It was all good about two years ago, but during Valentine’s Day of 2017 –but less than a week later Kourtney M. George went from being virtually unknown to an internet sensation. With just one hashtag and a meme, the 24-year-old Atlanta native became a household name after being cheated on by her then unfaithful boyfriend, and we were all along for the ride.
#HurtBae, as the media dubbed George, was a woman who believed in love and refused to see it any other way — even if it meant getting crushed in the process. George, who was a former ESSENCE intern before the internet fame, channeled her #BlackGirlMagic to rise above the drama, cleansed herself of the toxic relationship — and fast-forward to a year and some headlines later, she has a new outlook on life and is stepping into her purpose with grace and style!
Transforming from #HurtBae to #StyleBae, here’s what George has to say about her internet fame, fortune and fashion sense…
You used to be an intern at ESSENCE aka Black Girl Magic headquarters — tell us about your time spent working here.
I absolutely LOVED working at Essence! It’s a place where I feel at home; everyone is genuine and very hard working. Black women (and men) really know how to get the job done; I remember sleepless nights preparing for the Festival in New Orleans, but as a team we made it happen. My experience was unlike any other; co-workers became friends, I worked hard and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.
When did you first realize that you became a meme? And where did the term #HurtBae come from?
It was a shock going viral and becoming a meme. Honestly, no one can prepare you for something so crazy! I’m not sure exactly where #HurtBae actually came from or who came up with it, but I would bet that it came from Twitter.
After your popularity exploded you received a ton of fashion endorsements, has fashion always been a space that you wanted to be included in?
It was in college — when I went to Spelman— that I really found my sense of style. Everyday was a fashion show, Girls would wear heels to 8:00 AM classes, and that’s when I decided that I needed to step-it-up! My entire life I grew up wearing uniforms, I felt limited in what I could wear or even how I could wear my hair. After graduating, I moved to NYC and was inspired even more by the various fashion styles walking the streets. Now it’s become one of my passions.
How would you describe your personal style?
I would describe my personal style as minimal. For a very long time, I didn’t like to wear colors. I only wore muted earth tones like black, denim, white, nude. I’ve expanded my color palette since then, but my style has remained the same. I don’t like to do too much, but I do add my own flare to each outfit.
Your baby hairs are on point! What’s your secret for achieving the perfect lay-down?
I’ve never told anyone this, but I actually use a mascara brush for my baby hairs. Some people prefer a brush or toothbrush, but I find that a mascara brush works best for me. When I do my edges, it’s usually around the time that I’m doing my makeup, so I just take an old mascara brush and get the job done.
With each one of your street-style posts, how does it feel knowing you’re being judged by thousands of people now?
I read the comments. If I can, I’ll sit there and read every single one. Most of the comments are positive, but it gets tough. Sometimes I get anxiety when I post, and I’ll have someone else press the “Share” button. At first, it took some getting used to but this is what comes with being an influencer. They don’t know me personally and are only responding to the photo.
What’s up next for you?
Right now, I’m in Atlanta pursuing my acting career. I studied acting [as a minor] for four years at Spelman, and it’s my passion. I’ve always wanted to be an actress so I’m trying to make my big-screen dreams come true; I’m in pre-production for a couple of indie movies and am in acting classes. I want this more than anything and am striving towards it everyday!