Girls, say hello to Jazz Jennings. Jazz is a super awesome teen ( like all of you lovely ladies) and she’s making a pretty big difference in the world. Jazz is hugely passionate about LGBTQ activism, and is a super big deal in the trans* activist community. Meaning she’s pretty freakin’ amazing in our book!
Jazz is a 14-year-old transgender girl who came out before the age of 5. Since then, she’s gone on to do really amazing things. She’s spoken at huge LGBTQ events. She co-founded an organization called TransKids Purple Rainbow Foundation. She’s even penned a book for young kids about what it means to be transgender titled I Am Jazz. I told you, she’s incredible!
To add to the long list of things Jazz has already accomplished, she’s recently paired up with Clean & Clear for their #SeeTheRealMe campaign. This whole campaign probably sounds familiar…and it should! Demi Lovato had a spot in it last year. Let’s face it, we all love Demi!
#SeeTheRealMe is all about encouraging girls to have the courage to be their true, authentic selves. It’s a super cool campaign that we at Gurl can’t get enough of! That’s why we were so excited to talk with Jazz about the campaign, her life, and her advice for all of you!
Check out the interview below — and meet your new BFF!
What made you want to get involved with Clean & Clear’s #SeeTheRealMe campaign?
#SeeTheRealMe is about girls being courageous, being their true selves, and becoming their real, authentic selves. I wanted to get involved and be a part of it because I can definitely relate to #SeeTheRealMe as I’ve had to find who I am and become my true self. I really just love the message about finding the courage to be your true self and inspiring girls to express themselves for who they are.
What did it take for you to become your true self?
Ever since I was younger, I always knew I was a girl and that’s how I expressed myself to my parents and family. I told them that I was a girl, not a boy. Over time, they learned to accept me for how I was and they helped me transition into the girl that I always knew I was. That’s really where I found my true self, and I was able to learn to embrace my uniqueness and to be proud of myself for being transgender. Once I was able to realize that, I was able to share my story with other people and help them learn that it’s okay to be different. [I was able to] help them to embrace their uniqueness like I did.
What Clean & Clear products are your absolute favorites?
I’ll just kind of go through my routine in the morning. I use the Morning Burst Facial Cleanser. It’s really just hydrating for your skin and wakes you up and makes you feel fresh. Then, later at night when I take my daily shower, I use the Deep Action Exfoliating Scrub. It’s really cool and tingly. That’s probably my favorite product because it just makes your skin feel so refreshed. And, right before I go to bed, I use the Night Relaxing Deep Cleanser. That’s basically my routine. But every now and then when I have oily skin, I use absorbent sheets. But my skin’s pretty dry so I don’t use those that much. But all my friends steal them from me because they love them!
You talk a little about bullying that you’ve gone through in the episode. How did you get through that bullying and the mean words people would throw at you?
I face many situations where kids can be mean or they call me names. Sometimes girls even walk away from me because they think I have cooties. I get a lot of hateful comments on my YouTube videos. The way I get past the negative comments is by taking them and instead of letting them make me feel bad about myself, I look at them in a positive light. These comments just motivate me to keep moving forward and keep spreading my message. [If I keep] educating people about what being transgender is and what it means to me, then there will be less hate and there will be more acceptance and love. And I think everyone should just express love instead of hate because love is such a strong emotion. But hate? It’s not good! No one likes hatred.
Do you have any advice for girls who are having a hard time with bullying?
They just have to stay positive and stay strong. If someone does say something hateful, they have to not care what they think. They are better than that and shouldn’t listen to their opinion. They need to listen to the people who will accept them for who they are and who will say nice things and who will love them for being themselves. They just have to keep moving forward and not care about what the haters are going to say. In the end, what matters is having those true friends that are going to be there for you no matter what.
Do you have any tips for teens who know that they are transgender or are trying to figure out their gender identity?
It’s really hard when you feel trapped in the wrong body and you want to become your true gender. And it’s definitely hard to tell your parents because sometimes your parents won’t support you and it will just make the situation 10 times worse. So I try not to tell kids to go to their parents right away because sometimes kids could get kicked out of their homes if they tell their parents. I don’t want to be responsible for that situation. So, I think they should just find someone who they know will accept them no matter what. Once they feel confident enough, they can explain in as simple terms as possible how they feel and what their situation is. The people who actually matter are the people who will accept you no matter what and you’ll be able to progress from there with the people that do accept you and support you.
How can teens support their friends who are being true to themselves and coming out to them as trans*?
They just have to accept them. They have to think about it and put themselves in the other person’s shoes. If they were going through a difficult situation and wanted to express their true feelings, they would want the support of their friends. I just think they have to be there for them and make sure that they can sympathize with them because once you can connect on that level, you can form a great bond and friendship. I definitely think that friends should love each other for who they are no matter what.
Is there anything that teens shouldn’t do in this type of situation?
If a friend is trying to be kind and opening up to them, they should definitely not leave them there and just disagree. Even if you do disagree, you should still be kind and try to sympathize. If you just leave them hanging and say what they are doing is wrong, then that’s just going to make them feel 10 times worse. If you really want to be a true friend, then you really have to love them no matter what. You have to have an open mind.
Is there any message you hope to get out with the campaign or through your personal message that you haven’t mentioned yet, but you want to?
I just think that all girls should have the courage to express who they are without fearing judgement from other people. They have to be their true selves and not care what people think!
How can girls get involved with the campaign as a whole?
They could use #SeeTheRealMe. That’s really a way to find other girls who are going through similar situations or just to connect with other people on that level. What I do is follow the Clean & Clear pages on social media and they post a lot of things about the #SeeTheRealMe movement. That’s a way I can see what’s going on!
Still can’t get enough of Jazz? Check out her #SeeTheRealMe episode below!