Jordan-Riss shares how she did not feel beautiful growing up because she wasn’t of a certain height, race and hair colour. Read about how she overcame and redefined her definition of beauty and empowerment.
First name: Jordan-Risa
Profession: Social Media Director at SWIM SOCIAL
What’s your favourite quote?
5 years ago, my friend Madi told me that there was a quote that reminded her of me by Jack Kerouac and it’s meant a lot to me since. “The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.”
What part of your body do you love the most?
My collarbones! I think defined collarbones on women are so sexy. They are by far my favourite part of my body.
What is your favourite quality about your personality?
My favourite quality about my personality is my transparency. I wear my heart on my sleeve and make it pretty clear on how I feel about something or someone. Most people probably don’t love that about me, but I do find it liberating to have my thoughts and feelings out there. I also think I’m pretty funny but everyone thinks they’re pretty funny.
When you were growing up, can you remember becoming aware of what you looked like? Were you influenced by anything in particular?
Oh absolutely. I was always a lot shorter than all my friends and my eyes were a different shape. I never actually voiced this out loud, but I was always a bit jealous of tall, thin, pretty white girls and wanted to look like them because they were who I was friends with and what I saw on TV and in magazines and what most of the boys preferred in school (or so I thought). It wasn’t a thing I thought about daily, but it made me feel like I was at a sort of at disadvantage because I was shorter and Asian, and not everyone was into that. It took maturity and awareness and yes, even validation from cute boys to help me realise that there are more ways to be beautiful than being 5’7’’ and blonde with blue eyes.
Who do you look up to and why?
I look up to my parents because they taught me through their relationship and their roles in our family that women can be strong, independent and self-sufficient and that men can be family-oriented, caring, and sensitive. They’ve shaped me so much into who I’ve become and influenced me in what kind of life I want to live and with who.
What advice would you give to your 12 year old self?
Be good to your parents and brothers – they really are the best family you can ever ask for. When you’re older you’re going to love them more than anyone else in the world.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I like to hang out with friends and family – just sitting on the couch talking for hours on end. I love reading and trying new places to eat. I love traveling when my wallet and vacation days allow it. And this is all when I’m not wasting time on my phone… which is a lot.
What advice would you like to share with other women?
Don’t be afraid to tell people how you really feel. Stop trying to avoid hurting people’s feelings at the expense of your own. You don’t have to be nice all the time or always try to please other people. Nice is overrated – everyone should be nice as a default. It’s better to be kind. Stop obsessing over your looks – if you want to better yourself, start with your confidence, mindset and personality. Surround yourself with people who value, respect and truly care about you. And lastly, send some advice my way, too.
Find Jordan on Instagram: @jordanrisa