Meet the Girl Behind EDC Orlando’s “You Are All Beautiful” Totem
It’s 18 letters, four words, and one very compelling message: You Are All Beautiful. Krista Ungrady not only has the words tattooed onto her rib cage, she also made a totem at last year’s EDC Orlando to remind everyone else of just that. “We all think it; why don’t we just say?” she says. “That’s why I made it.”
If she looks familiar, you’ve likely spotted the 19-year-old on Pasquale Rotella’s Instagram, Insomniac’s Facebook pages, or at one of our festivals. With her blonde hair, beaming smile and infectious attitude, she’s hard to miss (Pasquale even called her and her boyfriend in for a photo in Orlando).
What’s easy to miss, however, are her years of struggle with depression and anxiety. Peel back the layers, and you’ll find a girl who overcame poor self-confidence, body image issues, and an eating disorder triggered by an unfaithful partner and her parents’ rough divorce.
So, how did she get to be the person not only emanating positivity but reminding others to do the same?
It all started with a music festival.
Krista’s boyfriend (and high school sweetheart) Noah Hickok, 21, took her to her first event, Electric Zoo, in 2013. It was there that she noticed one simple but profound fact: Nobody cares. “Nobody cares what you look like or how you dress,” says Krista. “Nobody cares if you’re pretty, if you’re ugly, if you’re fat, if you’re skinny. Nobody cares if you’re gay or you’re straight. Nobody cares. It’s all one big family.”
It was exactly the catalyst she needed. “My depression and anxiety were completely diminished because of me being able to go to music festivals and not care about anything,” she says.
Krista and Noah are now in a long-distance relationship. (Noah attends Rutgers University in their home state of New Jersey, while Krista just started school at the University of Central Florida). It’s those countdowns to the festival, their shared love of music—especially any of the Bassnectar variety—and the precious moments they spend locked in each other’s arms at shows that keep the couple going. “Nothing else can compare,” says Noah. “Through this, we are reminded that life is an experience worth living.”
In fact, it was his email that prompted us to contact Krista in the first place. Here’s what he said:
My name is Noah Hickok, I’m contacting you in regards to my girlfriend of 4 years Krista Ungrady who has been the face on multiple occasions for promotion of EDC Orlando and other Insomniac events! She posed for a photograph at EDC Orlando holding a totem stating “You’re all beautiful” and since the photo has gone viral! She is such a beautiful woman who means the world to me and this year we plan on attending EDC Orlando again, it would mean the absolute world to me to arrange a surprise for her to be recognized in some way for her outstanding personality and love she brings to the community! This community has helped her grow into the woman she is today and find her self in so many ways! Thank you so much for your time and consideration!
One of the couple’s favorite events this year has been Electric Forest (“That’s one of the most beautiful festivals I’ve ever gone to in my life,” says Krista). Among the thicket of trees, buzzing art installations, and smorgasbord of musical offerings, her homemade totem reminded everyone to “Find yourself.” Sometimes to find ourselves we need to look not at ourselves, but at others, and Krista did just that with the two lumineers she dedicated to her late aunt and grandfather at the festival.
Looking ahead, Krista and Noah have just a few days left before they reunite Under the Electric Sky at EDC Orlando. While the Crystal Village being brought in from EDC Las Vegas, Bassnectar’s set, and the possibility of meeting Pasquale and Holly again all rank high on things they’re looking forward to, what they’re most anticipating is simply being with each other.
“You are all beautiful,” Krista reminded everyone at last year’s show. This year, she’ll be doing just the same.
Anum Khan is feeling beautiful on Twitter.
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