Tejano Papi is Hottie of the Week

This week’s Instinct Hottie is someone who recently caught our attention at RuPaul’s DragCon in Los Angeles. 28-year-old, Armando Barrientos, who loves to call himself Cucu Panda, is the significant other of none other than Cynthia Lee Fontaine, Drag Race Season 8’s Miss Congeniality. 

Barrientos hails from Austin, Texas and is an independent recording artist who takes inspiration from his Tejano roots and music of the ‘80s.

Barrientos is a drag husband papi who lives his authentic life every day. He has spent his years embracing his identity and advocating for loving the skin you live in.

Courtesy Armando Barrientos

If you follow Barrientos, you know he shares his daily life of drag shenanigans, his music, and that beautiful face you can stare at all day.

Let’s get to know the vitiligo vato Armando Barrientos ‘Cucu Panda’ a little closer:

INSTINCT: How did you get into music? 

ARMANDO BARRIENTOS: I got into music when I found rhythm. Also when I met my first vocal coach, Tejano singer Stephanie Lynn, at the age of 11.

INSTINCT: Who are some of your musical inspirations? 

AB: My musical inspirations are acts like Def Leppard and Billy Idol. I love the 80s.

INSTINCT: What is it like being a drag husband (boyfriend)?

AB: It is a lot of Glitter and a lot of Darkness and by that I mean Cynthia wants to sleep in the darkness until 2 pm the next day after a gig 🤣and the glitter is that there is never a dull moment between us. 

INSTINCT: What brings you joy?

AB: What brings me joy is taking my pup Viago for a run in the morning and listening to Kali Uchis to start my day.

INSTINCT: What do you think is the most attractive part about yourself?

AB: The most attractive thing about myself is the way I engage with people I would say. I love to have a day filled with laughter. Also I do have vitiligo and I would say after many years of battling with my condition I find it to be very attractive and I am in love with my skin.

INSTINCT: What do you find you are complimented on the most?

AB: I am complimented on my vitiligo and my smize. I have very expressive eyes. 

INSTINCT: What, to you, defines sexy?

AB: Sexy is being confident in your own skin. That confidence speaks volumes.

INSTINCT: What is your proudest moment in your life thus far?

AB: My proudest moment is finding love with someone who brings out my best qualities. I have been more creative and driven than I have ever been before. 

INSTINCT: What haven’t you accomplished, personally or professionally, that you are wanting to do in the next 2-3 years?

AB: I really want to release a full length album and go on tour. 

INSTINCT: Have you found love? If so, what is the best part of your relationship and what do you love most in your partner(s)?

AB: Yes I have found love. Dating a charismatic person like my boyfriend has given me more opportunity to express myself and create values and family bonds. Also dating a RuGirl has been an adventure itself. I love traveling now.

Rapid fire question time: 

  • What is your all-time favorite movie? 
    • Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory the 70s version 
  • Who is your biggest celebrity crush? 
    • Taylor Lautner 
  • What is your favorite cheat meal or snack? 
    • Extra cheese and bacon cheeseburger sliders 
  • Favorite position? 
    • I am a Top. My boyfriend has a big Cucu 
  • If you were stuck on an island for eternity, what music album would you want to have with you? 
    • Lana Del Rey’s ‘Born to Die’

INSTINCT: What does it mean to be featured as our Instinct Hottie?

AB: It feels amazing to be the Instinct Hottie of the Week because I love representing my Tex Mex people and it is also an honor to show that people with vitiligo are sexy caliente.

INSTINCT: Anything else you’d like to share with the Instinct readers?

AB: I Want to share that if you just throw out your ideas and passions into the universe they will always meet you halfway. The other half is putting in the work. 

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