Meet the real-life Elastigirl – the ‘bendiest girl in the world’ – who can bend her spine in half BACKWARDS and contort her body into all sorts of weird and wonderful shapes.
Liberty Barros,12, first realised she had the special talent while watching popstar Rihanna bending backwards in a music video.
She tried the stunt herself, then aged just ten – and suddenly realised she’d bent so far her head was touching her bottom.
Parents Raam, 32, an ex-teacher, and Elisette, 33, who home-schools the children, were amazed at their daughter’s natural talent, and have helped her hone it so she now rivals contortionists worldwide.
Thought to be the ‘world’s youngest and bendiest contortionist’, Liberty has travelled to Thailand, Hollywood, Kuala Lumpur and Portugal to perform her impressive skills – which are completely self-taught.
Liberty, from Pine Wood, London, said: “It was such a strange feeling at first.
“I’ve seen contortionists being pulled and twisted into position, and it looks really scary.
“I’m completely the opposite – my body just naturally falls into place.”
Dad Raam, Liberty’s manager, said: “It wasn’t until I took her to an acrobatics class and she was more flexible than the professional acrobats that I realised how incredibly talented she is.
“It’s mad what she can do – no one else can do it.”
Liberty was just 10 when she first demonstrated her impressive backbend to parents Raam and Elisette.
“It all started a few years ago when I saw Rihanna bending back in a music video on YouTube and wondered if I could do that,” Liberty said.
“I tried to copy her and bent myself back and back, and suddenly realised that my head was touching my bottom. It was such a strange feeling.”
Her head went all the way back and touched her bottom with ease – and Raam knew they needed to get her signed up for gymnastics or acrobatics.
But neither of those seemed to fit her talents, as she outperformed the flexibility of everyone in the classes – even the tutors.
“She wasn’t being taught anything, she could just do it,” Raam said.
After making an Instagram account for his daughter, Raam uploaded a video or two – only to be contacted to ask if Liberty could travel to Thailand to perform.
The family knew this was an opportunity not to be missed, and sold belongings including their cars and furniture, in order to afford the trip for the whole family – including Liberty’s younger siblings Alyssa, 11, and Mathis, nine – to travel across the world to Thailand.
“We knew we had to give her this opportunity,” Raam said.
“When she performed in Thailand , even the monks came and said she has a liberated soul.”
Following the first performance in Thailand, Liberty was contacted by a professional children’s circus in Hollywood, as well as interest from shows in Kuala Lumpur and Portugal.
Now 12, the talented youngster works on stretches and cardio-vascular exercises every day, and has a special diet including lots of fruit and vegetables, meat-substitutes like Quorn, and lots of nuts and beans.
She trains for four hours a day, and is home-schooled by Elisette because she can’t cope with sitting still in classrooms for too long.
Her extreme flexibility allows her to combine three styles of technique: calisthenics – exercises that don’t rely on anything but a person’s own body weight – isolation dance and contortion.
With so few people across the globe with similar talent to the youngster, Liberty has made up most of her moves herself, by challenging her body and seeing where it takes her.
She has named most of the moves, including the Liberty Lowdown, the Barros Bounce, Heads and Tails and the Pancake.
Even with the distraction of pursuing worldwide fame for her unique talent, Liberty has still found time to take her GCSE Maths more than four years early, scoring top marks.
Raam quit his job as a primary teacher to become her full-time manager as job offers pour in from across the world.
“We’ve seen hundreds of children who can do gymnastics, but Liberty is the bendiest girl in the world,” said Raam.
“Doctors don’t know why she can do this, but they keep saying they would love to x-ray her while she’s bent double – just so they can see what’s going on inside her.”
Next on the agenda for superstar Liberty is the Liberty Barros Show – where she hopes to work alongside performers across the globe to showcase her unique talent and inspire children worldwide to follow their dreams.
“We couldn’t be prouder of her,” Raam said.
“It’s quite something for a child to be so unique – Liberty really is special.”