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The Inspiring Impact Full House's Kimmy Gibbler Had On Andrea Barber

For a very specific segment of the younger Gen Xers and the older Millennials, Kimmy Gibbler is a bit of an unlikely pop cultural icon. Andrea Barber, who played Kimmy, doesn't have a lot of other credits to her name. According to IMDB, she did a four-year stint on "Days of Our Lives" as Carrie Brady before her first appearance on "Full House" in the third episode "The First Day of School" and continued on as Gibbler for all eight seasons of the show.

There's a big gap in Barber's resume, as the actress has few acting credits between the 1995 finale of "Full House" and its 2016 reboot "Fuller House." During a 2019 interview with BUILD Series, Barber said she basically left acting after "Full House" ended to go to college, majoring in English literature and ultimately earning a Master's degree.

Years later, Barber admittef she really didn't have any acting ambitions beyond playing the role of Gibbler. "I know a lot of people who play outlandish characters like this do struggle with typecasting or just being seen as that" Barber explained to E! News "I never struggled. I left the business at 18 just because my heart wasn't in acting anymore ... And the only reason I came back to Hollywood was to play Kimmy Gibbler. It's not like I was trying to work my way back into the business."

But after eight seasons of playing Gibbler on "Full House," and another five playing her on "Fuller House" until the farewell season in 2020, Barber learned a lot from her fictional alter ego.

Kimmy Gibbler taught her to embrace the weird

In the aforementioned interview with E! News, Barber described herself as the cast member "who's least like" their character. "I'm not outlandish, I don't wear crazy clothes. I'm very introverted and shy," she stated. But she said that playing a character so unlike herself taught her a valuable lesson about being yourself and accepting your weirdness. "I've got fans that DM me every day and say, 'Kimmy taught me that it's okay to be different, and 'It's okay to be weird,' and I've always felt like an outsider." So apparently there's a lot of Gibbler fans out there who really saw themselves in this quirky character.

Barber keeps herself involved with her fans on social media, who often identify with Gibbler. Every Halloween on her Instagram account, she hosts the Kimmy Gibbler Costume Contest, where fans can submit their best picture of themselves in a Gibler-esque outfit (preferably one based on an actual outfit from the show). And some fans have really gotten into the contest, producing their own recreations of Gibbler's bacon and eggs scarf from "Fuller House."

Despite not wanting to work her way back into the industry, Barber does have a role on the Nickelodeon children's show "That Girl Lay Lay" as the pseudo-hip Principal Willingham. According to her appearance on the late Bob Saget's podcast, "Bob Saget's Here for You," Barber explained that she did the show because it was created by "Fuller House" writer David Arnold. 

So, for the time being, Barber's back in the acting game and you can still enjoy her talents.