Interview by OUT LOUD Studio
Photos by Onne van Dixhoorn
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Everyone seems to know Christina Curry (26) and everyone seems to have an opinion based on their own perspective of who she is. Her family has apparently defined her, but Christina is Christina. After laying low for two years and enjoying a calm life outside of the spotlight, a very confident and happy Christina arises and I couldn’t wait to meet her. Her rawness, openness and decisive attitude to be herself has intrigued me. Her Instagram shows me she has 28,6K followers, making it quite certain that she intrigues and possibly inspires many more besides me. Christina Curry agrees to meet with me and invites me to her home, welcoming me with a crowd of friends and making me feel comfortable in her world.
Talk us a bit through your journey.
I was born in New Jersey and lived there till I was eight. Then I moved to Amsterdam and we lived there for two years. After we moved to Belgium for four years and when I was fourteen we moved to England where I lived for six years. I went to a boarding school there; a school full of posh kids like in the reality shows they have now. My parents got divorced when I was eighteen and I lived in London alone for one more year. I love it there! It’s just so expensive. If I had a bunch of money I would definitely buy an apartment in London. I spent my longest conscious years and time there, from fourteen till twenty years old so all my pop culture references are British. When I was twenty I moved to LA by myself. I lived there for three years and somehow I survived (don’t ask) and now I have been living here for four and a half years, in Rotterdam.
And after travelling quite extensively you feel at home here?
I really do! It’s strange, my mom is actually from Rotterdam. My grandparents and aunt live here, so we have Rotterdam roots. I moved here originally for my ex who lives around the corner, one street down, where I lived with her for two years. I remember I went back to LA after I met her and remember wanting to go back to Holland. I never thought I would want that, but I wanted to be with her and I felt this need to go and ended up moving. I fell in love with her and Rotterdam.
We have a lot in common as I myself lived in several different places while growing up, including New Jersey. I have found it very hard to feel at home somewhere. What is home for you; people or a place?
I find homes in people. It has made me a bit unstable at times where I rely too much on finding homes in people. When I was younger in relationships, I was almost like a love addict because I needed to find a home in someone in order to feel OK because I was not OK. Now I think that’s really sweet though to meet someone and feel at home with that person. If people I care about move, I will end up moving as well cause that’s my home. I would end up going wherever they go. I said that to my girlfriend as well; after two months dating I gave her a key to my house on Valentines Day and told her that the moment I met her felt like coming home from a really long trip, so I wanted her to always be able to come to my home.
That’s very romantic and sweet of you. So you’re not afraid to embrace your feelings?
Well I think a lot of people of our generation are afraid to embrace feelings because they are to busy working on their careers. They forget that love is a really great foundation for a lot of things, and you can be trying to achieve success because you feel this pressure of society, but love is the big reason to want to keep living. Whether it’s a friendship or a relationship, those are the most important things. If everything would be gone tomorrow and I would have no money, I would feel rich anyway because I am loved and am capable to love.
Being such a romantic, what is your view on marriage?
I think about getting married a lot and it doesn’t have to change your identity. People think that your life can’t be filled with excitement whilst sharing it with another person. Marriage is a really old fashioned and romantic gesture and celebration of love, and even if you end up getting divorced, who cares? Even if it didn’t work out but in that moment you felt so in love and wanted to make that commitment, which is still worth something. It’s like saying that you are going to find your soul mate but that person is going to be terminally ill and you would only have ten years together. Would you rather be like ‘oh no thank you, I rather don’t meet him’ or would you rather have ten amazing years? A lot of people would choose not to meet that person, but I would rather have that person.
Back onto the topic about living abroad. Has moving a lot created/intensified certain insecurities or has it made you a stronger person?
I think both. I felt really left alone by my parents and I felt unstable and emotionally undeveloped. My parents were two very interesting people and with the moving and their work, I feel they didn’t give me the correct tools to emotionally deal with things. But on the other hand it also has made me super strong because I can pick up my stuff and go ‘bye’ and I love that I can do that and I can be happy anywhere. I am a really easy adapter, I’m like a light bulb that is always the same light bulb but it changes color. My girlfriend has the same, she grew up in different countries and that’s why we connect so intensively. There is a specific type of group like us who understand what that’s like. It’s a blessing and a curse as you get all these different life skills and can adapt literally to anyone, you have so much empathy and acceptance for a lot of things. That is awesome, but sometimes I do envy people that got to always live in the same place.
And how has social pressure influence those or other insecurities?
My parents never stimulated me to go to college, because they always told me I was different and special and would do what they were doing. So I kind of grew up in my teens being told that I was special, but I did not feel special and didn’t want to be told that. It made me a little bit too laid back in how I saw my future, but I also love that in myself and I finally found someone that thinks the same way. I don’t put pressure on myself for my future, and I actually feel sad for people that do put pressure on themselves because they are not enjoying things. You don’t need to take things so seriously and shouldn’t put pressure on it cause then it will stop becoming fun. I never allowed myself to feel pressure from society, the only pressure I have felt was here in Holland when it comes to my appearance. And I guess I always felt the pressure to be really nice because I was too scared that somebody would say I was not nice and I was in no position to do that cause people talked so badly about me and my family. That’s the only pressure that I truly feel. I was super out there, confused and looking for who I was. I took a step back from doing media stuff for two years and worked at an organic store, and I loved it because it reintegrated me into society. I thought that people would never treat me normal, but for once I had two years of people being mean because they were frustrated or had a shitty day and that all had nothing to do with me.
Does everyone you encounter know who you are?
I don’t feel everyone knows who I am, but there are annoying amounts of people that do and it usually surprises me how they act around me. People are giving you these compliments and telling you they are a fan of you just for being a person, It’s such a weird thing for people to say. The negativity that came with my mother these last few years, that’s what shadowed me. I guess I had to step out of the shadow and take a distance.
Do you need social media to feed those insecurities and focus yourself on the positive remarks?
I think I do. None of my posts are calculated and it’s weird when they are taken out of context. I never think about what I post, I use Instagram like any Instagrammer would use it. Not even a cool, nice or beautiful feed; just a photo of my rabbit and me. But I do try to use my Instagram to show a ‘real’ side of me. These last two years I got more and more followers while I did the least amount of work on TV that I ever done in my life. Literally nothing besides a show about autism and all of a sudden I went up 10k followers in less than a year and I noticed I was being followed by a lot of young women. They would write to me saying they felt inspired by me or looked up to me because they liked that I was really just being myself. It made these girls feel good about them being themselves as well.
That’s also a big reason why I wanted to talk to you. You don’t only highlight the highs but also highlight the lows and I think a lot of women identify themselves in that.
I am actually doing a project with VICE that is about that. It’s called IRL (In Real Life) and we put up this ad where a bunch of people got interviewed intensively about me. I don’t know these people and they were asked personal questions about me like ‘What is Christina scared of?’ and they were all answering as if they knew me. They really felt like they knew me based on my Instagram profile or online content, which is crazy. So whenever people do recognize me, if it’s through my family or my Instagram, I always ask them if they think I’m the same as they thought I would be because I would hate if I profiled myself incorrectly. It’s impossible to be 100% authentic online because you are not always going to explain the photo. I try to remain as honest as possible but I’m not posting those body positivity things where I am accentuating my flaws, I’m constantly making a joke out of myself.
You are very open about your sexuality. Do you label yourself as being gay or do you not believe in gender roles?
I do label myself as gay; it was a really important realization for me. Growing up my parents were always open with me; so I would be kissing boys and girls, and sleeping with both genders. I never thought I could actually have feelings for a woman. I used to ask my mom as a kid ‘What if I’m gay?’ because I was constantly worried I might be gay.
Why would that worry you?
I don’t know. Obviously it has a negative thing in society and it was a compulsive question, it had nothing to do with actually being afraid I was gay. I didn’t think about it until I fell in love with a woman for the first time, then I realized all the things that didn’t feel correct this whole time. I always felt that something was not quite there, and after I understood it. I guess saying I was gay was a step in accepting the new chapter of my life that I wanted to continue living as. I didn’t like it at first because I wanted to marry a man and have the perfect wedding and kids. I didn’t want to be gay because that wasn’t in my plan. When I accepted it, I felt great. I was afraid to be gay because having autism, changing your life plans is very confusing. You have to relearn how it is to date another gender in a serious way. I can’t say I might never be able to fall for a guy, but I don’t think I could anymore. I feel so happy; now the pressure has been lifted off when I’m around men, they can be themselves around me. There is nobody left to impress.
How do you feel body wise?
I feel the most comfortable as I every felt because I finally found this between area of what I wanted to dress like and what I feel comfortable in. I feel like my mom always stimulated me to dress like a girl, while I was boyish. I spent years as a teenager with so much make-up, clothes and accessorizing myself. The past two years I really just don’t care. Usually I don’t wear make up and I wear I lot of track bottoms, I feel very hot. When you are younger as a female you really look around and worry ‘Are people attracted to me?’, ‘Are they looking?’. But now I’m tired, I’m an adult, I pay taxes, I really don’t fucking care.
You let your guard down and there is nothing sexier than a woman that’s comfortable in being herself. I think you’re discovering the real you, it has interested a subculture.
Yeah, because I feel the total opposite of the image of my mother but I feel more feminine than I ever felt even though I’m technically way more unpolished than I ever was. I do so little for my appearance cause I started seeing that other things are so much more important than to spent so much time in front of the mirror. You miss out on a lot of stuff if you spend your time with that kind of bullshit. Mostly I started to feel beautiful when I felt good on the inside and had great people around me. That made me super beautiful!
Do you consider yourself a feminist and what is your view on modern feminism?
I guess I categorize myself as a feminist but more in the way that I’m just a female doing what I’m comfortable with and not conforming to a standard that the media want you to believe is the correct way to look or feel. There is such a negative weight to it and women are protesting but don’t know what they are protesting for, that really annoys me. But I’m all down for standing up for your beliefs as a woman. I believe in women being who they are, in being equal and treating themselves OK.
Out of insecurity girls tend to be mean. Do you surround yourself with women like yourself that give you a sense of sisterhood?
Well that doesn’t change. Girls are mean to you in your teenage years, and still now that hasn’t changed. That’s why I have very few female friends; the ones I have are a perfect mix of a woman with a little bit of a manly energy in them, or at least enough so they are not dramatic. What I see in large groups of women; they can get nasty. That’s how we are programmed at such a young age, like on Nikelodeon or Disney it depicts women being nasty to each other as if it is normal. It’s a horrible quality to be jealous. I surrounded myself with women that give a mutual balance of support and no bullshit, there is a zero tolerance policy for nonsense and bitching. I am a girl, but I’m too dudeish to deal with that. Women need to feel good about themselves to be able to radiate that energy towards others and not having to be jealous. Jealousy is a very nasty quality and my mom always used to tell me ‘Kill them with kindness’. If people will be mean to me, I’m so nice back cause I’m not going to do the same thing back. It’s so pointless. Now I feel women are getting better at it and that’s why I have a concentrated group of females around me and we are all empowering each other.
How does the next couple of months look for you?
Well, I’m actually going to be doing some TV programs again only because they involve travelling. Then I will be able to pay the rent for a while. Maybe in a few months I think ‘Shit, I need to get a new job’, but for now I really just want to worry about things as they come. My goal is just to be happy. I don’t want to set big dreams cause then it will only be disappointing if I don’t reach them so I just see where life takes me.
Will people see a different you?
Oh yes, they definitely will! That’s why I’m being very selective in shows that either contribute to me as a person or are useful like the autism show that not only helped me, but also a lot of other women. The travelling will contribute to my own experiences. I just won’t accept any big amount of money anymore to do reality TV. I feel that I have trained myself to see past money.