Jordan | Male, Black and Jewish, He/Him

What does “body positivity” mean to you? How has your body image changed over time? How does your body image play a role in your identity or even in your daily life?

Embracing the various shapes, sizes, skin tones, pheromones, body hair, stretch marks, freckles and moles that exist on us and around us. Understanding that our physical forms aren’t the only things that define us and certainly don’t determine our value or worth.

How has body image affected your mental and emotional health? What’s something that helps you feel comfortable in your own skin?

I definitely struggled growing up being on the thinner side and always wanting to have more of an athletic build. I was younger than the majority of the kids in my grade throughout high school, so I was always trying to play catch up in terms of my body growing and looking like everyone else. I became pretty motivated to exercise and lift weights. Fortunately, in my adulthood, I’ve embraced that side of me and appreciate that I continue to stay motivated to stay active and be fit, but I don’t shame myself if I don’t always stick to my typical routine.

How can we talk about our body image with our loved ones in a way that is supportive and helpful? How has the media influenced your body image?

I think that has to be determined by the person or people you’re trying to have the discussion with. Their experiences should really guide the conversation. I’ve definitely been conditioned by media to strive for a toned and athletic body. I’m fortunate because that’s my natural body type, but I can only imagine how tough it can be for folks with different body types. I’m very privileged in that sense.

Is there a specific message that you’d like to convey by participating in this project?

Nudity is not shameful.