Carmen Electra shot to fame in a famous red swimsuit on Baywatch almost 20 years ago and today she looks just as good.
Kristy Johnson sat down with the singer and actress to get the lowdown on her fitness routine, top beauty secrets and her love of Dance Moms!
You always look amazing. Do you have any secrets to looking good that you could share with us?
I have to say over the years, I’ve learned that…we all know that stress is the worst. It definitely doesn’t make you feel good. If there’s any advice I could give anyone, I would say let go of stress and worry because you will look back and you’ll realise that what you were so worried about, wasn’t even that big of a deal! We all know that stress causes health problems. Instead, I want to look at everything in a childlike way. What I mean by that is in a way that nothing gets old or boring. Everything that I do, I’m excited about! New work, new music, a new acting job, or even just doing something with friends. I always want to look at everything as a new experience and it makes it exciting. It’s really changed my life having that kind of attitude.
Are you quite strict with diet and exercise?
I go off and on. Obviously when I know I have a performance coming up or a photo shoot, I am much more aware of what I’m eating. I love sushi, so fish really works for me. I will focus more on fruits and vegetables too. Actually, last year in September, I stopped drinking sodas. I didn’t drink water at all (laughs). I would only drink sodas! I knew that water was really good for you and it sounds so corny to say because we all know, but if you’re a person that doesn’t like water, to make that change is…you feel so different! I feel so much healthier. That made a big change as far as my dieting. I don’t work out all the time but I look forward to getting into dance rehearsal. I always think it’s the best workout! So when you’re rehearsing in the studio for six or seven hours and you don’t even realise how hard you’re dancing or working out because it’s fun (laughs). But I do give myself a break. Especially after shows, I pig out. I eat whatever I want and then I get it out of my system and then try and keep healthy.
Do you find pressure in LA to stay looking so good?
Of course! Absolutely. Especially when you’re looked at as a sex symbol. What I put out there is the image that I want to put out there. Being a part of Playboy and Baywatch where looks were a significant part of the show, so yeah of course there’s pressure. I’ve always been the kind of person, whether it’s due to my dance background or not, to see the best in other people and be more critical of myself. I think most of the pressure comes from myself (laughs). I would be a liar to say that I don’t feel pressure. I’m aware that if I don’t feel my best, I definitely won’t look my best. And in this industry, if you have a bad day, everyone will tell you about it (laughs). It’s something you have to get over, because if you put yourself out there, then you’re going to be judged!
How do you deal with any negative comments online?
A thousand people could say something positive, and then there’s that one comment that stays in your head and you forget all the good ones (laughs). However, I think I have the best fans ever! They’ve truly been supportive of me through all stages of my career and in my life. I’ll have a friend who will come over, and I’ll say read me all of the good stuff! I want to communicate with my fans that are supportive and I want them to know how much they mean to me.
What beauty products could you not live without?
I would have to say my L’Oreal Elnett hairspray and Kate Somerville beauty products. I really love the products and saw a great change in my skin. I use a lot of MAC products; their eye shadows and I love their lipstick and lip-glosses. Their makeup really stays. I have a fantastic makeup artist that I work with but I definitely know it’s a dancer’s thing where you kind of have to do your own makeup. I really got into a habit of doing my own makeup all the time. And of course, I always love showgirl makeup! I really got into that whole thing. It was a funny transition going into acting because I didn’t want to lose my showgirl makeup (laughs). I had to tell myself that’s not the character (laughs). I had to really learn and get natural makeup. I’m a makeup girl at heart, I love it and that’s just who I am.
Your hair always looks perfect. What are your secrets to great hair?
Other than my Elnett hairspray, I love Bumble and Bumble. Especially the Surf Spray and the Thickening Hairspray.
What made you want to get back into the music industry?
Well, music has always been a big part of my life. I don’t play an instrument but my father played guitar and my mother was a backup singer in a band. My brother’s a drummer too, so I just grew up with music. I guess initially my parents noticed that I liked to dance. I would always try and dance to the music and so by the time I was five, they put me into ballet class, tap and jazz. From there, music and dance became a huge part of my life.
Are you keen to still do a bit of acting on the side?
Yes, I’m acting as well. I recently did an episode of ‘Funny or Die’. I was so excited about it. I love comedy and I’ve always had such a great sense of humour about myself. I do have a very serious side but I have another side of me that loves to laugh and I think that laughter is so important. So many of the movies that I’ve been a part of over the years are all those movies that are so much fun to shoot. I’m just really focused on what I love to do.
Would you say you feel the most confident on stage?
Absolutely. Well, before I go on stage, I’m very nervous! I’m going over everything in my head. And honestly, as soon as I take my first step on stage, I feel like a different person. There’s no fear. I just love to perform and I love to dance. It’s the best high in the world.
Can you tell us more about your dance training?
I started off with ballet classes and from then on I went to a school of performing arts where my major was dance. So that’s definitely where I got my solid ballet training, but while I was doing that I was also going to gymnastics and then I would go to another dance studio (laughs) where I would take jazz and tap.
Wow, so busy!
Yes (laughs). I’m glad now though that my mother pushed me. I appreciate it now. My body started to change and I hit puberty where my legs were not ‘ballet skinny’ and everything started to change. I started to feel like an outsider a little bit in my ballet class. All the other girls in my class were straight up and down (laughs) and my teachers started to notice and they were very, very strict and not afraid to throw chairs at us or anything (laughs). I remember how some of the other girls wouldn’t eat and I thought maybe I should try that. I tried not eating and it didn’t work, which was a good thing because it’s not healthy and not the way to go. So I got into hip hop! I started dancing with a crew at my school and that’s where the love of hip hop came from. I realised I felt more in that area. Looking back though, I’ve always thought in my life, why not try everything and see what you’re good at?!
Are you a fan of the show Dance Moms?
I am! Her studio in Pittsburgh is not far from where I grew up. I was trained the same way and was doing dance competitions. I have so many trophies from all these competitions so I was really into that world. So when I watch the show, it’s so real! It reminds me of growing up.
Interview by Kristy Johnson