“I never say I'm trans because trans means transitioning and I’m all woman from head to toe, inside and out, in between and back,” says Thalia Almodovar, the breakout star from VH1 Beauty Bar, a new reality show that follows an eclectic group of hairstylists and makeup artists from the Inwood, Manhattan hotspot HOUSE OF DOLLS BY HENRY. “The world has always tried to label me but I don’t,” she continues. “This is who I am when I wake up and when I go to bed. This is who I’ve been since I was a child."
Thalia’s led a private life until now. It all changed last month when VH1 released the first trailer of VH1 Beauty Bar. Since then, Thalia has had to contend with an onslaught of scrutiny and some unfair judgement from social media and several media outlets, alleging she has intentionally created herself to mimic Kim Kardashian. “While I love Kim’s style and think she's a beautiful woman and I’m incredibly flattered to be compared to her, people need to know that I would never spend a dime to live my life being someone else. I’ve lived a life where I was forced to be an unauthentic self. I would never repeat that again. I love who I am today and the only person I want to resemble is myself.”
“Our show combines people from different religions, races, and sexual orientations for a full on sexy display of drama and glamour that is packed with surprises.”
According to VH1, Thalia is the center of attention who commands the beauty scene with her looks and makeup expertise. Using his own face as a canvas, Kevin is known for his flamboyant makeover magic that has significantly grown his social media following and clientele. Master colorist Vee is a former bottle girl who hopes to one day own a salon. Notik is the resident barber who constantly draws in new clients to stay ahead of the game. New to the salon are hairstylists Princess, who is determined to prove herself as a top “weave-ologist,” and her best friend Rell, the shop’s loctician (dreadlock specialist). Owner Henry runs a tight ship as he manages the salon and day-to-day operations alongside his business partner Tess.
“We’re all the sh*t,” explains Thalia. “We give our clients an experience no other salon in the city can and we party while doing it. It doesn’t get better than that. We’re all talented but honestly, no one at HOUSE OF DOLLS BY HENRY defines Inwood as much as I do. I am the queen of this town,” she declares.
Whether or not she can be a role model for the transgender community is up in the air. “I look at someone like transgender rights activist Janet Mock who is flawless, strong, classy, smart and an amazing author with a beautiful story and I’m not sure I can be the spokesperson she is. My God-given talents are in make-up and stirring drama and I think, perhaps seeing me on TV will be enough to help another kid in the LGBTQ community find pride in their true self.”
“I act tough because I am and because I’ve had to be and maybe someone out there will find they can relate to that.”
Thalia admits she likely comes off as the villain on VH1 Beauty Bar, but sees no problem in it. “I grew up watching Spanish soap operas and the villain always has the most fun,” she laughs. “Honestly, though, I'm a sweetheart once you get to know me.”