Camille Kostek Says This Was the Turning Point in Her Modeling Career

The six-time SI Swimsuit star shares a pivotal moment she experienced related to beauty standards.
Camille Kostek.

Camille Kostek.

Camille Kostek landed the cover of SI Swimsuit as a rookie in 2019, and that will forever be a life-changing milestone moment for the model. But her own personal mindset shift and career turning point occurred after her first Miami Swim Week runway show with the brand two years earlier.

“I was so excited. It was almost like that blackout feeling you get when you’re just so overly excited. It was my first ever runway show, let alone in a bikini, barefoot in front of a crowd, shooting from all angles—it’s a very vulnerable feeling,” she recalls during this year’s Miami Swim Week. “I remember seeing the photos on Getty Images and all over the internet that I had no control over. I remember being so critical, like critiquing my figure left and right. I remember sending the photos to my mom the next day and being like, ‘This might have been the reason why my modeling career hadn’t flourished earlier. I think I’m seeing what a model agent has seen.’”

Kostek adds that she was raised in a household without a scale, where looking good was about feeling good. The Connecticut native grew up knowing that clothes are made to fit you, and not the other way around.

At the time, her mom encouraged the 31-year-old to make one of those runway photos her phone screen background due to her self-critical reaction.

“Even though it was a photo that [wasn’t my] best angle, best side, best features, [my mom said] ‘This is you. This is who you are. Love all of her,’” Kostek continues. “I remember setting it as the lock screen and looking at it all the time. I think a lot of us can relate to this.”

Kostek shares that when she returned to the runway the following year, her mindset had totally shifted. She began looking at the photos and picking out all the things she loved about herself.

“It all starts with the mind. It all starts with just that first step, that first moment where you’re like, ‘I’m loving her.’ You free yourself from these fears and these things that are holding you back from abundance of life,” she continues. “Life is so short. Embrace the body that you’re given.”

She adds that when your perspective of self-love and beauty shifts, you remove yourself from the “mold” that society places you in, and “life becomes easier.”

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Ananya Panchal


Ananya Panchal is a NYC-based Lifestyle & Trending News writer at SI Swimsuit. Before joining the Swim team, the Boston University Alum worked for culture & entertainment beats at Bustle, The San Francisco Chronicle and the TODAY Show. When Ananya is not writing or doom-scrolling on social media, she can be found playing sudoku, rewatching One Tree Hill or trying new restaurants. She's also a coffee and chocolate (separately) enthusiast.