RFT Asks

Meet Onnabubarbie: The Warrior Geisha Barbie Influencer Taking Over St. Louis

On a chilly Monday afternoon, the grounds of the Gateway Arch are barren. But at the far eastern end of the park, atop the steps that lead to the lower riverfront, a bedazzled woman in a red sequined dress cuts through the gloom. She poses in front of a selfie light as two adults and a young girl surround her taking pictures. This is Onnabubarbie, a self-proclaimed “warrior geisha” and Barbie influencer with a large following on Instagram and Stereo. She explains that she’s here with her godparents and goddaughter to take photos for social media in the town where she grew up.

We interrupted Onnabubarbie’s photo shoot for a brief conversation about St. Louis, coming home, and looking fabulous even when it’s 34 degrees outside. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Tell me about your outfit.

This is probably something I’ve had in my closet for the last six years. We tried to put a theme together and I grew up loving Jessica Rabbit. So this is a little bit of Betty Boop and Jessica Rabbit.

Aren’t you freezing right now?

I am freezing! But it’s worth it.

Where are you from?

I’m from California, but I was born in St. Louis.

How long has it been since you’ve been back?

Probably six years.

What’s it been like to come back to your hometown after so many years?

It grounds me. And I’ve been reminded of the rich energy of St. Louis. I got my musical roots from St. Louis and I’m paying it back by letting everyone know I’m here.

Where can people find you?

People can find me on Instagram at Onnabubarbie. Onnabu is a female warrior geisha from Japan and Barbie is the theme right now because I graduated from St. Francis High School and the producer of Barbie graduated from my high school. So I’m out here putting together my mix of California and St. Louis.