I had the great opportunity to work with a close friend, Paxton Taylor, in this 80’s meets Hollywood Glam fashion shoot, which encompasses two very distinct styles that inspire much of my everyday wardrobe. Within both of those eras, a very thin yet curvaceous body standard was needed to create the signature looks of the time. I’m not thin. I definitely have curves and probably a little more. Being the Jarrid that I am, I make it my mission to break sociocultural beauty standards and allow myself to be influenced by those styles while staying true to myself.
Today I fully embrace FAT! Fabulous and Thick! Fearless and Triumphant! Fashionable and Trendy!
Before all the photo-shoots and the social media coverage, I had a negative connection to the word “Fat” and associated it with being undesirable and the lack of opportunity that exists for me based on the size I am. Boy was I wrong. FAT gives me the strongest feeling of confidence and motivation I’ve ever had. Despite what America’s perception of beauty is, I’m still turning heads and I am given the most extraordinary experiences that I could ever wish for.
As the shoot progressed I became more in tuned with my body, allowing myself to feel confident, beautiful, and sexy in the most femme ways, despite how society may try to shape my gender.
“Due to socially constructed gender roles and a strictly enforced binary, this expression is often discouraged and even shamed. It is important that we question these assumptions and attack coercion that enforces them, if we are to ever truly be free, free to be ourselves, free to live our truth. (Corey Kempster)”
I think being inspired by two, embracing two, but not being limited by two, has opened my mind to the most beautifully complex ideas, living a truth that most won’t understand and being appreciated for it. The More photo-shoots, interviews, and articles I do, the more fearless I become. It becomes less about me and more about the activism and being part of creating visibility for the gender spectrum community. I’m able to use my words, thoughts, and physical body to set a presence, not to join and become part of mainstream society, but to diversify society’s understanding of the beautifully complex.
Be Proud, Be Complicated, Be Beautiful
- Jarrid Jones