Model: Cristina White Jones
Multiple Conditions

I’m a full-time artist and private art teacher. My mother ran a gallery, so I grew up with artisans and their work. I’ve always felt the need to create.
When I was 11 years old, I fell and broke my right hip. It started out as slipped capital femoral epiphysis with avascular necrosis. Since then, I’ve had over 30 surgeries on both my leg and hip.

When I’m painting and teaching children, I’m able to displace the daily pain I’m in and focus my energy completely on art. “Mind over matter,” is what I was taught by my father, also disabled, who led by great example.

Without art and the support of my amazing family, I’m not sure how I would’ve made it through everything. When we were coming up with an idea for my photo, what better way to show who I am and what gets me through the day than for me to be in front of a giant canvas and kids all around me.

I was excited to be part of the Texas Bold Beauty Project because it focuses on the woman and who she is first, not her “disability,” which is how it should always be. I was deemed permanently “disabled” at 19, but have never once considered myself disabled. I refuse to give up. We always have to keep going and keep trying!

“At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can.” – Frida Kahlo


Photographed by Bob Cook