Meet the stunning U.S. Marine Veteran
Tell us a bit about your shoot
I was beyond happy to do my big MAXIM New Zealand photoshoot in my home state, California! I travelled down to the stunning Huntington Beach, to meet the amazing and legendary team of Ryan Dwyer, Luis Rodriguez and Bridget Martinez. I’ve been wanting to shoot with this team for years! The team knew ahead of time that I served in The U.S. Marine Corps, so they came up with the awesome idea of incorporating a military/veteran theme in our photoshoot! They told me to bring some pieces of my actual uniform items from the Corps, as well as some girlie items – to perfectly encompass both sides of my personality: hardcore military chick and super feminine girly-girl.
Are there any other funny anecdotes you can share about this shoot?
The shoot was so much fun!!! The team and I had endless laughs and smiles that day. But, I think the coolest (and most magical) part of the whole shoot was when we went on to the beach to shoot our final look of the day (the wet yellow sheer bathing suit cover up) and as I was walking towards the ocean I saw a single yellow sunflower sitting on the beach by itself. The craziest part about it is that my great-grandmother Dawn had recently passed away a few weeks before this shoot, and she would always tell me how proud she was of me pursuing my dreams of modelling full-time, and she would always send me sunflowers. So, seeing that single sunflower sitting there on the beach instantly brought tears to my eyes, because I knew without a doubt in my mind that that was her way of showing her support for me on the day of my big MAXIM photo shoot, even when she’s no longer on this earth. That was the perfect finale to the photoshoot – and it didn’t matter if I was crying happy tears because it was the very last photos of the day. I put that sunflower on the dashboard of my Jeep to remind me every day that she’s still by my side.
Have you ever been to New Zealand?
Unfortunately I’ve never been to New Zealand, but it’s definitely at the very top of my travel list – as soon as COVID is over! I always Google photos of New Zealand and I’m blown away by their mesmerising fields of flowers. I’ve never seen more beautiful fields than New Zealand’s. I can’t wait to visit one day soon!
When do you feel sexy and why?
I feel the sexiest and most alive when I’m in front of the camera! Nothing compares to the rush that comes over my whole body when I step on set for a photo shoot. My soul feels fulfilled when I’m pursuing my passion – modelling.
What is your best asset?
I would have to say that my best physical asset is my smile. Everyone that meets me says I have a contagious smile! You’ll never catch me without a huge smile on my face. I love to spread positivity and light everywhere I go, no matter who I meet! Even when people are rude to me, I still show them kindness and smile at them. Life is way too short to be ANYTHING but HAPPY! Cut anything out of your life that doesn’t make you truly happy. SMILE! You’re still alive and you’ve still got endless possibilities and options!
Give us a little more background about yourself and your life story so far.
Well, as you know, my name is Rianna Carpenter, but everyone calls me “The Combat Barbie!” I’m a U.S. Marine Veteran. I was given the nickname “Combat Barbie” from the Marines I served with in the Corps! They gave me this nickname because of the fact that I was so girly and loved to show my femininity! This nickname stuck with me throughout my military career and still to this day! I served the USA for over seven years with one deployment to Afghanistan in 2012 (Operation Enduring Freedom), and I made it to the rank of Sergeant. I’m originally from a 40-acre farm in the very middle of California, in a small town called Kerman. Growing up on the farm, I spent my weeknights, weekends, and summer vacations in the fields with my grandparents doing back-breaking labour to produce our family crop. Growing up the way I did forever instilled a great work ethic and burning ambition in my soul. And as soon as I graduated high school, I joined the U.S. Marine Corps at 18 years old. I wanted to join the Marines because it honestly scared the crap out of me. No one believed that a small girly-girl like me could make it, and neither did I. But I wanted to give it a shot so that I wouldn’t have to spend the rest of my life wondering “what if?” So I took the first plane to Parris Island, and after three months of complete hell I earned my Eagle, Globe, and Anchor (EGA.) Becoming a Marine gave me confidence like never before, and I still carry it to this very day in my modelling career. I model full-time now and I’m also completing my bachelor’s degree online and I own my own clothing company called Combat Barbie Clothing. Social media has opened so many doors for me! It has helped me connect with so many amazing people, businesses, and organisations. I’m so fortunate to have such amazing love and support from my fans online. I love connecting with my followers and reading their kind messages and comments, but at the end of the day, my mission as ‘The Combat Barbie’ is to show the world that it is possible to be completely yourself and achieve all of your dreams! I hope my story inspires at least one person out there! If a small girly-girl like me can accomplish what I have, you can too! Dream big and believe in yourself! The rest falls into place after that!
What would people be most surprised to know about you?
I’m amazing at accounting! In high school I won the accounting/math decathlon against 10 other high schools in the region! Despite the blonde hair and big boobs, I’m not a bimbo! This blondie has a brain. And I’m also currently working to achieve my Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications.
How would you describe yourself in five words?
Positive, ambitious, patriotic, adventurous and unstoppable.
How long have you been modelling and what would do if you weren’t modelling?
I’ve been modelling full-time for a year and four months so far, after separating from the military. I dabbled in modelling a little bit while I was in the military; I did a few photoshoots on my weekends off, but I wasn’t allowed to have super sexy photos of me because of military rules. But even just dabbling in modelling really sparked my passion and desire for it. So as soon as I got out of the military I decided to dedicate all of my time chasing this new dream of mine. If I wasn’t modelling right now I’d still be doing the same things I’m doing on the side right now, like working on growing my social media pages, working on my clothing line more, and investing my money in other businesses that I’m really interested in.
What have you learned about men over the years?
Over the years I’ve learned that guys are very simple and straight-forward in their way of thinking, and women are very complex and complicated in their way of thinking. So, I think it’s beneficial for both men and women to realise this and try to meet each other in the middle.
What’s one thing men should always know about women?
One thing men should always remember about women is that at the end of the day all we want is to feel wanted and appreciated. So never stop chasing us, even when you already have us. Always remember to plan little surprises everyone now and then. It doesn’t even have to be expensive, just little things to show us you still care and want us.
What do you look for in a man?
The main qualities in a man that I’m most attracted to are confidence, persistence, and a sense of humour. Honestly, those qualities are more important to me than any physical qualities.
Describe your ideal date.
My idea of a perfect date would simply be a picnic blanket on the beach with some good food and drinks, listening to some alternative rock on low, while we watch the waves crash.
What can we get you at the bar?
My favourite drink to order at a bar is called a, “Doogie Howser.” It’s a mixture of Dr.Pepper (my favourite soda of all-time) and cherry vodka! A few years ago when I was attending college at the University of North Dakota, I took a part-time bartending job, and almost every customer would order one! I tried it for myself, and it’s so yummy!
Got a hangover cure?
I don’t drink that often, so I rarely ever get hangovers. But when I find a good cure for them, I promise I’ll scream it from the mountain tops. LOL.
What’s your best hidden talent?
I write a lot of poetry. Most of them are very personal poems about my life, but once I shared a few with my college Public Speaking class and the whole room applauded.
Do you have any phobias?
I’m super happy to say I don’t have any phobias whatsoever. The only fear I have in life is being old and regretting not taking certain chances and living my life to the fullest. So every single day of my life I strive to do new and adventurous things and always push past my comfort zones.
Who is your girl crush and why?
My girl-crush will forever and always be Marilyn Monroe. I could go on all day about her, but I’ll keep it short by saying that she’s a legend that will forever be the epitome of beauty and charm.
What’s the freakiest/weirdest thing someone has sent you via social media?
Nothing tops opening my messages or emails and seeing hundreds of marriage proposals every day.
What is your motto in life?
I have a few life mottos to live by! My favourites are: “Life is too short to be anything but happy.” and “Be you. Be bold.”
What’s next for you? Any exciting projects on the horizon you can share with us?
As far as new and exciting plans, I just recently moved to Las Vegas!!! After modelling in California for a few years I decided to switch up the atmosphere and further pursue modelling opportunities in Vegas! There are so many amazing photographers, models, and companies in Vegas with whom I’m very eager to collaborate with. I plan on spending a year here in Vegas, and then moving back to my home state of California!
Finally, where would you like to be in five years?
In five years I would love to be a wife and mother, living in a beautiful ranch style home somewhere in the country, with a few horses and dogs. ■
Full Name: Rianna Elizabeth Carpenter
Hometown: Kerman, California
Born: August 4th, 1992
Photography: Ryan Dwyer
Hair and Make-Up: Bridget Martinez