Kamie Crawford may be biased, but the ‘Catfish’ host believes “Catfish [the TV show] has redefined the way that we think about life, dating, and social media.”
Believe it or not, Catfish: The TV Show only recently won its first award. During a candid conversation, I congratulate Kamie on the accomplishment before diving into all of the beauty, fashion, and mental health talk that I had prepared for us. Catfish nabbed the MTV Movie & TV Award for Best Real Life-Mystery or Crime Series.
“Obviously I’m biased, but there’s no show more deserving of all the accolades and the awards,” she happily explained. When Kamie first got the news of the show’s victory, she started crying immediately. As someone who landed their dream job as the self-proclaimed CEO of facial expressions on the show, Kamie is more than grateful and humbled by this full-circle moment in her life.
As far as social media, Kamie sees it as a double-edged sword that can be used as both a tool and a weapon to snake out catfishes and put out positive realistic narratives of what it’s like to have a real body in the real world. “When I was their age, I don’t know that I would have had the confidence then to show my body in its natural state and really be that advocate for whatever body you’re in is normal,” Kamie said about her days as a teen in comparison to the TikTok influencers we see today. “The internet is an amazing place to connect with people and to spread awareness and messaging, but it’s also a dangerous and evil place when you are comfortable, you are showing yourself just as you are, and you will get comments from randoms that are like, ‘Ew, that’s disgusting.’ You can never win.”
From her early pageant days to becoming Nev’s right-hand woman, Kamie opened up about her mental health as a result of beauty pageants, her journey through self-love, and her top beauty and skincare secrets.
HB: What are some of the most important lessons that you learned about confidence and self-assurance during your pageant years?
Kamie: Having thick skin will literally get you everywhere in life that you want to go. It’s almost like a necessity. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to really make sure that I’m tuned in with myself and doing mental checks on myself because pageantry and the entertainment world can really be a lot. You’re always going to have people who have an opinion about you when you are a public figure and I’m thankful I learned that at 17 because now at 28 I still experience it. I still will get a DM, a comment, tweet from someone telling me how much they can’t stand me and that I should go wherever they want me to go.
I feel like I have learned so much about not clapping back, even when I feel I have the right to. My mom always says that, “If they don’t know you personally, don’t take it personal.” When you see or hear something, and it comes from some stranger that thinks that they know you because they watch you on TV or because they’ve been following you for a really long time, they don’t actually know you. The opinions of people who know you best are the ones that count the most, at least for me. I have a responsibility to those people to make them proud and be the best person that I can be, and to myself. I can’t be concerned about what somebody’s auntie thinks about me on the internet.
HB: How do you maintain your mental health amidst the negative comments about your weight or being a full-figured woman?
Kamie: You spend the most time out of your day with yourself. No matter who’s around you, you are in your own body and you spend the most time throughout the day with yourself. Why not feed positivity and life into yourself, versus negativity and pessimism? I know when I look in the mirror, if I like what I see or not, and that’s not just physical, it’s how am I being? Am I being a good friend? Am I being a good relationship partner? Am I being a good sister? Am I being a good daughter? If I can’t look at myself in the mirror and feel that way, then I know I need to make a change. If I look at myself in the mirror and I know that I don’t feel my best, I don’t want to put on that swim suit or that crop top, then I’m like, “Okay, I need to get myself together.”
I don’t let my family members or people on the internet dictate how I feel physically about myself. I never have. I know it sounds easier said than done, but they don’t have to live in your skin; you do. The most important thing that you can do is just check in with yourself, and if you don’t like something, you have every way and will to fix it yourself. For me, quarantine hit hard. I feel like when I started looking in the mirror, I was like, “Oh wait, I can’t even get up and down the steps the way I want to, I need to make a change.” I got a trainer and now I feel better than I did when I was a size zero at Miss Teen USA because I just feel so confident in my body as it is. I don’t want to lose weight. I never want to lose weight ever again; I just want to feel comfortable in my body. I think that’s where confidence meets comfortability.
HB: If you could give readers advice about being comfortable in their own bodies, what would you tell them?
Kamie: Confidence is an inside job and it requires work. It’s an active and rebellious act because the world is not going to do that for you. You can’t look at anyone else to give it to you. I was bullied from elementary through middle school, and finally when I went into high school, I just made a decision and it was just like that. Some people might say that sounds easier said than done, but it really was a decision that I decided to make that I wasn’t going to let other people and outside voices fuck with the way that I felt about myself.
I never looked back and it’s changed my life because I remember being so caught up and so consumed with other people’s opinions that it was literally about to ruin my life. Who has the time? You don’t have the time for that. Even if it’s your family, you can say respectfully, “I don’t think that you deserve to have an opinion about my body,” and see how they start reacting to that. Watch how they gag and how they don’t ever do that shit again. Like, ‘I love you, and I know that you probably think that you mean well, but you’re actually doing more damage than you’re doing good. Appreciate your concern, but I do not think that my physicality should be a topic of your concern. Sorry, grandma.’ You don’t get to have an opinion; worry about yourself.
HelloBeautiful: What’s your skincare routine?
Kamie Crawford: Well, drinking water and minding my business is definitely first to having clear skin, but I am all about the serums and the AHAs. I’ve been loving all of the serums from The Ordinary because they’re super inexpensive, which I think is great because I don’t feel like we should have to spend a million dollars to have glowing skin. I have the Glycolic acid, the Hyaluronic acid, Ithe Niacinamide, Lactic acid and I use all of them at different points of the day. You don’t have to layer a bunch on because one acid could do enough for your skin.
Of course I like to dive into my expensive moisturizers, and I feel really good when I use them.I feel like skin care needs to be seen as more of a self care thing, than a chore. Honestly, I’ve been taking better care of my skin during quarantine because obviously there’s more time. There’s something about doing my entire, however many steps to get to the final product that has been like therapy for me.
HB: Where do you draw your style inspiration from?
Kamie: I mean, it kind of changes here and there. Now I’m living in LA, but I did eight years living in New York. Me saying I did eight years sounds like I was in jail. I think that New York has definitely influenced my style 1,000%. I love the minimalistic look, but I also love to layer on jewelry. I can’t necessarily say that any celebrity, or show, or anything like that has influenced my fashion, but my sisters definitely have influenced my fashion. I’m oldest of six girls, and they are all very stylish and they are always giving me advice.
They’re always telling me what I can and can’t wear because even though I’m the oldest, apparently they make the decisions. Also my mom; my mom is the mom who would drop me off at the school bus fully dressed, head to toe, makeup on, hair done, everything at six o’clock in the morning. She’s definitely influenced my style because without her, I don’t even know what I would have on. She’s very particular, she loves wearing whites, nudes, and different neutral tones, and she always looks incredible. I would have to give all of it to them and New York because I don’t know where I would be without any of those things.
HB: How has your style evolved since your days as Miss Teen USA?
Kamie: Oh God, night and day. I have always had a more mature nature. Everyone says that I’m an old soul and even when I was 17, I came across older. I always had to make sure that my wardrobe and my styling was more like a teen. I had to make sure that I was always in something flowy, frilly, floral, pink, bright and colorful – and that’s not at all my style. I’m just now getting over my pageantry PTSD and bringing color back into my wardrobe because I definitely was anti-color for a really long time. There are so many ways to make colorful looks chic, elegant, and beautiful. I’ve definitely learned my way, but I’m not really someone who you’re going to catch in a bunch of frilly things ever again. It’s traumatizing.