How Camille Kostek’s Key to Growing a Social Media Following Hinged on Being Authentic

The six-time SI Swimsuit model opened up about her platform and building a ‘tribe.’
Camille Kostek

Camille Kostek.

SI Swimsuit legend Camille Kostek got her big break when she landed the cover of the 2019 issue as a rookie. The Swim Search open casting call co-winner had little modeling experience and the magazine’s front feature “put me on the map internationally [and] literally changed my life,” she recalled.

The 31-year-old has posed for the brand six years in a row, and grown her platform as an influencer who constantly advocates for body positivity and self-love along the way. She is also the designer of swimwear and jewelry lines.

The TV host spoke on SI Swimsuit’s “Be You Women’s Empowerment Series” panel, presented by Maybelline, at the University of Central Florida on Sept. 28. She opened up about how her content and platform has changed over the years in terms of what she posts, but also how her mental health and self-confidence has shifted—both negatively and positively—along the way.

“I’m in my era of being present and not posting on social media that much anymore,” she revealed about her current status. “It used to make me feel like I was missing out. And now I’m so O.K. with not posting that it feels hard to do it.”

She noted that her following began to grow rapidly when she began to be truly “cringey” for lack of better word.

“I remember before reels were a big thing on TikTok, I was dancing on Instagram, and I created this hashtag in 2017, #nevernotdancing,” Kostek continued. “It made me feel good and it attracted the right people.”

She added that she’s still passionate about connecting with young women and sharing her experiences and advice. The former NFL cheerleader loves to speak on podcasts and panels because it allows her to truly reach an audience and have an impact.

“I feel so fortunate to have so many eyes and ears interested in what I’m doing,” she said. “But, I started to attract my tribe, my social media tribe [when] I started just speaking from the heart and just being me, and not copying how someone did a ‘get ready with me,’ not copying how someone [else] dressed.”

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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.