Christina McDowell was born and raised in Washington, D.C., she attended St. Andrew's Episcopal High School, Loyola Marymount University, and later, Georgetown University. In 2004, she was roommates with actress, Emma Stone, after appearing together in the reality television series, "In Search of the Partridge Family." McDowell's father, Tom Prousalis, was an associate of Jordan Belfort, the "Wolf of Wall Street," whom she criticized along with filmmakers, Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio in a widely shared open letter for the LA Weekly that went viral upon the film's release, stirring an international debate and becoming one of the most controversial opinion pieces ever written about a Hollywood film. Her father served five years in federal prison for fraud. Her memoir, "After Perfect," was published by Simon & Schuster in 2015 and is being adapted for the screen. McDowell is the co-producer alongside Oscar nominated producer, Matthew Cooke, of the documentary, "Survivor's Guide to Prison" about America's mass incarceration crisis, released in 2018.