Courtni Jackson – large and in chargeMonday, July 26, 2021
WHEN 26-year-old singer Courtni Jackson realised that she would be posing in bikinis for Bodied Ja, the online plus size retail store for which she models, she told herself that she would be okay, even though she had never worn a bikini in her life.
“I was comfortable, and I looked at myself in the mirror for a while when I had it on before I came out of the bathroom,” the Sekkle singer shared with All Woman. “I told myself, 'You look good. No matter what. Don't be afraid. You look good'.”
In the end, Jackson recalled that it was a great experience. “I wasn't actually terrified to try it on, because I have gotten to a place now where I am so comfortable in my body that it didn't bother me that much that I had it on.”
It was not an easy journey for her to get to this comfortable place though, and she admits that even now, every day is not the same where that is concerned. She shared that she did not have the best relationship with her body as a child and adolescent.
“Growing up in the family that I was in, nobody was really comfortable with their body per se,” Jackson said. “Everybody had an issue with one area or another of how they looked. But, in my family we like to eat, and then when we realise that we've had too much we go on diets.”
Jackson was put on diets, especially when she started experiencing the growth spurt that came with puberty, in which she “got big”.
Now that she has mended the relationship with her body, Jackson, who not only sings but dances, is a beautiful example of being large and in charge of one's health.
“I really enjoy dancing, but it is still not my primary way of being active,” she said. “My form of exercise is walking in the mornings. I get out every morning and I walk a good distance. For a little bit I will jog as well, but I don't jog very far. I make sure to breathe very, very deeply as I'm walking, because that's very good for my lungs and as a singer.”
And, while she does not subscribe to restrictive diets, Jackson is very mindful of what she eats.
“My eating habits vary. I don't like a lot of fruits, but there are certain fruits that I like and I stick to them. I like chicken. I like shrimp. I eat a lot of sardine omelettes,” she laughed. “I eat a lot of eggs and chickpeas. I eat rice. I try my best to keep up with eating a good amount of callaloo. I love porridge.”
While she tries to avoid dairy and sweets, she occasionally treats herself to some guilt-free ice cream.
“I'm 26. I have to regulate myself and be aware of the things I put in my body and understand that my body needs to function,” she reasoned. “But I don't agree with the idea that when you're fat you're unhealthy. The whole idea of being healthy can be subjective. For certain people, just because you have a little extra weight, it does not mean that you're closer to death than somebody who is smaller than you.”
She shared that she is currently trying to lose some weight, but not because she is unhappy with her looks, but so that she can be a better dancer.
“There are certain ways that I'd like my body to move as a dancer, that my legs can't move as fast, so I want to take off some weight for that reason only,” she said. “But, for a regular person, as long as you're moving in the mornings, or at least three times a week, and you are in charge and conscious of what you eat, and you maintain a decent, balanced diet, I think you should be fine no matter what size you are.”
Jackson lamented that in today's society people, especially women, are more often than not disappointed with their natural bodies.
“It's a difficult society that we live in, in terms of the pressure it puts on women to look a certain way, to the point where there are women who feel like they have to go under a knife and do surgery to enhance certain features. It makes me very sad, because that is coming from a place of insecurity, and it breaks my heart, because I've been there,” she said.
Jackson now uses her platform as a public figure to not only show the world that it is possible to be fat and fit, but to encourage others to be good to the vessels that carry their souls.
“No matter how your body looks, if you want to show it off, then show it off. Because life is short and a one life we have fi live, and in this time, if you feel happy showing off your body, do it,” she urged. “Enjoy yourself and enjoy your body. Be nice to your body. We must treat them well, because our bodies treat us well. In this life we are stuck with these bodies.”
Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login