Jazz Jennings is a 14-year-old transgender girl who began living as a girl since kindergarten. Early into her life, she appeared in a Barbara Walter special about trans children. Last year, she co-authored the children’s book, “I am Jazz” and got named one of the 25 Most Influential Teens by Time magazine. Now she’s a prominent face in Clean and Clear skin products’ “See The Real Me” campaign, and it’s kinda a big fucking deal.
Autostraddle explains why: “Commercials like this show where our cultural definitions of beauty lie. In showing that a fourteen-year-old trans girl fits into that definition of beauty, they’re challenging the normal trans-misogynistic narratives that say that, just by virtue of being trans, a trans woman is not as beautiful or worthwhile as a cis woman.”
Autostraddle acknowledges that one commercial won’t fix everything for trans kids who face bullying and homelessness at much higher rates than others, but the commercial is at least a starting point for changing widespread attitudes towards trans people.
Even cooler, this summer Jazz will appear in an 11-episode reality show series entitled All That Jazz on The Learning Channel. It’ll provide TV audiences and trans children an even better understanding of the challenges, strength and familial support that can help trans youngsters like Jazz thrive.