by MIKE CHAIKEN
Model Kristina Johnson-Short admits that her life has had its pleasures. It’s also had its pain.
“To say my life has had some ups and downs would be an understatement,” said Kristina.
Among the positives for the 49-year-old is being of two adult boys.
She has enjoyed seeing her youngest son happily married and having been blessed with a young daughter. “I love being a Nana,” said Kristina.
She earned two bachelor’s degrees and a master’s in college
Kristina also learned the pleasures of giving to others in need. “In the past year I have sent thank you cards to first responders in my region; provided donations to the HUB Senior Center, HOPE Homeless Shelter, VA Hospital, and Shriner’s Hospital.
“With the nation shut down due to COVID, I got creative and started participating in 32 different virtual 5K races (though I walk them) to support various charities,” said Kristina.
She also has been able to win numerous pageants through the years and gets to wear a crown and sash. “I currently am the reigning Queen of Queens.”
And, she has become a model. She recently was a winner at the Magnifique Showcase operated by former “America’s Next Top Model” Victoria Henley. And she will be participating in a fashion show in New York this September.
“Ever since I was a little girl I wanted to be a model,” said Kristina. “In my youth I did a little modeling on a local basis.”
But as Kristina noted that with every up, there have been many downs.
“My life has been full of obstacles, and trauma,” said Kristina.
Kristina was the victim of domestic violence. “I know how it feels to have the one you love place their hands around your neck out of anger,” said the model.
Additionally, she said, “I am a survivor of a close family member telling me I am worthless and can’t do anything right almost daily for years as a youth.”
She also was bullied as a child. “I got off the bus many times from school with my hair and shirt saturated with the spit of my classmates,” said Kristina.
The model also has been sexually assaulted. “I have been molested by two different individuals.”
Also, Kristina said, “My eldest was 10 weeks premature and is permanently disabled with Asperger’s, social inhibitors, and cognitive delays,” said Kristina.
“I have also had two miscarriages,” she said.
Kristina also has had to raise her sons as a single parent as well as a co-parent. “I have worked hard to give my kids the life I felt they deserved and fill their youth with memories,” she said.
But, she said, “I am a survivor.”
And as the fall approaches, and the New York fashion scene gears up for runway season, she has proven that no matter how often life wants to beat you down, dreams can come true.
Photography Credit: Lynn Henley of Lynn Henley Photography