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GK Barry reveals worst part of TikTok fame and being ‘violently humbled’ by fans


GK Barry admits she gets ‘violently humbled’ by fan interactions (Picture: James Rudland)

‘I feel strongly about the word influencer, I hate it. I prefer skinny legend if someone were to address me,’ declares GK Barry.

Even if you don’t know Grace Keeling, you’ve almost certainly seen her viral TikToks where she jokes about love, life, and being incredibly hungover.

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when the 24-year-old ‘skinny legend’ crept onto all our screens but with 3.5million followers, she has the entire internet falling in love.

Along with I Kissed a Girl’s Charley Marlowe and bestie Max Balegde, Grace has become one of the biggest British success stories riding the influencer (sorry) wave to stardom.

As her fame grows with moves into podcast hosting and TV, the Nottingham Trent graduate has confessed there are some downsides.

‘Worst thing about being in the public eye is probably if I’m on a night out and I am very drunk,’ Grace joked to Metro.co.uk.

The star rose to fame during lockdown for her relatable TikToks (Picture: Kate Green/Getty Images)

‘People tend to notice that more because they’re like, why is GK Barry swinging from a pole? So that’s probably the worst part — embarrassing myself more people notice it, but there aren’t really many cons.’

She pauses and adds that the hate she’s sent online can be overwhelming at times, slipping into her more bolshy on-screen persona as she joked: ‘Please relax.’

Her status as an accessible celebrity, having risen to fame during lockdown, has led to some unfortunate interactions when the general public recognise her.

‘I would say it’s not even a fan interaction but just any interactions with straight men that know me off TikTok is always just violently humbling,’ Grace laughed.

‘I had a guy come up to me say “You’re the girl with the flat arse” and I thought “Correct but there is a time and a place”. That one stung and it still keeps me up at night.’

Grace would like you to call her ‘Skinny Legend’ please (Picture: James Rudland)
She’s collaborating with Sprite on a campaign (Picture: James Rudland)

Thankfully, Grace takes her bum’s reputation for being on the flatter side all in good humour and grins ‘carry on with that’ over people tagging her in jokes about it.

The Saving Grace star shared: ‘I actually find it quite funny when people tag me in the flat bum stuff because sometimes when I’ve been tagged in something loads I’m like “Oh my god, I’ve been cancelled”.

‘I click on it and it’s just a mannequin with no arse. So it’s actually quite relieving.’

Along with comments on her body, Grace is known for documenting her post-night-out (often hungover) thoughts and sharing her hot takes on life.

The skinny legend jokes she ‘will do anything for a spicy Margarita’, adding: ‘I’m actually a very chilled out person until you give me a drink.’

Talking all things spicy, she continued: ‘I love a spicy chicken wing and I like to wash that chicken wing down with a Sprite. The girls that get it, get it.

‘I don’t taste spice anymore. I’ve put you onto that now, you’re welcome.’

While authenticity is a huge driving force on TikTok and social media for Gen Z, Grace confesses sometimes she has overshared when it comes to her relationships.

‘I regret sharing any stories that I shared from 2022 and prior. I really, really overshared, especially about my exes. I just completely forgot that when we came out of lockdown, I would probably have to face them again in Tescos.

‘That was really humbling for me but I still do it so I don’t even know why I said that. I’ll just carry on to the day I die, probably.’

Grace regrets ‘oversharing’ about her exes (Picture: James Rudland)

Relationship chat is not completely off the table, with Grace discussing her girlfriend on her podcast frequently, but there is now some privacy around her life.

‘No one’s really had a problem with [her coming out]. I think people have more of a problem with what label I am now.

‘It’s just a massive topic, whatever, but I just — I don’t know. I just am what I am and that is that.’

She shares that there have been perks about being open about her sexuality though as when she was in Spain last, the waiters kept shouting ‘lesbian’ and giving them free drinks.

‘I was like, “Wow, I should have done this years ago,”‘ Grace laughed. ‘My content has always been for the girls and the gays, I just don’t like straight men.

‘But I think now that I’m more like… I’m dating a woman, I think people are so much more open to me. I don’t know, the gays love it and I love the gays.’

With her push to branch onto our TV screens and into our ears, Grace is firming up her future in the face of the fickle beast that is social media.

With a background in camera operation and the childhood dream of being Nicole Scherzinger, this not-an-influencer has big plans.

‘In 10 years time, I hopefully will still have perky tits and I will be on the telly,’ she joked, taking a second to consider the longevity of an internet career.

‘Hopefully, I’ll still be blonde and my hair hasn’t snapped off. Just alive will do actually, so the bars on the floor.’

Regarding her new career paths, Grace concluded: ‘I’m excited to reach different audiences. TV is a whole new audience that I can reach and hopefully, they don’t hate me.’

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