With last week marking the end of Glee, I couldn't help but reflect on its impact on not just the hearts and minds of theater kids everywhere, but on our country as a whole. Glee gave audiences the chance to observe the cruel world of high school from the eyes of an openly gay teen in a way that had never been done before. Through Kurt Hummel we saw how hard life is when those around you not only don't accept you, but actively show how much they dislike you. For many bullies slushies to the face is only the tip of the vicious iceberg. Luckily, Glee also showed us what happens when people find a place where they feel comfortable and safe and have the opportunity to make friends who love them just for being them. And it is likely in part due to the amazing Kurt that 14-year-old Jazz Jennings was one of the teenagers selected to be a part of Clean and Clear's "See The Real Me" campaign.
Born biologically male, Jazz was diagnosed with gender identity disorder at age 3. Since then she has lived her life as a happy and beautiful female with the full support of her parents and family. Jazz has her own YouTube channel where she takes time to discuss her life as a transgender teen in addition to her love of fashion, makeup, and all the things you'd expect a 14-year-old girl to love. It was through her videos that Clean & Clear caught wind of the trail blazer.
Clean & Clear's "See The Real Me" campaign is all about showing girls for who they really are and encourages them to work past their skin problems, or larger issues, to embrace their true selves. In her campaign commercial, a bright sunny Jazz tells her audience how navigating middle school isn't easy for anyone, but it is especially hard when people call you an "it." By putting herself out there and learning to love her life despite its hardships, Jazz is now able to just have one being one of the girls.
It is characters like Kurt Hummel and real individuals like Jazz Jennings who are helping to change the opinions of what is considered "normal" or "average." So, congratulations Jazz! Keep on being the role model you were born to be.
image and video via Refinery29