Despite lots of positive news lately — from premiering her new HGTV show “Christina in the Country” this month to announcing that she’s producing another real estate show — Christina Hall has fans concerned that something is still amiss. The longtime HGTV star, who rose to fame on “Flip or Flop,” posted a cryptic Instagram message on January 20, 2023, and limited who could write comments. Still, hundreds of fans were able to write messages of encouragement to the home improvement star. Here’s what you need to know:
Christina Hall References Tattoo She Got Amid Divorce From Ant Anstead
Over the past few weeks, Hall’s social media posts have been full of positivity, centered around the good news of her new show premiering, sharing how much she loves her Tennessee getaway with her husband Josh, and posting pics and videos of her three kids spending time together. She has three-year-old Hudson, whom she shares with Anstead, along with 12-year-old Taylor and seven-year-old Brayden, whom she shares with first husband Tarek El Moussa.
So, fans were surprised when Hall posted a cryptic message along with a photo of her from the back, looking out over the sunset. With her hair up, the tattoo she has on her neck was visible: a vertical line of script that reads “still I rise,” referencing a famous poem by the same name, written by Maya Angelou.
Hall got the tattoo amidst her contentious divorce from Anstead after less than two years of marriage, sharing it with her Instagram followers in January 2021. In that post, she shared a short excerpt from the poem:
“Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.”
While the first post relayed a promising tone of starting anew, her newest post seemed more worrisome to many fans.
“When your tattoo is in the moment,” she wrote, and then — along with the paragraph she had originally posted two years ago during her divorce — she added a darker excerpt from Angelou’s nine-paragraph poem:
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise….
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Hundreds of followers wrote messages of encouragement, reminding Hall to ignore the “haters” and focus instead on all of the good things in her life.
One comment that received 237 “likes” from fellow fans said, “Ignore the haters Christina! The only thing that matters is that you love yourself first, otherwise, nothing else in your life will work. You’re a great Mom & businesswoman! So happy you finally found a great, loving partner in Josh. We love the new show in Tennessee, it’s a hit! Keep up the great work.”
Another person wrote, “Watching your grow and evolve over the years has been so beautiful. You’ve really come into your own and its amazing.”
Cryptic Post May Have Alluded to Her Custody Dispute With Ant Anstead
Though it’s not clear what prompted Hall’s post, its timing lines up with comments Anstead made on his own Instagram account about their 2022 custody dispute.
After months of bickering privately and publicly over Anstead’s concerns that Hudson was being featured in Hall’s paid social media promotions and TV shows, Hall announced in October 2022 that she would no longer feature their son in any social media or on her show.
In her October post, she wrote, “Hudson’s father has made attempts to turn my family, friends and fans against me through manipulation tactics and false information. This has had great impact on me and my household. Because of this, I have made the decision to no longer feature Hudson on Instagram, my tv shows or any social platforms until he is old enough to make this decision for himself.”
The former couple reached a new custody agreement via the courts weeks later, in early December, but fans continued to hound both celebrities on social media about their roles in the highly-publicized dispute. Many have blamed Anstead for forcing Hall to keep Hudson off of social media altogether while he continued to share pictures of their son.
Anstead, who has been dating actress Renée Zellwegger since early 2021, has repeatedly argued with those who’ve written accusatory comments on his posts, maintaining that he was only concerned about keeping Hudson out of advertisements and paid projects, not family photos. In fact, Hall reversed course on her October statement and quietly started including Hudson again in her Instagram Stories and photos in late December.
That has not kept people from commenting on Anstead’s posts about the dispute, including on a photo he posted of Hudson on January 11. Though most fans were complimentary of the pic, a thread of negative comments started when one person urged Anstead and Hall to stop fighting over their son.
The person wrote, “Always fighting over this little boy…. It needs to STOP.. NOW…… it’s that both of you are doing to this child mentality and physically… STOP DOING THIS TO HUDSON”
Anstead replied, “That’s not true? I requested she stop exploiting him (and other issues like pool safety, epi pens and sharing choice of school). It’s now fully resolved! Hudzo won and can be safe and free. Courts actually worked. We have all moved on. You should too”
That reply then fired up several other people, including one who thought it was inappropriate to share details of his previous issues with Hall, while others left comments sticking up for Anstead. The TV host and auto enthusiast returned to the post on January 20 — the same day Christina posted her cryptic message — to reply to a person who argued that including Hudson in his Instagram feed was good for Anstead’s “brand.”
Upset that the person, who Anstead said didn’t follow him and should therefore not be commenting, he wrote, “I share organic moments because I choose too. I decline being paid because I choose too. I may choose to post tonight’s dinner and that’s down to me and has nothing to do with a ‘brand’.”
Anstead continued, “I’m dad ahead of any TV work. Appears it’s your judgement that’s clouded. I don’t want hudzo selling vitamins and beds and toys and clothes and he will see I pit a stop to that! Case closed. No need to reply, I know you must be busy sending advise to millions of other strangers who have profile”
It’s not clear who posted first on January 20 — Anstead or Hall — but both have gone on to post additional photos of Hudson. On January 24, Anstead posted a photo of him leaning down to kiss the smiling three-year-old. Hours later, Hall posted a photo in her Instagram Stories of Hudson sweetly hugging her husband’s large dog, Stella.