Christina De La Cruz, a 36 year-old single mother of five, carries a lot of beauty and passion in her 5-foot-2-inch body. Now, she is hoping her story will earn her a position on the front page cover of Inked Magazine.

Inked Magazine is a trade magazine featuring all things tattoo, and it’s popular.

Cruz, as she likes to go by, has six tattoos. That’s not much in the world of tattoos, but they all have personal meaning to her. So, once in a while, she’ll scroll through social media and see what the new ink is out there.

“I was scrolling across social media and ran into this contest,” Cruz said. “I decided to go for it.”

As easy as that, she entered the contest, and to her surprise, she started getting noticed.Cruz has gained lots of new friends that have voted for her online, but it is her personal story that is most compelling.

“I didn’t think I’d last the first day,” Cruz said. “I’ve been blown away. So many people have reached out.”

Her most visible tattoo is the Phoenix bird on her left wrist. It has orange coloring and represents her fight with Multiple Sclerosis, symbolizing her own journey as she rises from the ashes.

Of the six tattoos Cruz has, her most favorite is the large feather across her lower back on her right hip. The shaft of the feather is a thin blue line, representing law enforcement.

Cruz said the feather bends but does not break and represents those who have passed on. She also has five dangling diamonds from the feather, representing her children.

“The last tattoo I got was representative of trials I’ve had to face last year,” Cruz said. “It is Henna inspired and is a symbol of being reborn, of beauty and strength. It is attached to the feather.”

Cruz said the incident was incredibly hard to deal with and the Henna tattoo represents strength which she has need and will continue to need.

The contest started Jan. 10 for public voting, and Cruz made it through four levels. She has officially been named as a semi-finalist, and this Thursday will mark the end of the final voting stage, the quarter finals.

If she makes it to the final spot, Cruz will have earned an all-expenses-paid photo shoot with a world renowned photographer and her face on the cover of Inked Magazine. The final announcement is set for March 11.

Among the many people supporting her bid for the front cover of Inked Magazine are her five children, who are between the ages of 8 and 16 years old.

“They love it,” Cruz said. “It’s so exciting for them. They are the best part of being involved with this.”

She said her kids are constantly asking where she is in the rankings.

It’s not just for her children, although it has brought them closer. It’s for Cruz herself.

Cruz said she has had body image issues all of her life.

“My childhood wasn’t great,” Cruz said. “I was abused and felt unloved.”

Cruz said she has adopted this philosophy, “it’s not what you gain in life, but what you give.”

“I know what it’s like to be beaten,” Cruz shared, adding that vying for this opportunity has made her stronger.

As of Monday afternoon, Cruz was running tenth in her group. Residents who wanted to participate in the competition can sign in and vote for Cruz, identified by her Instagram handle, “@limited.edition.cruz.”

Daily Herald reporter Genelle Pugmire can be contacted at gpugmire@heraldextra.com, (801) 344-2910, Twitter @gpugmire

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