If there’s one word that comes to mind when we think of Kamie Crawford it’s ‘trailblazer‘. Kamie’s a multi-hyphenate who’s paved a way for herself that’s not only left her with a stellar resume, but a well-deserved fanbase to match. One scroll through Kamie’s Instagram and we guarantee you’ll leave feeling inspired, educated, and ready to get to work—as an influencer, she’s doing it all right. Today, Kamie’s a co-host on MTV’s Catfish, and also advocates for everything from social justice to body positivity to her audience of over 200k followers. We had the pleasure of speaking with Kamie on everything from her career to equality in the wellness space, and how you too can use your voice for the greater good. Frenshe’s, let’s get to know Kamie Crawford!
Frenshe: Kamie, how has your journey from participating in pageants to being on camera for MTV’s Catfish informed your definition of beauty and self-love journey?
Kamie Crawford: From the outside looking in, pageantry and Catfish are on complete opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of public perception. Beauty queens are automatically viewed as perfect and the epitome of self-confidence, while many people that we encounter on Catfish are openly battling with confidence issues. To be completely honest though, you never know what people are going through mentally and emotionally. All that glitters isn’t gold, and sometimes a pretty façade can mask what’s really going on internally. I think both aspects of my life have taught me that beauty and true happiness come from within. No amount of glitz and glam or even companionship can do for you what self-love can.
F: Having a following as big as yours on social media must be overwhelming at times. How do you deal with negativity on the internet? What tips can you share with our audience about protecting their mental health and letting go of comparison on social media?
KC: My mom always says, “If they don’t know you personally, don’t take it personal”, and “If it don’t apply, let it fly.” Being the first Black Miss Teen USA in a decade, I, unfortunately, have seen and heard the worst of the worst when it comes to troll comments and negativity. Every time I read something that’s clearly meant to hurt me, I try to think about all of the positive feedback I get from people who support and love me and let the negativity fly right out the window. Of course, it’s easier said than done and I’ve had plenty of clapback moments–but I don’t let their comments affect how I see myself or do my job. That would be a slap in the face to all of the people that love me for exactly as I am. Always remember, for every one bad comment, there are usually WAY more positive ones and you can’t let the bad outweigh the good.
F: You’re an advocate for inclusivity, body positivity, self-care, social justice, and so much more (a huge breath of fresh air on social media if you ask us!). How did you start using your platform as a safe and educational space for others? What responsibility do both individuals and brands like ours have when it comes to these topics?
KC: I appreciate that so much! I am an empath, so I’m not someone that can just move on with my day unaffected when there are people being hurt or wronged and I have the means to shed light/insight on a certain issue. I physically just can’t post about my favorite lipsticks and not address social injustices as if they don’t exist. I also don’t pretend to know everything, so if there is something going on that I wasn’t aware of, I will share that and share information and insight from someone who is more well versed on the topic than I am. I think it’s important for everyone to recognize that we don’t know what we don’t know and that’s okay! As long as we try to empathize, educate ourselves, and seek out the information rather than relying on someone that is also living the experience to spoon-feed us the answers, we can all evolve and create a safer space for all people to share their stories.
“For every one bad comment, there are usually WAY more positive ones.”
F: Wellness and nutrition are often approached from a place of privilege. What can we do as a society (and here at Frenshe) to build a culture of wellbeing that takes care of everyone?
KC: I think it’s very important to understand our privilege when it comes to discussing health and wellness. Not everyone has access or the means to eat all organic foods and go to pilates four times a week. There’s something so much more effective in meeting people where they’re at and not shaming people for not having the same perspective. Offering wellness tips that are cheaper or completely free–i.e. meditation, drinking water, taking a brisk walk outdoors, quick in-home workouts with no workout gear required can make a huge difference.
F: Many influencers stay away from discussing politics or social issues on their platforms because it can be perceived as “off-brand” or they’re not sure where to start. How can everyone contribute to these conversations so that discussing social justice, body positivity, etc. isn’t out of the ordinary?
KC: If being vocal about social justice is “off-brand” for you, I strongly suggest reconsidering your brand values and personal ethos. Consider what kind of following you’re garnering that would be opposed to you doing the right thing. You may lose a few followers when you start speaking out, but those aren’t followers or supporters that you really want anyway, and what you’ll gain are like-minded people who care about the progression of human kindness/decency. You don’t have to come out the gate speaking on every issue, but start with what speaks to your heart and go from there. Be sure to provide facts, even when you’re including your personal opinion. Opinions are important, but people value the hard facts as well and will appreciate you for doing both.F: Especially with this season of Catfish being virtual, how have you created a work-life balance for yourself during quarantine? Do you have any daily rituals you swear by?
KC: It’s been difficult, I can’t lie. I’m sure we’d all love a vacation, but it’s hard with our filming schedule and I just moved so it’s been a lot! BUT–I always have time for music. Music puts me in a great space and resets my vibe, so I’ve been listening to a lot of music and watching TikTok’s that make me laugh hysterically until 2 am. It’s called balance LOL–but no real rituals as of yet. Still trying to figure it all out 5,508 months later.
F: You’re still a beauty girl through and through, are there any beauty products and/or brands you can’t live without? Do you have any essential makeup tips for looking your best on Zoom calls?
KC: Absolutely! I can’t live without Aquaphor Healing Ointment–I use it for everything but my favorite is using it as a daily lip moisturizer. I’m big on brows so I always have a brow gel–I use the one from Kelley Baker Brows or E.L.F. Cosmetics. I use a lot of skincare from Elemis, Kate Sommerville, and some great drugstore finds from Avene. When I’m filming or taking Zoom meetings, I try to focus on my foundation, concealer, and lips. Evening out your skin tone, brushing up your brows and a quick lip liner and lipstick/gloss combo can help make you look super fabulous without really doing full out.
What’s something toxic you’re trying to get rid of in your life? Falling off of my workout routine! It’s been difficult keeping up with during quarantine, but I know how much better I feel physically and mentally when I work out regularly. Releasing the body of toxins while getting rid of that toxic thinking that tells you that you won’t make it through is so rewarding.
How do you keep yourself balanced? My family keeps me grounded always. I have five younger sisters and we’re all super close. They remind me of what’s important in life even when my surroundings get crazy.
One health or beauty trend you’ll never do again? Over tweezing/waxing my brows. I can’t believe we ever thought that was a good idea! Bushy brows are the best.
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