Q&A With #NeonMoonModel Jilly!
Posted on 09 November 2015
With the whirlwind of our well received campaign, we sat down with our new model Jilly to ask her some of your questions on feminism, body positivity and being a transgender lingerie model for Neon Moon! Have a read of her thoughts and let us know what you think in the comments section! Enjoy!
Jilly wearing Non! bra
Name: Jilly or Selina
Occupation: Business owner
Are you a feminist?
Yes I'm a feminist. I find it unthinkable that anyone would not be.
What are your thoughts on body positivity?
Part of what I do is teach people how to be confident. When I do I tell people that comfortability is the mother of confidence and that perfection is not. Confidence is empowering, it is safeguarding, it is sexy, it is vital. Body positivity is about the confidence to be you, the confidence to decide for yourself what to do with and to your body. To choose to conform, to choose not to conform but all from a place of contentment and personal power.
Have you ever modeled lingerie before Neon Moon?
I've been in love with lingerie for years as it means a lot to me but no I've never modelled before. Why not. I'm a 49 year old male, not in the best of shape. Whilst agreeing with everything I wrote above, it's not something I thought possible.
Jilly wearing Non! bra
How did you become a lingerie model for Neon Moon?
I was following Neon Moon on Twitter as I have an account @jillysfrillies talking about lingerie. Hayat and I were talking and I said something like "if you ever want a transgender model. ..." And she took me up on it.
What are your thoughts on transgender women's representation in the lingerie industry?
I think there's a lack of representation generally though I see positive signs of change. I've no illusions that seeing me model lingerie will have women rushing to order but for all the trans people that see the campaign, perhaps it goes some way to easing their pain. How can you be what you cannot see.
Neon Moon's CEO Hayat has made it clear that transgender women should not be obligated to look like cis women in order to be considered beautiful by society. She feels society should not apply any more pressure to women and especially transgender women. What are your thoughts?
This is a difficult one for me. Of course I think that easing the pressure on women and on trans women would be a welcome thing. But I've been thinking a lot about this. When I see my pictures I'm a harsh critic and because of dysphoric feelings often wish to see other than what is there. I have only felt beautiful once in my life and I'd like to do so a few more times before I leave. This is a long journey of becoming and trans women, like cis women, are socialised to aspire towards certain expectations. This can be a never ending journey or it can be one that we empower ourselves to be in control of. I think it's important to own your body decisions. Do I want to be a beautiful woman? Yes. Will I become one ever? Well this is both an internal and an external journey. I do, however, think the journey is made easier by healthy representation.
What do you think about Neon Moon?
Neon Moon are fierce, proud and driven to honestly portray equality and diversity. I look forward to seeing what they do next.
What advice would you give to other transgender women who are trying to love themselves?
I've spent 49 years coming to terms with being trans. I work with a trans rights and support organisation, Transagenda and I do think that all manner of things will be easier for trans people in the future than they were for me, including loving yourself. I have no advice but I'd like to say that you have my utmost empathy, regard and sisterhood.
What projects are you currently working on apart from Neon Moon?
So one thing that many people do not know is that being trans in and of itself is not protected under The Equality Act of 2010. Transitioning yes but being trans no. I think this should change. Transagenda aims, amongst other things to change this.
What do you think of our Q&A with Jilly? Tell us in the comments section below!