The dramatic first season of VH1’s Beauty Bar is coming to a close with this week’s finale, so NewNowNext sat down with makeup artist Thalia Almodovar, one of the breakout stars of the series, and talked about being trans and what advice she has for the young members of the LGBT community who have reached out to her.
How has the fan reaction been this season?
Honestly, I got a lot of positive reactions, but I’m not a hundred dollar bill so not everyone’s gonna love me. But overall the LGBT community has really reached out to me. I’ve always been very private about my life, so it’s new to me to get this kind of recognition from the community because I’ve never really spoken about my past before.
How does it feel to be one of the faces of the LGBT community on TV?
It feels good. At first it was a little nerve-wracking. I was nervous because I didn’t know how people were going to react. I didn’t want everyone in my business because unfortunately society still judges and doesn’t get [being trans]. Especially in my community, the Spanish community, it’s still a little bit taboo.
They are still understanding what being trans means. It was scary and difficult, but now I’m warming up to it and what really makes me happy is when some trans girls write to me and say: “I really look up to you. I wanna do what you did.” I don’t feel like I’m transitioning anymore because I already had my sexual reassignment surgery, so I feel like I’m a full woman. A modern, full woman. But I’m never going to deny the fact that I did transition.
What’s some of the advice you have given to young members of the LGBT community?
A lot of the girls who have reached out to me feel like they cant do it [come out as trans], or they are nervous about what people might think. I just tell them don’t live anyone else’s life, live your own life, believe in yourself, stay focused. If you respect yourself, then people respect you. It’s all in how you carry yourself as a trans girl.
Have you witnessed being trans becoming more acceptable in the Spanish community?
It’s baby steps, but I see there is a change and more people are accepting it.
What do you think was the most dramatic moment in the season so far?
I think the most dramatic moment was the argument me and Rell had. I understand Rell was trying to defend his best friend [Princess], but I felt betrayed and disrespected. I felt like I had to defend myself just like I do in real life all the time because people love to shit on us [trans] girls, so I’m really careful with who I trust.
It was a hard moment because I know Rell likes me as a person, but he has to be loyal to his friend. It was never a race thing at all. I don’t consider myself a white woman, so I am also a minority. It was never a racial thing. It was just two people bumping heads like two regular individuals.
Can you tease what’s coming up in the season finale?
There is going to be more drama and more arguments… but we resolve our problems. At the end of the day we are family, and we work together every day.
Beauty Bar airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on VH1.