size matters

Jordyn Woods on Loving Your Body and Instagram

Jordyn Woods, plus-size beauty.
Jordyn Woods, plus-size beauty. Photo: Christine Hahn

If you’ve been keeping up with the Kardashians, you’ve probably also been keeping up with Jordyn Woods. As Kylie Jenner’s good friend (she gifted her a car for her birthday), Woods is an integral member of the Kardashian universe. But famous best friends aside, Woods is becoming an influencer in her own right as a body-positive role model for young girls. With 1.3 million Instagram followers, Woods intends to use her social media platform as a way to inspire young girls to love their bodies. The Cut talked to Woods about being discovered on Instagram, being recognized in the bathroom by moms, and accepting your body.

I heard your agent discovered you on Instagram. Is that true?
Yes. She emailed me from my email that’s on my Instagram page. The previous week, my friend had gotten an email from Wilhelmina as well, but it was a fraud email so I thought mine wasn’t real, either. But I told my manager, who is also my mother, to contact Marissa, who is now my agent. And I flew out to New York two weeks later.

I never really thought about modeling before, but I’m always posting pictures and taking selfies. I modeled when I was like 4 or 5, but that’s not really by choice. I saw it as a good opportunity to start giving back to people and helping influence other girls to be more confident.

Is influence something you thought about before getting into modeling?
Well, I already had some influence through social media, so modeling is a way to boost that to a higher level. Social media is just an online journal. I can post things and help spread positive messages to people — for example, me talking about something that I love about myself might help someone else love that feature about themselves as well.

I get a lot of awesome messages. I was in a restaurant last night and when I went to the restroom, this older woman asked, “Are you Jordyn Woods? My daughter was just talking about you, I love what you’re doing, an we take a selfie?” I went up to their table and was talking to them. Having experiences like that is surreal. It’s amazing to see how you can actually influence people.

You’re newer to the world of modeling. What do you think when you hear the phrase “plus-size”?
Well, I believe that once you’re past a size 8, you’re considered plus-size. Everyone has different body shapes, heights. It’s unfortunate because sometimes a curvy girl will say, “I’m a model,” and people will look at her sideways. Then she’ll have to say, “I’m a plus-size model.” That’s just society, you know? Hopefully, if we stop using the term plus-size we can just create a broader definition for what a model is.

Growing up in Hollywood or Hollywood-adjacent, how did it affect your thoughts on body image?
I didn’t realize how much it affected me until I went to different places. Everyone in L.A. thinks that you have to look one way and tries to look that way. There’s so much plastic surgery and so many girls who aren’t confident because they’re trying to follow this guideline. L.A. is just not real. It’s not a real place. It’s an amazing place, but the people there … it’s like everyone’s always trying to walk in a fashion show or be a certain size.

There were points growing up when I wanted to dress like all the other girls dressed, but I couldn’t find clothes that were as cute as them. Or I wanted to wear a bikini at the pool but I didn’t have the confidence to. I definitely didn’t have the confidence that I do now.

Jordyn Woods wants to become a body-positive influencer. Photo: Christine Hahn

What would be your advice to young girls who are struggling?
We’re all given this vessel, this body, and we all have a purpose. For me, if there’s something I don’t like about myself, I’ll accept it — the sooner you can accept it, then you can work on making it better.

You definitely need to take care of your body. Always drink water, try to work out. I remember one time I posted a picture in the gym and people were commenting on my photo “If you’re body positive, then why are you working out?” It would be the opposite of body positive not to work out, because being body positive is loving your body. If you’re not taking care of your body, you’re not loving your body. You’re only given one body.

What is it like having a very famous best friend?
It’s become so normal for me that I don’t realize how different it is. It’s something where, if you’re going out you have to be conscious that there may be five grown men following behind you in a car. Or if you want to just wake up and leave the house, to be aware that there will be photos taken, people watching, and anywhere you go, everyone will be staring.

For most people, that’s not normal. But because it’s just become a lifestyle for me, I can only try to make her as normal as possible.

This interview has been condensed and edited. 

Jordyn Woods on Loving Your Body