Exclusive: 'ANTM' KhrystyAna Talks Body Positivity, Asexuality, and Her Sexual Assault

khrystyana antm top model
credit: @khrystyana/Instagram

KhrystyAna has pretty much been the fan-favorite on America’s Next Top Model since day one.

And it’s no wonder. The body activist is unbelievably talented, charming, and genuine — everything you could want in an ANTM winner and role model.

As it turns out, KhrystyAna is just as awesome IRL as she is on the show. I had the chance to chat with her recently and she was incredibly open about gaining confidence, her sexuality, and more.

Below, check out everything you need to know about the model (you may find a few surprises!).

She Was Super Shy Going Into ANTM

Even though the show always presented KhrystyAna as super bubbly, it turns out that wasn’t always the case. KhrystyAna said,

“I came in to the show like genuinely a little more shy and not really that confident. As much as I want to do things in fashion or beauty, I wouldn’t be called for those castings just because people were not interested. So I kind of gave up on myself in a sense.”

But during one of her first appearances in front of the panel (which you actually didn’t see on TV), Ashley Graham set her straight. She told KhrystyAna,

“You have issues with confidence. You need to own up to yourself. You actually did a good job and you need to acknowledge that.”

KhrystyAna said that totally “woke her up.”

“I’m usually the one criticizing myself all the time like — this sucks, I didn’t get the booking. But she kind of helped me to see the other side too. Like just because you didn’t get the booking doesn’t mean you have to be down about your work.”


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ANTM Helped Her Find Her Voice

The show not only helped her gain confidence in her modeling but also helped her use her voice.

“The show gave me the strength to speak up and now I do. I stick with my gut.”


She Organized #theREALCatwalk to Promote Body Diversity and Inclusivity

Last year, Khrystyana organized  #theREALCatwalk from start to finish. She found awesome models on Instagram, flew in the photographers, organized the catering, and, of course, walked the runway herself.

“I didn’t know if I could pull it off but somehow it happened in three days.”

She added that if it weren’t for the confidence ANTM gave her to trust her instincts, she never would have gone for it.


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She’s a Self-Proclaimed Nerd

Yes, you read that right! KhrystyAna is a total nerd (her words, not mine)!

The model talked about her love of gaming, including Pokémon Go!

“I got to level 32 I think and it got to the point where it took over my life. Like I don’t remember that summer! It was a year and a half ago. Every night I would have to search for new pokémon and I had pokémon friends that I would invite over. My life circulated around Pokémon Go.”

She’s since quit cold turkey and has moved on to playing board games with a friend IRL.

“I love games like Through the Ages, that can last like 7 hrs. I love Eclipse. It’s about space and aliens. I love aliens!”

She’s Secretly Super Introverted

“I look like I’m very social on Instagram because I talk to everyone. Even bullies I respond to. But when I grew up, I didn’t have any friends in real life. I was really quiet and very embarrassed. I was very nerdy and very socially awkward.

But online, I was like a Lara Croft — she was my big inspiration. So now online, I’m like so extroverted, I’m so active. But in real life, I’m actually more introverted.”


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She Predicted Her Outcome on ANTM (Almost)

KhrystyAna said that at the very beginning she was able to calculate whether or not she would make it in the house (which, obviously she did!). She also predicted who else would make it in and was only off by two girls!

As for how far she would go, she said,

“I was supposed to end up top 6 and then kind of just leave. So I kind of messed up there. But because my approach is so logistical, I planned my outfits for a certain amount of weeks so I didn’t have enough outfits!”

She Already Has A Campaign with ShopSpring!

ICYMI, Spring is one of the coolest shopping apps and now KhrystyAna has a campaign with them.

“They’re amazing! Actually, I love them because they’re one of the rare companies that actually have women’s clothing in different sizes and in good, high-end clothes too.”

The campaign is already live if you want to go check it out here.

She’s Relieved Her #MeToo Story Finally Came Out

Although KhrystyAna thought she had dealt with what had happened to her as a child (her father left her with his so-called “business associate” to be assaulted), the show brought the memory back to the surface – a memory she thought she had buried deep inside.

It all started with the raw photoshoot shot by Tyra.

“The whole situation was very similar to how it happened when I was a little kid — he put me on the bed, the hands ran all over my body.”

After the photo shoot, she started crying non-stop and of course, the producers asked her what was going on during her interview.

But in the end, she’s glad it all came out.

“I think after that it helped me so much to understand, helped me realize a lot about myself, my issues with relationships for example, my sexuality, to be honest with you.”


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Speaking of Her Sexuality…

KhrystyAna says she’s still trying to figure out exactly where she lands on the LGBTQIA spectrum.

“Most of my life I identified as asexual but it was kind of fluid for me. I don’t really talk about it because I don’t really know where I will land in the LGBTQIA community. Asexuality was the closest to me for the most of my life but then I think demisexual would be where I’ll be landing.”

She’s Definitely *NOT* Dating A Trump Supporter

In an earlier iteration of this article (which has since been deleted), I included an Elite Daily video of her and her supposed Trump-supporting “boyfriend.” Luckily, the whole thing was just a comedy skit. She told me,

“OMG NOOOOO! I would never.”


To keep up with KhrystyAna, make sure to follow her on Instagram and Twitter.


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Lena Finkel
Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, Tiger Beat, and Sesame Workshop (aka Sesame Street). She loves all things Real Housewives and Vanderpump Rules. When she's not busy binge-watching TV, you can find her hanging out with her tuxedo cat Tom.