Calvin Klein praised for including first black transqueer model as part of Pride campaign
American fashion house Calvin Klein has made history by including its first black transqueer and plus-sized model as part of this year's Pride campaign, honouring the LGBTQI+ community.
Jari Jones, an actress, model and activist, was this week revealed as one of the members who has joined the brand for the campaign. In a now viral post, the model, who identifies as a transqueer lesbian, can be seen celebrating the moment in front of a huge billboard of herself.
“There are moments heard about, that help you forget when the world told you 'never',” Jones wrote on Instagram. “There are these moments I heard about that help you heal when society has tried to beat you down, over and over again. I’ve been searching my whole life for those moments. I got tired of looking for those moments.”
Jones said inclusivity in the campaign wasn't just for her, but also for the next generation.
“I decided to create these moments not for me but for the next dreamer, outcast, queer, trans, disabled, fat, beautiful black piece of starlight waiting for their moment to shine,” she said.
“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.
“I present this image, myself and all that my body stands for, to my community and chosen family in the hope they see themselves more clearly than ever, and further realise they are worthy of celebration, of compassion, of love and gratitude,” she said.
Jones acknowledged the hate and scrutiny the campaign received, saying she wasn't bothered by “things and miserable people behind computers and phone screens who try to suck out every ounce of joy I have left in my body”.
Added to the large billboards, Calvin Klein shared a video series featuring model Ama Elsesser, actor Tommy Dorfman, and singer Gia Woods, among others.
On social media, Calvin Klein got the thumbs up for shining a light on transgender people.
Calvin Klein @CalvinKlein did it and made Black Transgender Queer Lesbian plus size model, JARI JONES (whose wife is also transgender, and their "adopted children" are all LGBTQQIA) the new cover girl on the billboard right there in Greenwich Village NYC. #BlackTransLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/3D1QAnYmvq— Jarryd Nurden (@JarrydNurden) June 24, 2020
If you’re that bothered over a plus size woman being used for a Calvin Klein model and think that only thin women should be used as models you’re apart of the problem that tells young girls and women they have to look a certain way to be beautiful— Jill (@jillsearss) June 26, 2020
its super amazing to see Jari Jones on the calvin klein billboard; thats a big deal ❤️❤️❤️— autogynefabulous✨JK Rowling is a danger to kids (@elcome2ell) June 25, 2020
it'll be even more super amazing when representation goes deeper than marketing campaigns for corporations.
A black, transgender, plus size model just became the newest face for Calvin Klein.— Angry Intersectional Feminist (@angrybrownbabe) June 25, 2020
Jaris Jones, so much love to youu!