Who are Jazz Jennings' parents? Family fat-shames YouTuber with eating disorder
Transgender star Jazz Jennings of 'I Am Jazz' fame recently opened up about her weight gain and how she was fat-shamed by her own family, something that has left the young reality icon devastated. Jazz, 21, had previously opened up about her struggles with depression and anxiety, alongside the post-operative constraints of gender transformation surgery. Her parents, Greg and Jeanette Jennings have been criticized time and again for burdening Jazz with their expectations.
A student of Harvard University, Jazz Jennings got candid about her weight gain in the trailer for the upcoming season of TLC's 'I Am Jazz'. She also vented about her binge-eating disorder and increased appetite as a side-effect of some of her medications. However, she shared that her family constantly fat-shames her in one way or the other. "I do experience fat-shaming from my family. It makes me feel really humiliated," she shares. In another scene from the trailer, her family can be seen questioning her about the amount of butter in her pasta.
Jennings came out as transgender at the mere age of five years and has received support from her parents throughout her gender transition journey. However, her parents were often slammed by viewers for their overbearing nature which often wreaked havoc on Jazz's mental health.
Jazz is the youngest among Greg and Jeanette Jennings' four children, who also include 22-year-old Ariel and twins Sander and Griffen. The Jennings started the TransKid Purple Rainbow Foundation for helping other trans kids like Jazz. Her mother Jeanette is also particularly noted for starting the #JazzHans movement on social media to raise awareness around trans children.
The parents became famous for allowing their child to undergo expensive hormone therapies and medications from early childhood. In fact, Greg once proudly shared in an interview with ABC, “Jeanette and I are in 100 percent agreement as to how we should raise Jazz. We don’t encourage, we support. And we just keep listening to what she tells us.”
The family also withstood death threats from transphobic people when their show was first aired, at a time when awareness about gender identity was much regressive. However, behind their facade of 'perfect parents', viewers have often spotted certain unwelcome traits in Greg and Jeanette's attitude towards Jazz.
Some of the fans could not help but notice how the reality star was often pressured by her family to be a certain way and make choices that they thought were right. One of the best examples of this was Jazz's decision to choose a college.
Jazz had to decide if she wanted to go to Pomona College or Harvard University. Even though everyone suggested that Harvard would be a better option for her, Jazz thought otherwise. She thought that she would feel at home in Pomona while hinting that she did not want to take the stress that came with Harvard University. Eventually, she zeroed in on Harvard which many felt was a decision forced by her parents.
Jazz also hinted that she feels the pressure of being a role model for everyone around her and broke down crying as she admitted that she was struggling to get her mental health together. Now, she has openly slammed her family, which includes her parents, siblings, and grandmother, for fat-shaming her quite often.
"Two years ago, I was on my way to one of the greatest institutions in the world, but I was actually struggling severely with mental health issues. I started binge-eating and I gained weight and more weight and more weight. And now, almost 100 lbs. heavier, here I am today," she shared while revealing her present weight at 234 lbs. 'Having all this extra weight, I can't do so many things with my body that I used to be able to do," she admitted.
While venting about her battle with binge-eating disorder, Jazz Jennings shared how she wanted to lose the weight for herself and her family but was afraid of letting them down. "Really the biggest thing I’m trying to do is love my body for what it is. Even though I’m trying to lose weight and be healthier, I still have to learn to be comfortable in my own skin right now," she said in the trailer.
Meanwhile, her mother complains about Jazz's weight gain, saying, "Even when we think we're doing something right, she falls off the wagon."