Strong. Beautiful. Smart. All words you could use to describe Kai Morae inside and out. We all got our formal introduction to her when the show featuring her superstar mom, LisaRaye The Real McCoy on TVONE. Since the show aired Kai has been on the move not only establishing herself as a force not to be reckoned with. However, Kai is no newbie to the modeling world. “I was a child model. I did a lot of things for Macy’s and fashion shows in Chicago. Chicago is a really big market for catalog modeling. I didn’t really get into the photo shoots and runway modeling until I got older and got to L.A.”.
What some would call being a natural, her photos are breathtakingly fierce. You have to wonder was modeling always something she wanted to do? “Honestly, I didn’t even want to be in the entertainment business because I felt I was already in it because my mom was. I got all the perks of it. You know, I got to go to this place and that party; I was like I’m good like this!”
Body image can be a huge setback when stepping into modeling. Especially for young girls that may have issues with their growing bodies. “Everyone has that awkward age where you’re like ‘I don’t like this and this isn’t really cute’, but once you grow into your body and realize the you can work out and do different things to change different parts, I started to use it my benefit!”
Maintaining that flawless figure can be a bit of a chore sometimes. Not to mention when you are in the public eyes constantly. “Actually, two days ago I exercised and that was the first time I exercised in 2011! (laughs at my shocked reaction) Well, as you can see on the first season I was heavier and I lost 35 pounds. It sounds corny, but it really is about your portions. I like to eat! My grandmother is from Mississippi and I’m from Chicago and we like to eat! I just have what I want in smaller portions. I’m just not a gym person. I don’t like to run. When I am at the gym on the treadmill, I run and walk. I put it on an incline and then I run for a minute and walk for a minute. That allows me to catch my breath! (laughs)”
With a powerhouse of talent in her mom (obviously passed down to her in huge amounts), LisaRaye, we’d be remiss to assume she had no affect on her career. “Well, she’s always be there and been very supportive. When she’s at my shoots she is very helpful…I mean she used to be a model so it’s good advice!”
Is she ever at any of your shoots? “She normally comes by my shoots; I usually don’t like her to be there the whole time. We’re very similar in the way that we say ‘This is what I’m doing. Let me do my thing. We’ll come together and we’ll link up on this but not on that. I’m like, ‘I don’t want to do this at my shoot!’ and she’s like ‘Oh no, but it looks better that way!’ and I’m like ‘Well this is not your shoot!’ (laughs) You know I can’t really say what I want to say cause she’s my mama!
I was elated when I heard that Kai had been chosen as the new face for the full-figured side of Apple Bottoms. This is a very significant achievement in that she is Apple Bottom’s very first plus-sized model. The campaign was shot by famed photographer Derek Blanks in Los Angeles and will also be featured in an upcoming episode of The Real McCoy.
Though Apple Bottom has made the amazingly wise decision to showcase their plus size line. There are quite a few designers out there that have yet to see the significance of catering to women of all sizes. “For me at least, I’ve never really gotten the experience of a ‘normal’ model because of the name and the things I have behind me. So, a lot of times, when I’m coming into something I’m bringing my own established fan base as opposed to a model that may just be know for her pictures. I’m known for my pictures, my show, my twitter, you know? I’m known for so many other things, so I bring a whole different aspect to it. Not only would the designers be getting me, but also they are getting their designs on red carpets, on Bossip and other websites. It’s more coverage for them.”
With her career on the upswing, it makes us wonder if we can expect to see her eventually move to sitcoms or even the big screen. “I think I would like to experience that, you know kind of get a different aspect, but it’s something I’m really passionate about. I don’t think I want to make it my career. For me, the more I do modeling, the more passion I gain for it.
Kai has a definite eye for what looks good. I asked her about someday starting her own line. “I do think I want to do that because the one thing I have noticed about a lot of plus sized lines…they’re not cute! They are matronly or look like maternity. I know for me, I’m a plus size, but I’m also very curvy. So, I don’t have a problem showing off my curves. I’ve noticed that a lot of plus sized lines, there’s a lot of material like we’re hiding. I think I want to make a line for girls that allows us to still look sexy!”
With all that is going on in her life, being a model, television star she I also a full-time computer science student who is primed to be the first in her immediate family to graduate from college. “I want to get a degree under my belt no matter what.”
You can connect with Kai on her very active Twitter page (@KaiMorae) or on her fan page on Facebook (Kai Morae). You can also see her on the new season of LisaRaye the Real Mcoy on TVOne, Thursdays at 9 pm.