Last week was quite the week for Jazz Jennings, a 14-year-old teen who happens to be transgender.
She announced that she is one of the new faces of Clean & Clear's "See The Real Me" ad campaign, which encourages people to use the #SeeTheRealMe hashtag on social media to share personal stories that promote natural beauty.
"I feel really honored to be part of The #seetherealme campaign. It's really amazing, as it helps many teen girls who are struggling. It helps them to find themselves and be true to who they are. I hope they can learn to be brave and not care what other people think about them, because if they just stay positive and spread love, then others will be true friends who will accept them no matter what."
Then, in addition to the launch of this campaign, USA Today reported that she will be starring in an 11-part TLC reality TV series with the working title of All That Jazz.
Jennings, who was assigned male at birth and began identifying as female shortly thereafter, has devoted her life to bring awareness to the transgender community. In fact, she was named one of Time magazine's 25 most influential teens in 2014, after appearing on countless talk shows, co-authoring a children's book about being trans, and speaking openly about being trans on her YouTube channel.
Her Clean & Clear video (below) gives us an intimate look into her daily life: "I've always known who I am. I was a girl trapped in a boy's body. Growing up has been quite a struggle being transgender — especially in middle school ... sometimes, I've even been called an 'it.'
"The real me is happy and proud to be who I am," she says. "And I'm just having fun being one of the girls."
As important as Jennings' exposure is for the trans community — along with, of course, the entire LGBTQ community — I think it's important to keep in mind that so many of these beauty companies are using emotional ploys to convince you to buy a product. Because it works.
So instead of applauding a company that's just jumping on the "love yourself" bandwagon — whether or not they actually believe in whatever cause they're supporting — let's applaud the people, like Jennings, who are actually trying to make a difference in the world.
Screengrab via CleanandClearUS/YouTube