story and photos by Lizabeth Nieves
You probably have seen her around Astoria, the tall stacked blonde that has hosted brunch at Mix Café or dj’d at the Pomeroy, Studio Square and Sekund Sun? Part Miss Piggy persona, part stereotypical “white lady”, all parts hilarious. Anita Buffem moved to NYC in 2004 after a stint on a singing competition called Popstars 2. While that didn’t go anywhere, Buffem was very grateful to be in NYC. “Thinking back on my move here, I can’t believe I did it. With less than $200.00 cash, knew one person from high school and stayed on her futon in Williamsburg till she was like, “uhhhh don’t you have a plan to like to get a place?” said Buffem.
While goofing around one day she created the persona for herself (Anita Buffem) for her podcast Haus of Mimosa. Self-described as “innocently ignorant, overly confidant and very much inspired by stereo typical white ladies who have no clue, that I love very much!” Having no idea what she was doing with make-up and wanting the persona to be over the top, she originally looked very much like a cartoon. Now with more interest and skills, Buffem has evolved into a real version of herself, “I feel like she now looks like she actually could have been a catalogue model at some point in life.”
“I have created other personas and characters but Anita is the one constant, she pays the bills, she is the one that people want to see. I mean come on, she’s gorgeous, hysterical, and stylish, you love to hate her yet at the same time hate that you love her! We all know her. She’s that delusional woman in your family who says that innocently ignorant thing that you can’t help but laugh, and you’re allowed to laugh at because you know it comes from a place of love…she’s just so dumb and doesn’t know any better.”
How did she perfect her look? “Make up was a labor of love girl! I learned through… trial and error? A dollar and a dream? A wish my heart made? I remember feeling like our audience who was of course conditioned to seeing “traditional drag looks”, mind you this would have been the very early seasons of Ru Paul’s Drag Race (pre Sharon Needles when the message became drag can be whatever the f*ck you want it to be. It should also be noted that Drag was always whatever the f*ck you wanted it be) and I felt like I wasn’t being taken as seriously in the scene as I would have liked.” Said Buffem.” Now, I have my youtube page (Buffem Beautiful) where in addition to Anita’s character comedy videos I also have beauty and make up videos. I also do make up parties where you can invite your besties over, we have wine and I teach some fun make up techniques! I even do one on one make up tutoring sessions.”
The process to pull the look together can take up to 4-5 hours. “I like to take my time. Turn on music videos, make a beverage, properly prime face, wash my beauty blenders, answer emails, then of course my mother calls me and starts swinging from my tits about this or that so I usually plan 3 hours to do my face. To get ready total from head to toe, shower & shave, face, nails, Wig, and costume. I’ve been “read” for how much time I take to get ready but ain’t no shame in my game honey. Just look at my instagram!”
Upcoming for the fabulous Miss Buffem? “I’m currently developing new material and a new show and I am also looking for new local venues to partner with especially here in Astoria. I love gigging in Astoria and always have the best time, most recently I DJ’ed at Sek’end Sun and The Pomeroy. I also work with Studio Square frequently for a number of events including the kick off to pride party every year at the beginning of June and that’s always a blast! In addition to my own youtube channel that I am currently building (Buffem Beautiful) you can catch my web series “The Anita Buffem Show” on GaySVTVWorld which is the youtube channel run by drag legend Sherry Vine”
For more info on Anita: