Raise your hand if you love beauty, bad-ass women, and people who don’t take social media too seriously. If you just did, you have a few things in common with Christina Grasso. This seriously cool girl boss is the Digital Content Manager for Flesh Beauty, the brainchild of former Allure editor-in-chief Linda Wells. In addition to that gig, she is also the co-founder of The Chain, which is a non-profit peer support network for women in the fashion and entertainment industry struggling with eating disorders. In the spirit of ‘the pouf’ (her infamous Instagram handle) grab a glass of wine, slap a sheet mask on, and let’s get to chatting. Here’s what she had to say:
Q: For anyone reading who has never stumbled upon one of your face mask selfies, what can you tell them about yourself?
A: My name is Christina, but many people call me Pouf. I’m 29 years old and spent the first 22 years of my life in the cornfields: I grew up in a very small town in Western PA, went to college in South Bend, IN and then landed in New York about seven years ago to pursue a career in fashion. Long story short, I now work in beauty and run a non-profit for women with eating disorders, called The Chain, on the side.
Q: What do you do for Flesh Beauty and what are your favorite products by them?
I lead social for Flesh Beauty and it’s been such an incredible experience. I genuinely love all of the products but if I were forced to choose, I’d probably say Touch Flesh Highlighting Balm, Swipe Flesh Lip Color and Fleshpot. And the primer. And Fleshy Lips. But also, all of it. Really.
Q: One thing that drew me to your page, besides your hilarious personality, was your non-profit project The Chain. Can you tell us a little bit about it and how it all got started?
So, over the past couple of years I’ve been fairly open about my struggle with anorexia. It took me a really long time to feel any level of comfort owning this part of my life, but once I started talking it felt as though the whole world opened up. Countless strangers and peers reached out to me about their own struggles and I realized we were all struggling in silence when we didn’t have to be. Then I connected with Ruthie (Friedlander) about a year and a half ago after she wrote a piece on her own recovery from anorexia. We grew close very quickly and became each other’s supporters and wanted to give that same assistance to other women in our industry. That’s how The Chain came about, and we just celebrated our first birthday last week!
Q: What does body positivity (especially in the fashion and entertainment industries) mean to you?
This is an interesting question because I personally don’t like the term “body positive” and wouldn’t label myself as such. I feel like focusing intently on being body positive reinforces the false importance of one’s physical body when, at least in my experience, I am trying to fill my mind with other things. Or, for people working to even just accept their body, the idea of body positivity can feel daunting. Everyone is on their own journey and I, personally, am still working on the acceptance piece. That said, body diversity is very important to me and I’m most impressed when brands or publications embrace all sizes without being self-congratulatory about it. Outdoor Voices is a great example of someone doing it well, in my humble opinion.
Q: What are some of the ways you guys cultivate community with The Chain and connect to those who may be suffering from an eating disorder?
Currently we have monthly meet-ups for our members as well as events open to the community for educational purposes. Ruthie and I are both very active online, as well, and offer support to anyone (in fashion or not) who reaches out to us who might be struggling.
Q: In an age of Instagram branding where it seems everyone is trying to produce #sponcon, how do you stay true to yourself and not get caught up in it all?
It’s always a struggle, but I honestly see Instagram as more of a creative outlet than anything else. I receive many opportunities but I only move forward with those that align with my values which is the most important to me.
Q: What piece of advice would you give to others who may be pursuing a career in beauty & fashion and on their own journey of self-love and acceptance?
Always remember who you are and where you came from.
Q: Last question and this is a fun one. If you were stuck in an elevator all day, who would you want to be stuck with and why?
That is a horrific thought, to be honest. Elevators terrify me! I would probably say, Stevie Nicks, because I adore her and if I were stuck in an anxiety-provoking situation such as this, I’d request a few songs because I find her voice to be very soothing.
Special thanks to Christina Grasso who is a busy woman and still made time to chat with us. If you were inspired, show her some love on the 'gram. If you or anyone you know is struggling with an eating disorder please refer them to The Chain or message Christina on IG for some advice. Who should we interview next? Tell us in the comments!