Dominique Jackson

Dominique Jackson’s Empowering Approach to Body Positivity


Aug. 6 2023, Published 9:05 p.m. ET

You may know her as Elektra for her fierce role as the tough, uncompromising mom from the television series Pose.

Dominique Jackson is as iconic in real life as she is in her roles, with a strong stand on campaigning for body positivity.

How Dominique Jackson Is Dismantling Primitive Societal Beauty Standards

Dominique doesn't settle for the mere empowerment of body positivity and acceptance. She’s in for the collective shift in mindset. By destroying beauty norms and showing the beauty in every individual regardless of race, size, or orientation, she’s making the world a more inclusive space for everyone, and here’s how:

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Unapologetic Visibility

Jackson is just bold. Both on-screen and in her personal life, she invokes an asserting image. She doesn't shy away from showing her curves and embracing her sensuality. This challenges the notion that most societies hold that only certain types of bodies are worth being seen as desirable.

At the 2019 Emmys, for instance, she stunned the audience as she owned the red carpet with radiating confidence. In such an instance, you can imagine the sheer number of people she inspired to feel beautiful in their skin.

She never misses an invitation to defy the expectations of what a glamorous body should look like.

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Calling for Respect, Not Tolerance

Merely existing under the shadows has never been Jackson’s cup of tea. She needs to be part of the society she’s in as she believes she also has a role to play, and so does everyone else.

In her speech at the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, she says, “Tolerance comes from a place of privilege.” In a sense, when people say they tolerate you, they see themselves as better than you rather than your equals; thus, they're simply keeping up with you.

She proceeds to say that no one is to be told, “I tolerate you,” but rather, “I respect you.” This has been her stand throughout her advocacy journey, as she believes everyone has a part in society.

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Challenging Harmful Narratives

As a person who grew up excluded from her family and rightful community, she knows how it feels to be seen as an outcast. She speaks out against seeing people as lesser humans based on their body size or sexual orientation, which crashes their self-esteem and robs them of their potential. She uses her platform to educate her audience on the harmful effects of these societal biases. Her Instagram is a treasure trove of body-positive messages. She regularly posts photos of herself with affirming captions, encouraging her followers to be proud of their images too.

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In the same light, she pushes segregated people to love and be compassionate to themselves. They’ll have won half the battle. It’s one thing what others think of you, and it’s another how you perceive yourself. As with overflowing self-love, you can’t give in to the negative talk but will challenge and shine right through it.

Inter-sectional Activism

Jackson’s body positivity doesn't exist in a vacuum. She doesn't only limit herself to fighting for the recognition and respect of a particular form of discrimination. Admittedly, she falls under several of those. Being a black transgender actress, she has her share of experiences that come with being related to any of these groups.

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As such, she understands the interconnectedness of these forms of discrimination, as sidelining people based on their nature forms a common denominator for them all. Therefore, she raises a voice for marginalized groups, including plus-size people, LGBTQ+, and people of color. This approach kills a few more than two parts at a throw, promoting inclusivity across the board.

Artistic Expression

Dominique is known for her captivating dances and acting roles, filled with self-belief. Her performances in “Pose” and “American Horror Story” threw a real challenge to the audience, shaking up their perceptions of beauty and identity. She set herself as an example of how much there is to love in everyone, away from what has always been pushed to be acceptable.

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Her art doesn't stop at the screens. She actively encourages others to express themselves and tell their story through art. To give them a better way of doing that, she co-founded the House of Xtravahanza, a ballroom in Harlem known for its fierce vaguing and passionate celebration of diverse identities. These spaces empower people to find their voices and embrace their unique beauty through creativity.

Impact Beyond Words

Dominique’s life experiences and electrifying performances in both shows and dances are a true definition of radically loving yourself and acknowledging who you are. She sends streams of hope down to those struggling with body image and societal expectations. She has done and continues to do a great job at dismantling harmful narratives and creating a world where everyone is proud of who they are and is accorded the due respect they deserve.

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