jari jones calvin klein

Jari Jones in celebratory mode. Image via Twitter @IAmJariJones

Pride Month: Calvin Klein chooses plus-size model activist Jari Jones

American actress, plus-size model and LGBTQIA+ activist Jari Jones is celebrating seeing herself on a billboard in New York.

jari jones calvin klein

Jari Jones in celebratory mode. Image via Twitter @IAmJariJones

Popping champagne a cork, plus-size model and LGBTQIA+ activist Jari Jones is celebrating being a Calvin Klein model and seeing herself on a billboard in New York.

“Pride started for me when I decided to rebel against everything I was wrongly taught about myself,” said Jones.

Jones identifies as a “trans queer lesbian” and she was a part of the “Proud in my Calvins” campaign in May.

She is also a loud and proud supporter of the #BlackLivesMatter Movement.


Jari Jones hailed as ‘conversation leader’

Elizabeth Suzann, a clothing label which featured Jones in its “Clothing is political” campaign, hailed the black transgender model, actress and activist as a conversation leader. Specifically the label noted her action around the protection and representation of trans and queer people of colour in fashion and theatre.

In her “Proud in my Calvins” campaign video Jones mentions that she sees herself as a mother figure for LGBTQIA+ youth with dreams in New York City. She tries to provide them with a home until they can get everything together on their own.

She does this for two reasons: firstly it is hard enough to get a start at life and secondly, being a person of colour, queer and trans makes it more difficult.

Jones and her wife, who is also transgender, say they did not have the support of their family. They have said they had to “mother” each other, and now they want to be that family for others in a similar position.

Pride Month message

Calvin Klein’s choice of Jones is sending an influential and powerful message for the LGBTQ community, especially in Pride Month.

Jones posted a picture of herself popping a bottle of champagne as she celebrates with her Calvin Klein billboard in the background.

A portion of her caption read:

“I got tired of looking for those moments. So I decided to create them. 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 hopes her words and actions are an inspiration to be authentic and proudly yourself, no matter what the world thinks.

Jones has said to Elizbeth Suzann that “as a black woman, a trans woman, as a queer woman, as a fat women, my entire being is gonna be some kind of political movement because I go against everything that society says is great”.

Brand ambassador

She has also modelled for brands such as  Dove in its “Goodbye Judgement, Hello Underarms” campaign, Elizabeth Suzann’s “Clothing is Political” campaign, Allure’s Ulta Beauty and #TheRealCatWalk event.

Founded by plus-size model Khrystyana Kazakova, the Real Cat Walk is a statement of representation. It showcases bodies of different shapes and sizes mutually inclusive of gender, colour, sexuality and ability.

Each year the LGBTQIA+ community grows and Jones has been an influential part of Pride Month history in 2020.