80s | Retro | Pop Culture | 90s
Full House 'Crossed A Line' With Kimmy Gibbler, And More Details From Andrea Barber
Everyone's favorite annoying friend, Kimmy Gibbler, was the punchline to many jokes on Full House. Whether it was one-off remarks about not being wanted in her own home, constantly telling her her feet stink or making fun of her outfit which leads to her confronting Jesse, the show made sure one thing was well known: Kimmy Gibbler was a big joke.
"Wouldn't it be great if they could lose the [plane] passengers instead of the luggage?" asks Jesse after Kimmy comes back from a trip.
"Go live with a wildebeest," was one from Danny Tanner.
"Hey, Kimmy, where are you applying? Clown college?" is another gem from Jesse.
But now, 30 years after she started her role as Kimmy Gibbler, Andrea Barber says she definitely thinks there were some major problems with how Full House treated her character.
"I’m sure it was funny back in the day," Barber says. "[But] I would never say that to my teenager’s friends even if I did think they were annoying."
"When I watch the show now, in hindsight as an adult, I think they kind of crossed a line a little bit," Barber says. "It’s one thing for Kimmy and Stephanie to have that banter. But, when you have three grown men saying ... 'Kimmy, go home,' or 'You’re not wanted here' ... it kind of crossed a line."
Even though Barber's character loved being outgoing and her own self, Barber wasn't always thrilled.
"I hated [the costumes] as a teen," she says. "I hated, hated wearing those clothes ... D.J. got all the cool clothes, and I was stuck wearing yellow tights and mismatched patterns."
"A fan recently said to me, 'Thank you for teaching me that it’s OK to be weird,'" Barber said with her eyes lighting up. "That’s what teenagers need. I wish that somebody had said that to me when I was growing up and had braces and was super awkward with my gangly limbs. It’s OK to be different. It’s OK to be weird."
As for the reboot, Barber wants to set something straight.
"When Full House came back, everyone was like, 'Oh, Kimmy Gibbler must be so happy because she’s been doing nothing,'" Barber remembers. "I did nothing in Hollywood, but I did a lot outside of Hollywood."
Barber went to work for the United Nations and also got a Master's Degree in women's studies from the University of York in England.
"[Women's studies] was a newer subject back in the day ... I grew up in an era when my grandmother didn’t have the right to vote," she says. "Now my daughter’s generation, they take so much for granted. They have all the rights that my mother and grandmother’s generations fought for."
Barber is also a mental health advocate, opening up about her own struggles with depression and anxiety.
"It has been such a private part of my life because nobody talks about it. There’s a lot of shame around depression and anxiety," she told Bustle. "I thought it was normal to get so stressed out and nervous about a test or a performance that you wake up and throw up for an hour every morning. I thought that was just what you do. Then I realized later that’s not normal."
"It was so freeing once I finally started talking about it," she says. "I didn’t feel any shame; I wasn’t embarrassed; I wasn’t nervous about sharing this article. I’m human. I have faults just like everybody else, but this isn’t even a fault. It’s just a part of who I am."
I think it's safe to say that Andrea Barber is a strong woman who isn't here for your complete take-down of a child on a television series.