Welcome to the Dollhouse: A Conversation with Human Barbie, Nannette Hammond
In pursuit of my Human Ken interview, I started reaching out to Human Barbie candidates. This proved to be trickier than expected. With most of them located in Russia, there was a slight language barrier, though I did have a breakthrough with one—but more on that next week. To complicate things even worse, many of the Human Barbies wanted compensation for an interview, which I politely explained wasn't our jam, or they were picky about what we could talk about. "Which questions will be asked during the interview?" one potential candidate asked me. Well, isn't that what the interview is for in the first place?
With her warm personality, Nannette Hammond proved to be the saving grace of the category. I emailed her to set up an interview, and not long after I sent out my request, she did me one better—she called me back. After being ghosted a handful of times before this point, it was a very welcome surprise. Hammond's story is definitely an interesting one. She lives in Cincinnati and is a mother of five. Not long after allowing her daughter to get an Instagram account, Nannette got her own, and her "Human Barbie" image was born. Her fanbase grew particularly big in the U.K., so much so that the Daily Mail flew out to Ohio to photograph Hammond in her real-world Barbie Dream House, complete with a dressing room and pink convertible. Talk about living your best life. Still, she remains pretty grounded, which was evident in her humorous, candid tone as we joked about Cincinnati chili—they do this thing in Cincinnati where they put chili on spaghetti, and it pretty much sounds like the stuff dreams are made of. She may not be a real Barbie, but with her whole "you do you " attitude, she's probably the realest. Scroll down to read our Q&A in full below.
Can you tell me about your childhood? What was it like growing up?
I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and basically lived here my whole life. I was blessed with two amazing grandparents that basically raised me and I lived a pretty blessed upbringing. I liked Cincinnati and we have a lot of friends and family here, and that was pretty much it.
What are your reactions to being called a Living Barbie? Was that something you were going for, or did it just kind of happen?
I guess how it all became what it is today was with my daughter. I told her that she could have one social media account, so she picked Instagram. I got on that as well—I had never even done Facebook before, but I did that, and before you know it, the UK was very interested in my lifestyle and me. The Daily Mail came to my home for two days and they took pictures and videos of me and the kids, then it went viral. I wasn’t planning on any of this by any means, but it is what it is, and I feel like on my Instagram, I always say positive things. You know, to love yourself, love your body, and just be yourself.
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Was Barbie always a reference point?
When I was little, I did play with Barbies a lot. I just thought Barbie was beautiful and I changed my hair color to platinum blonde about 12 to 15 years ago. I liked the blonde, and with my plastic surgeries and stuff like that—I started plastic surgery in my 20s. I had a breast augmentation, and it all kind of went from there. I never wanted to look like Barbie or anything like that, I just sort of enhanced what I had, and had fillers, Botox, hair extensions, eyebrows and all of that.
I just started changing different things here and there starting in my 20s because I was a nurse for a plastic surgeon. I got a lot of perks from that, and when you’re working in that field and you see the pre-op and post-op results, it’s really amazing the changes that can occur with your face, breasts, or anything else. I’m all for that. I’m all for anything that makes you happy and every person is their own. If you don’t like it, then move on. I can’t stand people who are negative, and I live a blessed life, and it’s mine, so that’s that.
That was actually one of my next questions—how do you deal with or respond to people who are negative toward you?
I never, ever respond to anything negative on my posts. I just won’t do that, but it’s funny, because my followers who are friends of mine will come at them and sort of take care of that for me. I’ll be honest with you – it doesn’t faze me at all. It really doesn’t. I could care less. You could say anything to my face and it doesn’t faze me. I try to always be the bigger person, and I teach my kids that as well. One thing I’m grateful for is that they go to a private school, and each kid probably has only 25 people in their class, and never once have they ever been bullied about what I’m doing. I tell them, if they ever see a post that has something negative, we overlook that and we’re better than that. People are just mean, and if they say something bad about me, then they’re just miserable in their own lives. My kids get that.
It’s a good lesson because I feel like especially now, kids are super-immersed in social media.
Absolutely. They’re very supportive and I’m very lucky. I have to tell you, my kids are great and they are my world. I live in a huge house—we have 10 bedrooms and 9 bathrooms, but I clean the whole thing myself. I don’t have maids. I don’t have a nanny, I don’t have any of that. I enjoy waking up in the morning with my children, making them breakfast, driving them to school, picking them up, doing homework, then cooking dinner. It’s very orderly in my house. I don’t even have laundry baskets in my house, because we get same-day service. We have 3 washing machines, and I’m constantly on the go, but it all works.
The Instagram thing is an extra perk—I like it because the people are really nice and they like me. I feel good when people will DM me and say thank you or say something positive, and it’s like, at the end of the day, I’m just a mom. I’m just like everyone else, you know? I give time when time permits to answer people and everything like that.
It’s pretty refreshing that you’re so open about procedures you’ve had done.
I mean, I just don’t care. (laughs) I have nothing to hide and I am who I am. I think that’s one thing my husband fell in love with—I say what’s on my mind, and I don’t hold back. You know, I tell my kids the truth and I’m very open and upfront with people. I think that especially with my kids, you have to have that communication with the. Your kids need to feel comfortable with you, and I don’t want them lying to me about anything, regardless of the situation, so I try to be honest. My husband always says, you can’t judge a book by its cover, and I think that’s true because you can’t with me. You look at me and perceive this or that, like I spend money and shop every day, but I don’t. I do it all myself.
Did you have any problems with anything you’ve tried?
Oh no, thank god for that. I have a few doctors I like, I kind of give everyone a shot. I go to different ones for different things.
Is there anything you’d like to get done?
Oh yeah. I tell my husband I’m aging gracefully, and I’m thinking about actually getting a butt implant. I don’t know when—I went for a consult a few months ago in California and the doctor was really great. We would do the smallest implant they carry, and it wouldn’t be anything too crazy. I work out and everything, but I don’t have a butt, really.
What is your fitness routine like?
We have a gym at home, so I’ll do some cardio, spinning, light weights, things like that. I take walks with the kids as well. My son tries to go in there, and I’m like why would you want to be in here? Everything is pink!
Is everything in your closet basically pink?
Not completely, I have a lot of pink but a lot of bright, different colors as well.
If one of your kids wanted to do an aesthetic treatment or procedure, what would your reaction be?
I’ve already said to them that when they come of age, around 18, I’m for it. If something bothers them, then it’s fine if they want to fix it. Absolutely, I’m for that because I want to make my children feel the best that they can feel, and if they’re self-conscious about anything, I would support that.
Can you take me through your beauty routine?
You will crack up when I tell you what I did—I watch all those things on Instagram, and I swear it looks like a mask on their face when they do all those lines, but I don’t have time for that. I’ll get up and I don’t really have a skin regimen, I use Olay on my face, do foundation and powder, some bronzer. I got microblading on my eyebrows, which is awesome because I don’t have to mess with those, and then I have eyelash extensions. I get ready pretty quickly because of that. I don’t think I do a bad job! (laughs)
You mentioned you had hair extensions—does that take any special care? What is your hair routine like?
I’ll be honest, they’re pretty easy for me. I don’t have to wash my hair that much because of them, and my hair doesn’t get too oily, so basically, I could go four days without washing my hair. They’re easy to maintain.
The Daily Mail mentioned you had a tanning bed in your house. Can you talk a little about that?
I do have a tanning bed in my house, but I actually don’t use it anymore. After I saw The Doctors show about skin cancer, I stopped. I get yearly exams to make sure everything is fine, so now, I just get spray-tanned and it works really well for me.
Do you have any favorite products you’re liking at the moment?
I love MAC—anything MAC, I love using. I mean, if you saw my vanity with all my makeup and all my things, you would just die. I’m really into my makeup, and it’s fun. I’ll do my daughters’ makeup and their friends’ makeup for prom and homecoming. I’ve always loved it, and my stepmom was a makeup artist for Lancome for a while. I think I got into it at a young age because of that. I thought it was really cool and I liked the way she did her makeup.
My girls have so much fun in my makeup room, but I have a lock on my door so when I go out of town, I lock everything up because when they go in there, they mess up things, or they want to try on some of the jewelry I have in there, so I have to keep things on lockdown. (laughs) It’s only me and my husband who can get into that room, but it’s funny because we went on vacation about 3 weeks ago, and we have this kitten. We couldn’t find her and I was like, I’m not shutting my doors because we have to find the cat first. It turned out the cat was in my closet, and thank the lord that we found her because she would have been stuck in there unless we broke down that door.
Your husband sounds very sweet. Can you tell me a little about him?
Oh yeah, he’s amazing. We are so open and honest and he understands me. We’re good for each other because I’m more in your face and—I’ll give you an example. When it comes to negotiating cars and even things that go on in my home, he’s more like, we’ll pay the full amount, whereas I’m like, are you kidding me, I could save us $5,000! I’m more aggressive with things, but it works for us. With me, I’m feisty, but I fight for what I love, and I don’t ever want to be messed around, and I want to make sure everything is fair. No one ever has anything bad to say about Dave, because he’s a great guy. He loves me, he’s a great father, and he’s my world. I mean, I could cry right now just talking about him. He’s just the best person ever, and I know I’m probably not the easiest person to get along with sometimes, I’m not perfect, but he’s so patient. I’ve never seen anyone with patience like him. He loves me for who I am, and he doesn’t agree with the fillers and Botox and all that, but he always says, if that’s what you want to do and it will make you happy, then do it. I think it’s great because there are so many of my friends who have to hide and lie about that stuff with their husbands, but I just can’t imagine being in a relationship like that.
What is your philosophy on beauty?
I think with beauty, people always say you’re fake, you’re not real, but I am me. Beauty comes from the inside, and I feel confident. I love my body, and I’m not perfect by any means. I have flaws just like everybody else. I’m all about loving yourself and being yourself. I think the body is a beautiful thing—I might be a little risqué in some of my pictures, but that’s me, and I’m not offending anyone. I do it tastefully, and I’m confident even walking around with no makeup on. I don’t have to have it on 24/7 and I’m not one of those moms who has to have makeup on to walk out of the house. I don’t care. I’ll go into school and I am who I am. You know, with moms and everything else—it is what it is, you can talk and say whatever, but I’m not changing anything. Who wants to do the same things and be the same way? That’s boring to me. I probably act younger than my kids sometimes, but age is just a number. I’m 42 years young and I still feel like I’m in my 30s or 20s. I mean, what the hell am I supposed to feel like at 42? Am I supposed to act a certain way or wear certain things? I’m not—that just isn’t me nor will it ever be.
What’s next for you?
I have something coming! You’ll have to tune in—I can’t say much about it yet! Some people contacted me around the time you did, and it was really amazing and crazy, so we’ll see where that leads us. I’m pretty pumped up about it.