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Style Feature – KenBarbie of RVA and Cosmetic Line ‘For Pretty Bitches’

I’esha GaptoothDiva interviews KenBarbie Richmond LGBT Personality and Cosmetic Line Creator

I’esha GaptoothDiva interviews KenBarbie Richmond LGBT Personality and Cosmetic Line CreatorKenBarbie says the name is about confidence and positivity within yourself. KenBarbie explains, “Barbie lives in a world of plastic fantasy, where she can do anything, live life at its fullest, and not have to focus on the negativity of others or that the world itself can bring. Which is the way that I prefer to live my life. That’s where the name came from.” KenBarbie says he always had an obsession with Barbie dolls ever since he was a kid (much to his parent’s dismay) as well as the message that she represented as he grew older. He did go through a dark time, based on personal experiences where his confidence level was not at the level where it should’ve been. So Ken took time to learn about himself, find himself, and strictly focus on both his needs and wants. He says it is from there that the name KenBarbie was born.

KenBarbie describes getting his brand started as a process as well. Ever since he was a kid, he was always opinionated and outspoken. “I’ve also always been fascinated by music, pop culture, and just the entertainment world in general. So in school when most kids were focusing on their latest crush or athletic event, I was in my computer reading up on who’s topping the music charts, who’s making waves, and even studying celebrity Wikipedia pages”.

“I always knew I wanted to do something to showcase my passion for the industry but I never knew how to go about it. So to make a long story short, you never really understand the power of social networking until you use it the right way. So, I utilized Facebook & Twitter just networking and showcasing my own little brand of sarcasm and opinions, filled with one-liners and catchphrases that people really seemed to latch on to.”

“So recognizing that I had an obvious support base, who followed me and my craziness faithfully, I decided I was going to use that to go for my dream, benefit from my passion, and itsKenBarbie.com/itsKenBarbie LLC was born…”

I’esha GaptoothDiva interviews KenBarbie Richmond LGBT Personality and Cosmetic Line Creator

With so many people attempting to make a name for themselves utilizing their talents, Ken Barbie says that he has had more obstacles than he would like to share. “ I actually still have some that require things I’m still developing as an adult, like patience and self-control, but one of the most memorable obstacles that I’m proud of overcoming is just the stigma of what you have to be in order to display your talents to a mainstream non-segregated audience. Starting out I had to constantly fight the stereotypes based upon my sexuality, those that would assume that an effeminate black gay male would not appeal to both a gay and straight audience of both sexes. About three years ago, you would probably be better off getting a club promoter to allow an animal farm to be raised in the middle of his event before booking a gay guy named KenBarbie to host his predominately straight event.

I’esha GaptoothDiva interviews KenBarbie Richmond LGBT Personality and Cosmetic Line Creator

However, I took everything on and began establishing myself on my own terms in all communities by using my website (itsKenBarbie.com), radio show (The P Show), television show (Dirty Landry), and even the clothing line under terms that would make them accessible and relatable to everyone. Now you can even find me on flyers for clubs which are known for all heterosexual crowds, the televisions of some of the most homophobic guys, and so and so on. I never wanted to be your stereotypical “gay personality” or “gay icon,” I just wanted to relate to all audiences and share my interests and experiences with the masses. Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of who I am and I still have to deal with this obstacle from time to time, but it’s all about working under your terms and proving the doubters wrong with your work.”

When it comes to KenBarbie’s style, he has a few must have that he does not leave home without. He explains, “I must have my shades, to shade the classless. No, I’m kidding. But seriously, I never have been able to leave home without a great pair of sunglasses. Night, day, whatever I’m going to have them on me even if I’m not wearing them at the given moment. It’s one of those things where you never know when you might need them, so you have to keep it on you. I have this one really big obnoxious pair that I love, everyone calls them my diva shades because they’re quite dramatic. Oh, and I also have to have a bag at all times. I call it my “murse” (combination of man-purse). It’s just where I can keep everything that I may need, the shades as we just talked about, fragrances, mirrors, hell I may even have a change of outfit in there. It’s just handy and a must have if you stay on the go.”

So are there any trends and/or styles that KenBarbie absolutely despise? Of course there are, the opinionated personality says, “Oh my gosh, without a doubt…anything GLITTER! I think it’s awful. I think that glitter should only be sold to minors, or people with children. Seriously, it belongs on construction paper, children’s birthday cards, some select nail polishes, and maybe drag queens. Oh, it is also acceptable for fun events like, Halloween or Mardi gras. But other than that, no! If you just have to sparkle, try body shimmer, but just say no to glitter or don’t touch me, that mess takes forever to wash off.”

I’esha GaptoothDiva interviews KenBarbie Richmond LGBT Personality and Cosmetic Line Creator

Considering the career path KenBarbie has chosen, it’s surprising to learn that he suffers from social anxiety disorder. In the entertainment industry the requirement is almost always the ability to be social and to network with other people, However KenBarbie expounds on this issue, “This is something I’ve never really shared and it’s not only because it’s a bit personal but because it’s just as much surprising. When I first really started getting in to my career, I really had to come to terms with my social anxiety disorder. It’s ironic, because of the career path that I’ve chosen, I’m basically required to be a bit of a social butterfly, but growing up and especially preparing myself for the entertainment world, and it was really difficult. Basically (for those unaware) social anxiety is like…getting BAD nerves or experiencing some kind of worry or fear in an extremely social situation or when you’re under scrutiny, judgment, getting unwanted attention, etc. It was difficult because the incidents would be so erratic and unpredictable that people find it hard to believe that I even had this disorder. One minute I’d be having cocktails, laughing and doing a flirty shimmy with my friends, the next, I’d be a complete bitch, aggravated, needing space, and blank staring anyone who is looking in my direction.”

“No one knew I was dealing with it coming up, because I was embarrassed. So I had to do it on my own. It made me stronger, as cliché as it sounds. And now I can help other people who struggle with it. Which is also why I’m deciding to share now. It’s really all about finding comfort in yourself, once you’re secure in who you are, and it’s real, there’s no situation or person who can disturb that comfort zone.”

KenBarbie doesn’t have any favorite designers, brands, or icons when it comes to fashion and style. He says that people are often surprised when they go out shopping with him because he’s not very trendy.

“I’m not very fashionable, I’m a lot more laid back in terms of trends. I just have an eye for what I like, it’s like accidental style. I try to stay away from anything overly trendy or excessively commercial, some things are cool to look at it on other people, but just wouldn’t be me. I stay away from things too busy, or too many colors, lol. I don’t pull that stuff off too well. But big chunky gold and gaudy jewelry I will always LOVE. Whether it’s trendy or not! And black. I love wearing black. It looks clean. But with that being said, I don’t have favorite designers, brands, etc. because I’m more of a pieces person.”

Many of you already know that KenBarbie recently started a cosmetic brand ‘For Pretty Bitches’ by KenBarbie, one of which he has promoted heavily and worked diligently on. KenBarbie discusses what inspired him, “Well, I think from the very beginning it was obvious that my core support base is definitely female, but I’m fortunate to that be of all ages. I wanted to do something that would promote exactly what my brand is about, positivity and confidence but specifically geared towards women. When you have to have groups/sites/movements, to empower and bring women (specifically black women) together, then you know a certain ethic has been lost. So I felt like with my next venture it was important to do something that would give back help bring a sense of confidence not only to women who have lost it but just a general positive to a sex where these days you normally see them tearing each other down, being competitive instead of supportive, choosing their boyfriend over their best friend, etc. So I felt like ‘For Pretty Bitches’ by KenBarbie was the perfect way to do that. Nothing I do is only for me, it’s always something deeper and a message to follow, and that’s what I want people to keep in mind.”

“Even the name, using the word ‘bitches,’ is a conversation point. Of course so many people frown upon the term and it’s sometimes negative connotation, but I believe while words have power, it’s as much power as you give them. So even with the name, we’re changing negative stereotypes and challenging the norm head on. I launched back in June my first set of lipstick shades, each one based on my various quotes and phrases that my supporters have come to know, and as we grow in the future, I will continue to play on that but also getting into more products outside of lipstick and a couple of different surprises along the way. There’s definitely quite a few interesting things in development for the line. I’m excited.”

I’esha GaptoothDiva interviews KenBarbie Richmond LGBT Personality and Cosmetic Line Creator

So with all that he has going on, KenBarbie has time to drop a few gems for those building their brands and wanting to walk into their dreams full speed. KenBarbie says, “Basically that it’s ok to embrace tradition, but you don’t have to follow it if it’s not right for you. Don’t worry about being misunderstood. Because when people don’t understand something, they usually judge it. Stay away from judgment and any advice that isn’t sincere. It’s too easy to get discouraged now a days. And it’s usually from people who use their choices in life to bully other people into thinking that their way is the correct way to live. If you like what you do, be the best at it, make money off it, and be proud of it. Don’t worry about social status, or what lane you should be in. Labels are for clothes and canned food.”

Check out KenBarbie at ItsKenBarbie.com

Facebook.com/itsKenBarbie

Twitter: @itsKenBarbie

Instagram: OfficialKenBarbie

All of pieces from Ken’s clothing and cosmetics lines are exclusively available at itsKenBarbie.com

His show ‘Dirty Laundry’ can be viewed in its third season early next year, while past episodes can be viewed at itsKenBarbie.com or YouTube/2thepshow

Photographs courtesy of Kevyn DoubleOseven and Tony Glenn of DreamCatchers Inc.

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About I'esha GaptoothDiva (521 Articles)
Media Personality, Writer, Plus Size Model & Thrift/Vintage Aficionado - I'esha GaptoothDiva is the Baddest Creative Motivation. Inspiring people through raw and motivational testimonies from her own life experiences and the journey's of others, she aims to empower supporters to live their best life and accept their talents and flaws. With no fear and lots of confidence, she takes on the world of fashion, music, culture, and lifestyle. Follow her on www.Twitter.com/GaptoothDiva for the latest and check out her official website http://www.GaptoothDiva.com

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