “I think it’s always, ‘Here’s a best friend who’s funny’ or you’re just the joke. As an aspiring actress at, like, 10, 11, 12, I would look at movies and TV shows and just not see that I could be a character who is dynamic and has layers.”
“As a kid, it was really horrible, but I had this toxic mindset of, ‘I have to lose weight to be an actor, to be taken seriously, Euphoria gave me confidence that it’s possible there are people who see it that way, like I do.”
However, Barbie knows there’s still a long way to go when it comes to representation.
“I think there needs to be a reflection in people of color who are bigger and trans women who are bigger,” she said. “I’m this white girl. My body is proportioned in whatever way society thinks is redeemable. I’m not the end-all of all representation, but hopefully [Euphoria] will start the conversation. Fat people are everywhere. It’s not just models who have skinny faces and have thick bodies. It’s different body shapes, different body sizes. I hope to see more of that.”
You can read Barbie’s full interview here!
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