Meet Jenny: Staying Body Positive In the Face of Size Discrimination

Staying Body Positive In the Face of Size Discrimination

We spend hours of our days scrolling through images of what women’s bodies are (according to ads for weight loss products and exercise programs) ‘supposed’ to look like. These messages have a deep impact upon the way we see ourselves and the way the world treats us--especially if our bodies don’t match those of most Instagram models.

Shapermint Gal Jenny knows first-hand how society sometimes dismisses, ignores and rejects people for not being skinny.

One time she went for an audition at a cycling studio, and found herself surrounded by people of all shapes and sizes. But, she says “I was one of the bigger people in the room.”

When it was time for her audition, Jenny kept pace with the other cyclers, but she could tell her size made a negative impression.

“I could have cycled with the best of them, and I was cycling just as good as they were, but I knew it was my body that led them to not pick me,” Jenny says.

When she got the news that she hadn’t been chosen for the commercial, they told her she wasn’t the right “look” they were going for.

“You get the undertone,” Jenny says. “You get what that means. It means they were going to pick the thinner version of what we want people to see. So yeah, that was upsetting. Because you say to yourself, ‘Oh my gosh, I really wanted that.’”

It can be a tough hill to climb, knowing that your best isn’t good enough simply because people are judging your body. But Jenny has learned how to keep going, despite the haters.

“Feeling pretty doesn't mean how you look on the outside,” Jenny says. “I think it also means how you are on the inside. And I love my personality. My friends love my personality. I love that I'm able to laugh and I love that I'm able to have a good time.”

Watch Jenny’s short video to see how she overcomes the size discrimination perpetuated by the beauty industry.


When you recognize that the messages in beauty marketing are just a fantasy, you learn to appreciate the beauty that is your real self. And when you let your confidence shine through, it will help others to see that beauty is about more than the size of someone’s body.

Thanks for being so open with us, Jenny. You are beautiful in so many ways!


Video Transcript:

My name is Jenny Rodriguez. I am from Jersey City, New Jersey.

When I look in the mirror sometimes I see a confident woman. Sometimes I see a woman that is not so confident, really depends on the day.

I think most of it... It's a little bit of everything. I believe that it's social media, things that happen in my every day life. I feel... that social media does have an impact, on how we reflect ourselves and how we're reflected.

Most days I feel confident about my body. Like I said, it also depends on the day, but most days, I do feel confident about my body.

Sometimes, I don't feel confident about myself, when I try on certain clothing sometimes I'm like: "Oh God, I gained so much weight!" or "Oh, why can't I just look like I did 10 years ago?" or something like that. So It varies, is also like, what I wear has a major impact, or when I go shopping and try things on that I wanna wear, but I can't wear, because is not at my specific size.

I went to an audition for a cycling... a cycling studio. And I was in a room, full of other people that were doing that were also auditioning, we were all different shapes and sizes. But I can admit that I was probably one of the bigger people in the room. And I know that that made an impression on the people that were evaluating.

I could have cycled with the best of them and I was cycling just as good as they were. But I know that my body was what lead them to not pick me. And they even said that to me like a couple days later when they called me and said: "Hey, you didn't get it because you just you're not the specific look that we're looking for..." but you get the undertone and you get what that means and you know that. It means: "Hey, we're gonna take the thinner version of what we want people to see".

So, yeah, that was upsetting it was you know, cause you say to yourself: "Oh my gosh..." Like, I really wanted that, so it's kind of upsetting but uplifiting at the same time, because... everything happens for a reason, so maybe that's why I didn't get it. And something better will come along.

I feel pretty! I feel pretty, I like my smile... I like... I feel pretty. Feeling pretty it's just it doesn't mean how you look on the outside, I think it also means how you are on the inside. And I love my personality. My friends love my personality, I love that I'm able to laugh, I love that I'm able to have a good time. So, yes. I do feel pretty.


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