My name is Christina Akomea and I live in New York City. I am currently a reinsurance analyst for the large insurance brokerage firm but also fashion blog at www.justmissedtherunway.com.
How do you defy society’s typical beauty standards?
I defy society’s beauty standards by living in my truth. I am a short, muscular, dark skinned African woman. This is who God made me and He calls me beautiful.
Do you have a story about a time when you didn’t accept your beauty or had to discover it in some way?
Growing up in an urban South Bronx neighborhood was tough. The “it girl” was the Latina with gelled down baby hair and thick long curly hair; or the light skinned black girl whose lip gloss was popping. My mother forced me to wear protective styles longer than necessary so I never had the opportunity to show my thick kinky hair. I was called “African booty scratcher” and “blacky.” I wanted badly to bleach my skin. But those insecurities died upon moving uptown and attending a very large high school where boys appreciated my dark skin.
How have you come to recognize your beauty and power over the years?
I think my environment helped. But I’m sure it was a result of the love my family showed me. I couldn’t be moved by someone’s inability to see my beauty because I thought I was beautiful, and the comment “You’re so pretty for an African girl,” as jaded, ignorant, and shallow as it was, helped my confidence as well.
What inspires your style?
My mother, believe it or not. If she read this, she’d call me a liar because I always tell her she doesn’t put enough effort in her image. But the truth is, my style is conservative because she made me wear skirt and pants suits from as early as 3rd grade (7-8 years old). I used to cry on picture day, but I marvel now because I loveeee a good bold suit!
What are your go-to beauty products?
E0S chap stick, MAC Gold Deposit highlighter, ASIAM twisting butter, and Jamaican black castor oil.
What makes you feel most beautiful?
My natural fro after I do a twist out!
Would you say you’re 100% comfortable in your own skin at this point in your life? How so or why not?
I wouldn’t say I am 100% comfortable. I could always have longer hair, clearer skin, and a smaller waist. But with or without, I’m happy!