March 19 (UPI) -- Beauty Bar star Thalia Almodovar wants to set the record straight on comparisons to Kim Kardashian as the first season of the beauty salon reality series continues on VH1.
Almodovar, a transgender New York native and makeup artist who works at New York City's House of Dolls -- the setting of Beauty Bar -- has been accused of surgically altering her appearance to look like Kardashian.
"I never paid a cent to look like Kim Kardashian. I would never do that. When I started doing surgery, it was before the Kardashians even existed," Almodovar said in a recent interview with UPI. "She is a beautiful girl and I'm flattered but I don't want to live in somebody else's shadow.
"I am so secure with the woman that I am. It was just a nickname given to me because people said I looked like her."
Almodovar said that with Beauty Bar she has received extra attention but that she does not see herself as a role model in the transgender community, nor is she an activist.
"There's two famous trans women. They're both very different in my eyes -- Laverne Cox and Janet Mock," she said.
"Laverne is an activist and Mock, I believe, is still a part of the community but she lived her life privately for many years. I feel like I identify with Janet Mock more," she said. "I'm not saying I'm not here to support, but I'm also not looking to be anyone's role model."
Beauty Bar airs the same time as the first season of Kardashian's makeup show, Glam Masters, but Almodovar stressed that Beauty Bar sets itself apart from reality competition shows by showing the ins and outs of everyday life inside a salon.
"Our show is not about a challenge; it's more about a family," she said of Beauty Bar's eccentric cast, which includes the multi-talented Rell and his determined best friend Princess, a wig specialist who doesn't always see eye to eye with Almodovar.
"She's just very insecure and she's very sensitive," Almodovar said of Princess. "She takes everything personal ... You gotta keep watching the show to see how we grow as individuals."
Beauty Bar airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on VH1.