When Beyoncé name drops you in a song from her new Renaissance album, you know you’re that girl. Jordyn Woods (or Jordy, as she’s referred to by close friends and Queen Bey) has been sweeping timelines with her slayage, unapologetic body confidence, and the cutest #RelationshipGoals content with her basketball bae Karl Anthony Towns. Woods has continued to carve out a lane for herself in this crazy world we call the entertainment industry from winning The Masked Singer and teasing her vocal abilities to the launch of her FRSTPLACE wellness app to promote healthy living styles. Now, she’s taking ownership of her narrative through content creation thanks to an unlikely partnership with a legacy media brand.
Woods recently announced her partnership with Playboy Magazine’s newly launched CENTERFOLD platform. Launched in collaboration with Cardi B during her reign as Playboy’s first-ever Creative Director in Residence, the platform was created to give content creators the power over their creativity, their content, access, and their interaction with fans and customers. Not to mention, the platform puts creators in a position to control their own narrative and make bank while doing it.
“I actually found out about Centerfold before it launched,” the 24-year-old admits to ESSENCE about her introduction to the platform. “I’m all about going off what feels good and Playboy just felt like the right platform to be on. For someone who is on social media, whether you’re an influencer or celebrity, everyone always profits off of us, but we don’t get to profit off of our own content and own our own content. Being able to work with a platform that is expanding diversity and growing, being able to grow with the company, [and] being able to create fun content, but on top of that own your own content – it just felt like it made sense and it was the right partnership.”
ESSENCE had the chance to catch up with the content creator herself about the importance of owning your content, advice she’d give to her little sister Jodie when biters rip off her content and how she remains so confident in her own skin when haters begin to hate.
ESSENCE: As a Black woman and content creator, what’s the importance of owning and regulating your own content, especially in times when we as Black creators and influencers aren’t credited all the time?
Jordyn Woods: Or barely credited. That’s a very tough situation because I feel like it’s hard to be original nowadays. Everyone takes something from someone, whether it’s from the seventies, eighties, nineties, now, your friend, or your peer. It’s important to find out what your thing is and to be authentic to what your message is, what your content is, and just be yourself. Own that and be confident in who you are because there’s going to be people that have an opinion or want to jack what you have but when you are original, nobody can steal your swag.
Like I always told Jo, my little sister, I see a bunch of associates and peers copying her, and I know it’s irritating, but it’s also flattering because guess what? No one can do it like you and that’s why you’re special and that’s why people are going to keep copying what you do. Because you’re authentically yourself and it’s admirable. You can’t control someone taking or copying, but you can control who you are and remain authentic to who you are – and that will shine through regardless.
ESSENCE: When it comes to your relationship with social media, how have you continued to grow your confidence in the content creation space? When you started posting sexier pictures or being more comfortable in your skin, how did you feel that your audience was going to receive it?
Woods: It varies. Some days I’m super confident and some days I’m a little confident. I think especially as a Black woman, you’re always going to be looked upon, observed, and oftentimes sexualized, especially me being a curvy woman. So I’m like, “Okay, I can either let people dictate my story, try to do something, or I can just own my body and who I am.” Growing up, I never felt like I was the sexy girl. Now that I’m finding my confidence as a young woman and blossoming, I’m like, “This is me standing in my power.”
Standing in your power could look like anything. It could either be you wanting to pose nude because that makes you feel powerful or it could be you posing fully clothed. It’s your confidence and your power is whatever you make it and you can’t let anyone else dictate that. The days I’m feeling it, I’m feeling it and some days I’m not. I just go with that feeling and go in that confidence. I mean, this is the youngest I’ll ever be you got to go through it and this is the youngest actually all of us will ever be so really do what makes you happy. Confidence is the sexiest thing you could wear, whatever that looks like for you.
ESSENCE: How do you embrace your sexuality and your sensuality through your personal style?
Woods: I think it’s really hard for me to hide my body and my curves, especially growing up a curvier woman. You wear a tank top because you’re hot and it looks sexy or you wear shorts and you’re trying to show skin. I love a good bodycon moment where you can see the shape, but you can’t see too much of the shape. It’s not too revealing. I love bodycon dresses; I’m wearing one right now. Sundress season is my favorite season, but being in California is kind of always sundress season. Sexy doesn’t always mean showing your skin, too. I realize there’s a lot of sexiness in how you carry yourself. That sundress could be flowy, but it’s just how you’re flowing with within the dress. It’s not about showing your butt or your boobs. It’s sexy how you carry yourself regardless the outfit.
ESSENCE: When did you begin to build a relationship with your body and your sensuality? Take me back to that defining moment where you were just like, “I feel really confident now.”
Woods: You know what? It’s like I said before, it’s a roller coaster. I’m still figuring it out, I’m still finding my confidence because I’ll be 25 soon and I feel like this is when you finally are getting to your grown woman body, whatever that means. I think I felt the most confident and most sexy when I started taking better care of my body. I started feeling more confident when I showed up for myself and that was when my father passed away. I took my fitness journey super personal and super seriously; it was my therapy. I feel the sexiest when I’m taking care of myself and that’s how I feel now. If I am not working out for four weeks, I’m really down on myself. I realize that when I feel the best and I look at the best, I find the most sexiness in myself when I’m taking proper care of myself.
It’s not necessarily what my body looks like; it’s how my body feels [and] how my mind is because I’m a chronic overthinker. I’m a Libra, I think a lot and I also doubt myself a lot. I think it’s normal, it’s human but the more popular I became and the more people were looking at me, the harder it was to find my confidence. I’m like, “Now there’s a lot of people looking at me so I don’t want to do the wrong thing,” “I don’t want to say the wrong thing,” or “I don’t want to wear the wrong thing.” Then again, we’re all human. It’s trial and error, but I’m still evolving and finding what that grown woman sexy is. I have some time, but I’m still trying to find it.
Weight is taboo because muscle weighs more than fat and you could be losing body fat, but gaining muscle and you can end up weighing more. That whole weight thing, it’s taboo. You can keep track of it if you want to. If you don’t care, go off of how you feel. Your mind controls everything and if you’re down on yourself. then your cells literally go off of your thoughts. Your cells and your body are going off of negativity, then they’re actually just not even going to prosper. You just have to stay positive and it’s way easier said than done.
ESSENCE: In today’s age of social media and imposter syndrome, why is it important for young Black girls to feel empowered in their bodies?
Woods: That is a really good question because there’s not a right or wrong answer. Your body is your temple, people will subjectify you, [and] people will also look at you as what your body looks like, not who you are. Then those words people say hold power and you need to know who you are so you can keep all of your power. Whatever you look like, whatever you’re going through, whatever your race, [or] gender, it is important for you to know who you are, your sexuality, and the importance of your being because then nobody can dictate or view you as your body or you know exactly who you are and the value that you have in this world.
Even when I was younger, I didn’t really value myself the same way that I do now so I allowed a lot more. Now that I see the value of my body, the value of my sexuality, and the value of being a young woman, I can make the decisions that I deserve. I don’t let people take advantage or [I don’t] put myself in bad scenarios because I know my value. If I didn’t ever learn it, who’s to say where I would be today?
ESSENCE: If you could give your younger self a piece of advice about confidence and standing 10 toes down about how you feel about your own body, what would you tell her?
Woods: I always tell people – and myself – your individuality is your greatest gift. You are given this body for a reason, God gave you this vessel, and own that. If I don’t like something that I can work on, I work on it. If it’s something I can’t change, I accept and just know that it’s given to me for a reason and just owning that and confidence is everything in any situation.