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Kamie Crawford Inspires a Sense of Empowerment in Her SI Swimsuit Photo Shoot

The former Miss Teen USA has made a career without sacrificing her standards.

As a former Miss Teen USA and a seasoned TV host, it makes complete sense that Kamie Crawford would radiate charisma during her SI Swimsuit 2022 rookie shoot with photographer Derek Kettela in St. Croix. But Crawford has had to work through her own battles to find the confidence that streams out of her now.

View the full 2022 photo shoot of Kamie Crawford here.

“I can’t say that I’ve always been a confident person because I definitely had plenty of struggles throughout middle school and elementary school,” says Crawford. “I was bullied a lot and it played a huge role, I think in defining who I am now as an adult. But also my childhood was me being sad a lot because I was letting other people dictate how I felt about myself all the time. And going into high school, I finally was just like, ‘No, I’m going to choose how I feel when I wake up every day.’ It really was an active choice.”

Crawford credits the strength she’s cultivated to the influence of her mom.

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Says Crawford, “My mom taught me all of the best comebacks that I still use for this day in my career and in my personal life …she’s taught me so much about confidence and beauty, like true beauty, inner beauty.”

The Potomac, Md., native comes from a diverse background that includes Jamaican, German, English, Cuban, Indian and African American ancestry. As the oldest of six girls, Crawford grew up being expected to set a good example for her younger sisters. Their relationship instilled in her a deeper sense of purpose to represent them in her work.

“Most of my sisters—well, all of my sisters— are darker complected than I am. So when it comes to brands that I align myself with, it’s very important to me that I only work with those that represent what I see in my household.”

With that philosophy in tow. Crawford found a good match with SI Swimsuit. “It makes me feel even more amazing that I'm living in my purpose, being a part of a team that’s aligned with everything that I’m about—body positivity and inclusivity and women’s empowerment. All of those things are what my personal brand is built on,” Crawford says.

In her rookie shoot with Derek Kettela in St. Croix Crawford found she could tap into that sense of empowerment, exuding an air of confidence she hopes will inspire others.

“Derek is incredible. He truly gets it. And I think that that's the most important thing. He makes you feel confident,” says Crawford. “He showed me the pictures every once in a while, while we were shooting, which helps so much because there's just something about being able to see yourself move on the camera and knowing how you look in something, it just, it plays a role and it makes you feel even better about yourself. But yesterday for me was definitely one of those moments where I was like, damn, like I'm a woman. Like, I'm that bitch. That was like a good, good feeling.”

You can see Kamie Crawford’s 2022 Rookie shoot in St. Croix here.