In Bed With…The Wrestling Star Changing the Game Out of the Ring
The world of women’s wrestling can be a fierce place, and WWE star Ariane Andrew—known to many by her wrestling Diva character’s name as Cameron—is one fierce lady. But Ariane (“It’s like Ariana Grande, but without the A.”) Andrew the person is so much more more than her WWE persona. In town for NYFW, she took time between fashion shows to chat about life after pro wrestling, her philanthropy, and NYC. Here, we get #InBedWith…Ariane Andrew.
In Bed With Ariane Andrew
Before appearing in WWE, you majored in business marketing and psychology, and worked as a behavior therapist. Was this while wrestling on the side? Or did wrestling come after?
Wrestling came after. I always said if I was going to be in entertainment that I wanted to do it by the book. I knew I wanted to go to college. I was the first one to go to college in my family, and I was actually going to go get my masters, and then WWE happened.
How did that come about?
I auditioned with LA Casting and didn’t think anything of it. But then they asked me for two, three, four more auditions, and offered me a contract. But what a lot of people don’t know is, after they offered me a contract, they actually took it away and they wanted me to do the show Tough Enough first. I was the first one eliminated from that show, but ultimately the last one standing with a contract for WWE.
What’s something about yourself that you think would surprise people? (Besides your dance skills, which we’ve just witnessed on the windowsill.)
I’m really goofy. Mostly before people meet me…I don’t want to say “beotch,” because I don’t like that word—it’s so derogatory—but people wouldn’t think that I’d be friendly and just silly. So when people do get to know me, they’re like “Oh my god, you’re crazy.”…So if I feel like doing something, I’ll just do it because that’s what I feel like doing, and that’s what makes me happy.
Do you think people confuse you with Cameron?
Oh god, yeah. She’s a villain, and she’s intense and she is crazy, which is me, but it’s times 50. If someone were to come up to me, I’m super friendly…and Cameron’s just like “Don’t talk to me. I’m too good for you.”
Where did the name Cameron come from?
WWE asked me to give them three names. I only remember two. Savannah and Cameron. I’ve always loved guy names for girls. So if I ever have a girl, I want to name her Ricky Vaughn. Cameron is a name that’s still girly, but a little boyish, too. But I still think Ariane’s cooler!
What’s your catch phrase?
Which one? “Girl, bye” is the one Cameron uses. But the phrase that Ariane uses is “Live your best life, yaaaaas.”
Emphasis on the yaaaas.
You’ve been teaching benefit classes at LA’s Union Rescue Mission for the homeless. How did you get involved in philanthropy?
Just before WWE, I worked with autistic children, which gave me a whole new view on helping people likely to get teased or simply need guidance. I also did an anti-bullying campaign where I did a single called “Wrong Number,” basically saying if you’re not about positivity, you have the wrong number. You can help someone and brighten their day by the smallest things. And then I had the opportunity to be able to go to the Union Rescue Mission and be around the kids, give them autographed pictures, and just let them see a different light. And since fitness is something that I love doing, I did a fitness bootcamp where a portion of the proceeds went back to the Mission.
What else are you involved with?
I’m actually focusing on another charity right now called Black Girls Rock. Everyone rocks, but being a woman of color and being in a male dominated industry…I think it’s very important to know my background and let youth know that being black is, I will admit, difficult sometimes. And then being a woman on top of that. When you’re resilient, focused and driven, the sky has no limit. It may be difficult, but it’s not impossible. I want to be an example to show that it’s possible. And that there’s life out of WWE. A lot of times you see people who are in WWE, and then after that, that’s just it. But I want to break the barrier. And be one of the first black women to do so. I’m trying to make history here.
Yeah, you’re doing it. And speaking of life after WWE, your Instagram is still very fitnessed focused. Have your own personal fitness habits changed since wrestling professionally?
When I was on the road, to me, my sleep was way more important than working out. I have to have sleep in order to function. Five hours is ideal for me— I have to get that five hours. Now I’m not traveling as much, so I’m able to maintain more of a gym schedule. I’ve gained more muscle, but I’m also the heaviest I’ve ever been, which comes with age. I’m going to be 30 years young this year. I do miss characteristics of how I used to look, but I was younger then. As a woman, your body just changes. So you have to work harder…and I love food. So for me, it’s all about work hard to play harder. That’s my motto.
That’s a good motto. You used to be in NYC quite a lot for WWE. If you’re not traveling as much, how often do you visit the city now?
This is my third time this year. I was at both Fashion Weeks and also Beauty Con. I’ve been able to enjoy New York more after WWE, and I’m getting used to the streets, saying things like “Oh, between Sixth and Seventh…”
You’re a New Yorker now!
I’m learning the whole lingo, before I was like a lost dog in this big city.
You were just in Paris. How would you compare the vibes between New York and LA and Paris?
I definitely feel if someone is from New York or from Europe, there’s a similarity, because there’s a lot of walking—you don’t see people walking in LA. New York feels smaller, but with so many more people, and LA feels spread out with everything so far away. In New York, you can just hop on a train and you’re there. Not in LA.
And you’re originally from LA?
Born and raised! I’m a Valley Girl.
You’re in town for NYFW. What are you most excited to see?
I’m excited to see Philipp Plein’s show—partly because of that prison babe model! I know this is gonna sound crazy, but I think it’s dope that he was given the opportunity to model from that and make a career. Plus, Philipp Plein is just a really cool, dark edgy vibe. Very gothic.
And any trends you’re hoping to see?
My own, girl!
How would you describe your personal fashion, besides looking like Wonder Woman.
I have a very eclectic style.I like stepping outside the box, doing what other people don’t do. Sometimes that means wearing pajamas with an Asian look to them. Right now it means my hair being gray and short.
Are there any trends in fashion you’re hoping will end soon?
Those freaking squiggly eybrose that just started. I thought it was a joke. It’s not cute. It needs to be erased, like yesterday.
And what are your travel essentials?
My pillow and blankie.
Gotta stay comfortable on the road!
Yes, on the plane especially since it’s so cold. And Glitty!
Oh Glitty! Tell us a little about your dog.
Glitty has definitely grown into her own. She has to vibe you before letting you in, and that’s just like me. They do say dogs are like their owners. I have a very eccentric and extroverted personality, but you have to know me to see that. Glitty feels the same. I feel like she’s legit my daughter. I love animals. If I had a huge house, I would just have all types of random animals running around. But for now it’s just Glitty…