Recently, a new face appeared in a large billboard of Calvin Klein in Manhattan, New York, which is impressive. The woman on the poster named Jari Jones, 29 years old, 172cm tall and weighs 90kg. She has many identities: actor, model, producer, columnist…
This time, she took part in CK’s special project as a model and became a protagonist of the latest poster. The reason why she can be picked by CK lies in a special label on her body: transgender homosexuals.
In 1991, Jones was born in an African-American family in the United States. Although he is a boy, he has some feminine traits. He likes to wear skirts and is keen on dressing up. At the age of 12, Jones was determined to be a real woman, undergoing transgender surgery, and undertook a seven year process to become a woman. Her courage to realise her dreams has also given her a lot of support, and she has found a happy relationship. Like her, her lover is also a transgender homosexual. They met at the university, and after falling in love with each other, they decided to spend the rest of their life together.
Due to her appearance and figure, Jones’s career path has been very difficult. There are a lot of people who urge her to have a facelift and to lose weight, but Jones felt that it was more important to accept her true self. After many years of rambling and hard work, she gradually became a small time influencer, especially in the LGBTQ (sexual minority) community.
Coincidentally, June is LGBTQ Pride Month, CK’s activity is to pay tribute to this group, so she was selected as a representative with eight other people. As for why she can appear in huge posters and occupy the most high-profile positions, in addition to “transgender homosexual,” she also has more tags: black, plus-size model, transsexual, homosexuality. Under the craze of racism and LGBTQ Pride Month, those tags seem even more profound. We can think of CK’s choice of her at this time as another way to speak for the LGBTQ community.
From a little fame to being attracted worldwide attention, there is no doubt that this is Jones’ highlight moment. To commemorate this moment, she shouted on Twitter: “a fat black trans woman looks over New York”. Then ran to the position of the poster, opened a bottle of champagne with friends, and took a group photo to celebrate. Finally, she said, “We are the embodiment of new history — a history renewed by reclamation and documentation. We are in history. By being, we manifest the impossible.”
Everyone has the right to pursue beauty and sexiness. From the moment her poster was hung on the streets of New York, her courage had infected countless girls similar to her, and her confidence would also inspire people to accept different kinds of beauty.
Unexpectedly, once this incident was exposed, a huge public discussion was launched on the Internet, and the degree of discussion on related topics intensified on the social platform. Although many netizens expressed their support, more people still expressed their disapproval: “I find it strange that you guys post plus size and slim female models. But when it comes to men you ONLY show the ones with abs.” (@mackiahluxen from Instagram) “But it is still unhealthy to stay in this condition for too long, start a better diet, that would be “beautiful.” (@philippgtkw from Instagram)
Admittedly, in many people’s view, the meaning of a model is to show beauty, even to show off sex. In fact, for brands, the meaning of models is to guide the target group.
As long as black women wear underwear and obese women wear underwear, it makes sense to choose black women or obese women as models. We can’t humiliate other people because you like to see models with big breasts and slim waists. Underwear advertisements are not used to vent desires, nor should they become tools for materializing women. It is difficult to define aesthetics. But living in a pluralistic society means rejection to the only aesthetic standard. No one is forcing us to admit that Jones is beautiful, and Jones will not force us to modify our aesthetic. But we need to understand that there is such a person in this world. They are no different, and there is nothing wrong with that. We can dislike them, we can give no support to them, but we should at least respect, and not express wicked words towards them.
Many people find that in recent years, the diversity of models has gradually increased in major brands, magazines, and shows. This means that more and more brands and individuals are not being kidnapped by extreme aesthetics, no longer hidden, and start to show the true self to the world. “Beauty” has always been a very macro concept. Everything can be beautiful. There are more than seven billion people in this world. No one can satisfy everyone. Obesity is never an original sin, but blind personal attacks and physical humiliation are.