Jari Jones – The Black Trans Plus Size Model Who Is Calvin Klein’s New Face

Jari Jones is the face for Calvin Klein’s Pride Campaign

Jari Jones has every right to celebrate and pop champagnes for she has done what was once unimaginable. A black, transgender, plus size model on Calvin Klein’s billboard flashing New York’s skyline, how often does that happen?

We’ve sure come a long way from a time when mostly only white and ripped-bodied models made it to big labels. With every new campaign Calvin Klein launches, it breaks more barriers and comes one step closer to being more inclusive.

This time, the poster girl donning Calvin Klein’s Swimwear is Jari Jones – a proud plus size model of colour.

Jones is the face of Calvin Klein’s Pride Campaign #PROUDINMYCALVINS, along with a cast of eight other queer models, including 13 Reasons Why actor Tommy Dorfman, Brazilian drag queen Pabllo Vittar, YouTube star Chella Man and queer artist Gia Woods.

“It has been such an honour and pleasure to sit in my most authentic self and present imagery of a body that far too often has been demonised, harassed, made to feel ugly and unworthy and even killed,” Jari Jones wrote in a touching post on Instagram.

Seeing herself up on the billboard was “overwhelming” to say the least, Jari Jones told Yahoo Life.

“Never have I seen a Black trans woman put on such a public platform to be celebrated, and it was overwhelming … like an out-of-body experience. … It was huge for me.”

“Flooding with so many emotions of my own history of trying to break into the fashion industry, and all the ‘nos’ and ‘you can’ts’ and the ‘you’ll nevers’ all kind of dissipated in that moment.”

“It was really, really empowering,” she continued.

Jari Jones, 29, carefully worded all her social media posts as she did the tweet announcing her campaign. She made sure to use the word “fat” and it was for a reason.

“It’s taken me a long time to take back that word [‘fat’] — for so long I was a plus-sized kid, a fat kid, and everybody always told me I was fat. … If you’re fat you won’t be able to get jobs, if you’re fat you won’t be able to find love,” Jones explained.

“It was important for me to put ‘fat’ up there … so people know a fat body is worthy of celebration, it’s worthy of love, it’s worthy of respect…”

“All those intersections, of being fat, of being trans, of being Black, it needs to be seen and named directly,” she said. “I didn’t want to sugarcoat anything.”

The experience has certainly made Jari Jones more thick-skinned, as she took all the hate and body-shaming post the unveiling of the billboard in her stride.

While Jari Jones was certainly receiving a lot of love, the hatred was in equal amounts. She felt the need to share the reality of what was coming her way, so that people knew that “you can be on a billboard, you can be on TV shows, and the bigotry and hatred is still there.”

“I wanted people to see … the ugly, and the love that was coming in as well,” she said.

Recently, Calvin Klein’s billboard featured plus size model/hip-hop artist Chika. In 2019, transgender Pose star Indya Moore was the face of their Pride Campaign.

Jari Jones beautifully summed up this year’s campaign, saying it provided “a symbol of hope, and also what the future can be.”

“I feel like that humanizes us, and once you’re humanized, people will think twice before killing you or discriminating against you. I think that when people are being killed in the streets, it’s because they don’t see us as human,” she concluded.

Cover Image Source : Image 1, Image 2

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