Introducing Your New Favorite Full-Figured Fashion Femme
You may have seen her dimples light up your TV screen in BET’s Rip the Runway 2008 Model Search or you may have witnessed her curves in several ads—from Apple Bottoms to RocaWear. Chances are, you’ve definitely seen buxom Dominican beauty Christina Mendez, but now, it’s time to see what’s inside that makes her exterior so flawless. And soon, you’ll fall in love with this living paradigm. “When I hear people say models need to look this particular way or they’ll never put a big girl on the runway—that inspires me. Hearing negative things inspires me to do positive things,” Christina reveals.
New York City Native, Christina Mendez has always been obsessed with fashion, even though humble upbringings didn’t afford her the luxury of indulging. Using her resources in high school, Christina joined the fashion committee at Humanities High School. With her sites set on taking the plus model world by storm, at age 20, Christina was hit with a storm of her own that she would have to overcome—the birth of her Autistic son, Daniel while attending Morris Brown University in Atlanta, GA.
With Mommy’s tutelage in the first couple years of his life, Daniel excelled and is now reading, writing, speaking and thriving. Mendez explains, “I just never let things like that effect me because I am a strong believer in faith. I can’t let someone dictate to me how things are going to happen, that’s how I am with my career. I can’t let someone tell me I can’t do it. I just don’t give up that easy.”
And it shows! Mendez managed her own career before her son’s birth and after his growth through Autism, until she signed with Goddess. As Christina’s career flourishes, she remains humble. “I still do free jobs from time to time because I remember when I was trying to build my dream too,” Mendez states. She is also involved with Autism Speaks, AHRC, Hispanic Support Organization and is a celebrity interviewer for The VIP Section. So, how does she find the time to wear so many hats? “Sometimes I don’t see how I’m doing it, but it’s the inner strength in me and I’m just going to go for it and not complain.”
Mendez is trying to not only break ground in the plus size model industry, but she is also trying to create a niche for Latina models. “I feel as though my entire Hispanic heritage is not enough to make me look ethnic because I’m too light to be African American and too dark to be Hispanic. My agency is having a hard time trying to market me” Christina explains. As Christina walks the path in life she knows was destined for her, she trips and stumbles along the way, but if there is one thing she wants you to remember it’s, “Hope. Never give up on your dream, no matter how late it is, no matter how much things have happened in your life that has put a hold on your dreams, go for it!”