Written by Lisa Turner, editorial intern
Dove is known for campaigns that highlight the beauty and power of real women, which is something FITNESS staffers totally support. Now they’re launching “Women Who Should Be Famous” as part of the Dove Movement for Self-Esteem, an initiative that highlights the achievements of positive role models and encourages women and girls to embrace their own beauty, inspiring others to do the same. It was only natural that they chose the spunky and super-talented 17-year-old Jessica Jarrell, a rising pop star and Twitter celeb as their spokesperson. We sat down with the singer and songwriter to talk about what self-esteem means to her and how she deals with the pressures of fame.
Can you tell us more about the Dove Movement for self-esteem and how you got involved?
It encourages girls to be the best they can be, reach their full potential, be confident and feel great about themselves. I’ve wanted to be a part of something like this for a really long time.
Do you ever have trouble with self-esteem? How do you deal with it when you work in such a high-profile industry?
It can get really difficult, but I’ve become a confident person and learned that you can’t really listen to other people or different comments that people make; you just have to be yourself. Like, if you love yourself and you love what you’re doing and what you’re about, then you’re going to feel confident and what people say isn’t going to affect you as much.
How did you get to that point?
Well, I’ve definitely had some self-esteem issues of my own—feeling like I was fat and people calling me fat. When you’re 15, you have all of this baby weight that you’re hanging onto in different places, and I used to have a really hard time dealing with that. My mom and grandma used to talk to me a lot, and I had to just realize I know what I’m about; I know what I look like. I’m happy, so that’s all that really matters. And now that I’m older, I like vegetables! I like fruit! I like to be healthier. I was happy after I realized, “Hey, it’s up to me how I’m going to feel about myself.”
Keep reading to find out how Jarrell liked touring with Justin Bieber!
You recently went on tour with Justin Bieber. What was that like?
It’s really physical performing. I’m jumping around, dancing like crazy—it’s really intense. That’s why when I’m on the road and I don’t have time to work out, I’m always rehearsing or doing shows, so that’s my exercise. It’s a really good workout!
And I won’t ever forget performing for the Bieber crowd at Madison Square Garden. It’s a place where many people don’t even get to visit, let alone be on stage. So to be just starting off, like I was at the time, and be given that opportunity? I’ll remember that forever.
Do you write your own music?
Yeah, I love it. I just love being able to express myself. People have different ways to let off energy and feelings; this is a good way for me to have something. As soon as I’m done writing a song, I love it because I’ll always have it as a memory for everything that happened while I was creating it.
Do you have any tips for women who may be looking for a confidence boost?
Just believe in yourself and never give up. There are going to be a lot of “nos.” There are nos in life all the time, but if you stop because they said no, you’re never going to get to the yes that leads you to what you’re looking for: the big deal. You’re never going to get anywhere if you’re constantly thinking, “So-and-so said they didn’t like me.” That’s not going to get you anywhere. So you just have to believe in yourself or no one else is going to believe in you.
Now you tell us: What advice would you give your 17-year-old self?