Plus Size Model, Role Model, and Healthy Body Image advocate shares her story
I've always struggled with my weight for as long as I could remember. Constantly tried to ignore comments from people like "you know you don't need that last biscuit". I became so self conscious about myself that it eventually led to me wearing t-shirts and sweats to school because I didn't even want to try and make myself look pretty. Ever since middle school I've always had a love for acting and just being in front of the camera period. So one day I thought "I don't have to be skinny to be an actress" and decided to finally go to an agency to see what they thought . The guy took one look at me and said "come back when your gap is fixed". I got so down in myself. Growing up I always had a secondary love for sports; basketball especially . I started playing in elementary and eventually continued to play through middle and high school. By playing basketball I began to slim down and by 11th grade I started to get braces . People around me started to change . Guys actually started to seem interested in me and not just "as a friend".
After graduating highschool I moved to California in pursuit of an acting career and got discovered by a modeling agency that specialized in "plus size modeling" . I had no idea what plus size modeling even was. They explained that all models aren't skinny and being plus size by no means is considered "fat". They also explained that it's all about being healthy, and just loving yourself in general and not trying to meet ridiculous standards that other people set up. From that moment on I had a whole new outlook on my life.
I started a program called Herbal Life which was an amazing health journey for me. I ended up loosing 15 lbs in about 3 months and just overall felt healthier. One day I realized I miss modeling. That next week i went to a open call for my present agency Wilhelmina . They loved me! But now being a size 8/9 I was considered too small to do plus size modeling anymore. They gave me the option to gain weight and join the agency if I really wanted to. After weighing my pros and cons I decided to gain the weight. Gaining the weight was extremely hard for me. It's crazy because when I didn't want to get bigger it seemed like that's all I could do but when I wanted to gain a couple inches it seemed nearly impossible. After a long journey of gaining weight I went back to Wilhelmina and they told me I was still too small. I remember going home and crying because I didn't want to get any bigger, but I really wanted to be signed. I made the decision that I wasn't going to gain anymore weight because I didn't want to feel unhealthy . If they couldn't take me as I was comfortably then they weren't the agent for me. So I stuck to my guns and gave up my weight gaining goals. Amazingly, after a couple weeks go by Wilhelmina called me back in and decided to sign me at the weight I was.
Today, I realize that it doesn't matter if your short, tall , skinny , or curvy. The only thing that matters is that your confident and content with yourself. Once you make the decision that your perfectly unperfect body is just the way you are; is when true success awaits you.
Christina is passionate about restoring value, purpose, identity and beauty to the young women of this generation. Follow- @beauty_hasnosize