Rescue me! I got stuck over at E! Online.
Jazz Jennings recently appeared on NBC’s Meredith Vieira Show.
While I’m certain that she was there to promote the fact that she is the newest face of the Clean and Clear #SeetheRealMe Campaign, some other things came up as well.
First of all, there is the response the campaign has generated
When I first saw Jazz Jennings, nothing struck me as peculiar. She looked like any other vibrant, charming and charismatic teenage girl. I assumed that her age and on-camera presence made her an ideal candidate as a representative of Clean and Clear. She fit the mold of what you see for something targeted at younger audiences. Teenagers get pimples and she’s a teenager – it works.
It’s not until it’s mentioned that Jennings is transgender that people start to stir, debate and wonder why a brand of face wash tries to “force” our youth to accept something so perverse. The backlash from parents is horrifying. I was used to seeing opponents attack adults on the Internet, but Jennings is a child. “Concerned parents” were saying that we should burn “it” at the stake, that she is wearing dresses to get attention or that she should just admit that she is a homosexual boy. Teaching children that saying these hurtful things about others will influence them far more than a commercial will.
The EOnline videos do not embed, apparently, which is just as well, since they seem to want to run automagically.
A lot of times I get messages from kids who are struggling. Sometimes they say they walk in front of a street full of cars or they are about to jump out of a window and they say the reason they didn’t do it was because of Jazz and that’s why I keep sharing my story because I know I am making a difference and creating change and helping those kids.
I tell [kids] to stay strong and love themselves no matter what.
If I stay strong and be myself then their opinion doesn’t matter at all and that’s what I do every day…Although it may sound like something hard, I was born with inner confidence and with the love and support from my family I was able to become more confident throughout my life. So I was able to push aside those things.
While I am stuck over here, I figured I might as well see what was going on.
ABC Family is set to launch an unscripted series about a family dealing with transgender issues this summer. Becoming Us was created by Ryan Seacrest.
I want to be able to provide guidance for kids who are going through it. Maybe this will help them being able to deal with it.
This story in particular is really specific and beautiful and we loved that it’s from the point of view of this teen boy just trying to figure it out. The journey of acceptance is utterly authentic. Our network has a history and certain currency not being afraid of shows that tackle social issues, that shed light on current affairs. So its really in our DNA to be exploring these kind of stories.
–Karey Burke, ABC Family
I’m hoping for the best, but knowing that this is the network that is also brings us Body Bizarre.
Back to Jazz. Her family is doing a series for TLC for the summer, called All that Jazz.
Only TLC can tell this family’s story in way that celebrates and demystifies difference in an effort to help create a world without prejudice.
–Marjorie Kaplan, group president of TLC & Animal Planet