Celeste Barber — who rose to fame by recreating and poking fun at celebrity and model Instagram photos — says it’s “kind of nice to cut through” the impossible standards of the beauty and fashion industry.
“I realized that there were all these kinds of images being put out there, that were sold off as being normal and every day,” Barber, 40, tells WM Leader of getting her start back in 2015.
She explains that while there’s a space for art and editorial in magazines, on social media it’s a different story.
“When you bought a magazine you knew, oh that’s Cindy Crawford being Cindy Crawford but on social media, it got sold as, ‘this is what everyone looks like,’ and I was like, ‘no, I don’t reckon that’s how people really look,’ or ‘I know I don’t look like that,’ so I did a piss-take on it.”
“It’s a look at celebrity culture, the beauty industry, the fashion industry, multibillion-dollar body-shaming industry so it’s just kind of nice to cut through that a bit,” she adds.
Since starting her series, Barber has garnered millions of fans, including Cindy Crawford, Naomi Watts, Bella Hadid, Halle Berry, Gwyneth Paltrow and Drew Barrymore.
She even collaborated in comedy videos with Tom Ford that featured the designer teaching Barber how to walk in his shows while she tries to steal some of the clothes in her bag. The video played at the afterparty of Ford’s runway show at New York Fashion Week.
The “Letdown” actress says that celebs realize she’s not making fun of them in particular but the industry as a whole.
“They understand it’s a look at something bigger than the individual,” she noted. “The world that they’re in … it’s cutting through the industry, you’re not taking it too seriously.”
Barber added that many people have approached her sharing that they “feel represented” and “seen.”
“But I think the success that I’ve had is that I’m funny … My goal is first and foremost to make someone laugh,” she explained. “You make someone laugh and then we all kind of even out. That’s always been my goal, to make people laugh.”
The mom of two is currently making people laugh while touring the United States with her standup act, “Fine, Thanks.” Not along for the ride is her handsome husband, Api Robin, who often appears as her partner in crime.
“He’s really f–kingly annoyingly hot,” Barber complained. “Twenty years we’ve been together but I still do have moments where I’m like, ‘Jesus!’
“I’m a very nondescript looking person, I can go incognito without people knowing who I am, but if I’m with him, people will spot him because he’s so beautiful and go, ‘Omg where is she?’ Even though I’m right next to him. Bastard, that annoys me.”
Celeste shares two sons, Lou and Buddy, with Robin. She is also stepmom to Robin’s daughters, Kyah and Sahra.