It’s seven a.m., the sun is rising and fresh pineapple in a bowl fills the air. She pauses to take a deep breath and sits in the hair and makeup station set up for her. “I can’t believe we’re working in Tahiti,” says the refreshingly warm and soft-spoken Carmen Electra as we prep her for our cover shoot.
“I needed this. The solitude has truly dug deep. It’s been a retreat away from all that surrounds me; from technology, pressures, judgments, expectations…,” she explains as she gazes out the bungalow’s glass balcony door. And immediately we begin to talk life.
I start by stating the obvious regarding her incredibly youthful and fresh appeal after so many years in the public eye, “So how do you stay so beautiful?”
“I wish I thought that,” she replied. Immediately my eyes widen as I give her the “are you kidding?” stare. “You’re gorgeous, girl!!!” She replies, “sometimes I just have a hard time loving myself. After you go through so much, so many heartbreaks, disappointments, public scrutiny, I guess you just start to believe half the things you hear. I’m working on it though. I know I need to love myself a little bit more.”
“So, what would you say is people’s greatest misconception about you?” I asked.
“That I’m a man-eating, powerhouse, can-handle-anything badass. I’m quite the opposite. While I do feel powerful when I’m on stage dancing or performing in general (which is me essentially thriving in my element), I’m quite the softie. I often hide how I truly feel. I’m pressured to keep up a certain look, a certain attitude; arch your back, give me a sexier look, we need more cleavage…” she mentions.
“I loved our shoot so much! I felt spiritual. It was ok to slouch, to be comfortable, to cover up,” she reminisced as we caught up a couple weeks after our trip.
As we got ready to begin shooting, she warned me that she didn’t feel she was in her best shape for the swim editorial. “What swim?” I asked. “We’re not shooting with swim or lingerie?” she asked in a startled tone.
“No babe,” I replied. “Here are the looks. You’re going to be gypsy-fied to the max: layers, metallic jewelry, septum rings…” Her Kool-Aid smile that went from ear to ear along with the look of utter shock was amusingly charming.
“OMG, I’m so excited!” she yelled. “And septum rings? Hell yeah! I’ve been dying to wear one of these things.” From that point it was nothing but raucous as we ran around the Moorea Pearl like little kids having fun, playing dress-up, jamming out loudly with a tiny speaker that played non-stop Bob Marley, Collie Buddz, Sizzla and Stick Figure. She danced, swayed, closed her eyes and got into her zone.
When I asked her about the best advice ever received, she was quick to respond, “Don’t take anything personal. We all wanna be loved, but this business can really beat you up. I’m not complaining, I mean, it surely has its perks, but man can it be tough. Everyone throws thoughtless opinions around and generally people focus on what you do wrong. It hurts! Whether they know it or not.”
“So since you’ve experienced this kind of strain so many years and seen what women in and out of the industry face, what’s something affecting women that tugs at your heart?” I asked.
“Abuse,” she replied. “Way too many women stay in abusive relationships. Whether they are verbal, emotional or physical. I have no tolerance for abuse and my heart breaks when I encounter a woman who just feels stuck. Perhaps because she doesn’t have the financial stability, or because there’s a child in the middle she is somehow paralyzed and can’t get out. It sucks, mostly because it isn’t true.”
I am now a firm believer that big things come in small packages. This adorable little woman (about 5’2), with a radiant soul, has perhaps the greatest depth and measure of love I’ve seen in quite a while. With a strength that overcomes, a heart that forgives and a spirit that never ceases to dream, Carmen Electra is more than a deliciously surprising box of chocolates and I can’t wait to see which truffle we’ll get next.
Get to Know Carmen…
She’s watched the Bob Marley documentary on Netflix about fifty times.
Her favorite beauty product is the face cream from Skin Ceuticals.
Her guilty pleasure is eating sweets (mainly cupcakes) right before bed.
Her favorite artists that are not alive are Bob Marley, Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix
She loves coconut oil to moisturize and sometimes even takes a spoonful before bed.
She used to drink eight to ten cokes a day. It’s been three years since she kicked that habit.
Her favorite books are The Four Agreements and The Language of Letting Go (which she used to read every morning with ex-husband Dave Navarro whom she still has a great relationship with.)
By: Hugette Montesinos-Rodriguez
Top: Lenni The Label // Pants: Yogapants Bohoclothes // Necklace: Pachamama Bohemian // Left bracelets: Spell, Wings Hawaii // Right bracelet: Lux Divine Jewelry // Rings: Twisted Whimsy, The Champagne Gypsy // Septum Rings: Gypsalove
Top: Gypsy + Magnolia // Necklaces: Gypsy River, JRoxx Jewelry // Rings left to right: Celeste twikler jewelry, Break a Stone, Little Pieces of Hope // Bracelets: Gypsie’s Caravan, Zamarut Jewel, Isabella Rae Jewelry // Septum rings: Gypsalove
Jacket: Pachamama Bohemian // Dress: Cleobella // Swimsuit: Body Glove // Necklaces: Natalie B. Jewelry
Photography Cory Osborne
Stylist: Hugette Montesinos-Rodriguez
Hair and Makeup: Sussy Campos
Assistance: Todd Super