Today we’d like to introduce you to Christianna Duthie.
Hi Christianna, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
Growing up, I always knew I liked to perform. I started out homeschooled, where I was able to start my first passion of gymnastics. When I lost my dad, it was hard for my family and I, and being very young, it was hard for me to understand why things had changed. Over the next few years, I loved how good I could be at gymnastics, and at school. Being recognized as a GT (gifted and talented) student made me feel special! I forgot about my grief, and aimed for the Olympics! Then, my passion changed, and I was lost. Despite my feeling of aimlessness, growing up, I always remembered my oldest sister told me I should model. I thought it was the most ridiculous idea! I mean, in a family where all of the women in your house are below 5’4, it’s hard to imagine yourself on the runway! Despite that, she always believed I could do it, and my family has always supported my dreams. Now, at 5’4 and 16 years old, I am starting my journey as a model in training, soon to be signed to an agency. I’m even going to try to get a spot in the upcoming and iconic, Denver Fashion Week. I look forward to living in my future, I know it is bright, and that my family is too.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I’ve had plenty of challenges growing up. Losing my dad was hard, and it prepared me for a world full of tough love. Gymnastics taught me character and confidence when it felt like things around me may have been crumbling. Being mixed, it was hard when people didn’t understand my ethnicity. Experiencing prejudice because people feel as though they deserve to know your background isn’t fun. Although, I am lucky enough to be light-skinned, and don’t experience racism to the extent many dark-skinned women do. I remember once I was at a recreation center, with a predominant demographic of black children. I had a lot of friends there, and after it had closed down for a little for COVID, I hadn’t been there in a while. When I walked in, I asked to use one of the facilities that required a key. In response to my question, the white worker said “Oh! I’ll open it for you, you’re one of the good ones.” In his reference, I thought he was referring to the practice I came there to do. Immediately after, realizing, he was referring to my behavior as a young brown girl, in contrast to the behavior of my other brown friends. Despite it being a microaggression, comments like that can really make any person, especially a young woman doubt themselves. The goal may not be discomfort, but ignorance will never make anyone feel safe. Being a woman in general makes life a little harder. People doubt your capabilities constantly and feel as though you owe them something, as a woman, and as a person of color. It is a battle to live peacefully in a world that isn’t made for you when you’re already trying to figure out your personal life. Regardless, I’ve been lucky enough to have people in my life who do not shy to adversity, especially the women in my family. I have the utmost respect for people who pick themselves and others up in a hard time because of them. I will never be a person who backs down when things get hard. I am also not shy to pick my battles. When you’ve experienced enough of them, you realize some simply aren’t worth your time.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I am working toward being a part/full-time model currently. I am also a musician in the making. I haven’t put out any music yet, but an album is coming, sometime in spring 2023. I also plan to look for acting roles, continue creating jewelry and art to sell on Etsy, and more. I love performance, and sports, and look to continue my academic career with involvement in my current club, African Student Association. I also love field hockey, and am going to try out lacrosse!
Is there any advice you’d like to share with our readers who might just be starting out?
That despite all of the bad advice you get, it’s important to value constructive criticism. It may hurt in the moment, but being adaptable is one of the only things that can really help you render success. Having drive may start you out, but when you begin, other people can see things you cannot. It’s best to capitalize on that than to ignore it! No one has ever gotten anywhere by not being able to work with others!
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @christiiaanna
- SoundCloud: christianna-duthie