Mom of 5 Shares How to Become a 'Sexpot With Stretch Marks'

jenny g. perryYou are about to meet your new best friend: Jenny G. Perry is your biggest cheerleader, your muse, the one you will look to for advice, and the one that seems to really get you even though you've never met in real life. Mom-of-five Jenny is also the author of Sexpot With Stretch Marks: Fierce Musings Along the Journey to Self-Love With Sass and The Jennifers, a novel following six friends as they go through life, divorce, love, friendship, and motherhood.


We spoke with Jenny about all of it -- her pro-body message, her ability to embrace the beauty in everything, her pro-woman ways -- and she isn't afraid to share the difficult times, too.

jenny g. perry

"Pro-body" -- tell me what that means to you?
Pro-body to me means loving the body as is in every form it takes. Not just accepting the body, but embracing the beauty and greatness it is. It is a gift to us. It does so much. It's our vehicle for experience in the life of a human. It is the perspective of knowing your body is literally a miracle. This doesn't mean you can't stay in shape or even get plastic surgery like a tummy tuck and not be pro-body. That is not my judgment. I have friends who love themselves and get small breast implants. I have tattoos and love my body, so whatever tweaks people make is up to them. Like a recipe that you already love, one day you may add a little bit more spice, and it gets even better.   

How were you able to become pro-body?
I decided to become pro-body when I was 34 after 24 years of a love-and-mostly-hate body image. I was teased as a prepubescent 10-year-old for being "chubby" -- like literally nicknamed "Porker from Porkertown," which by the way is not where I lived. We were playing beauty pageant, and the kids told me I couldn't be from a real place. 

The following year I moved from Philly to New Jersey, but that insecurity was rooted in, and I went to sixth grade lunch with a can of Slim Fast. I loved food and was maybe 130-ish pounds and wanted to lose weight. I felt like a stupid-loser-dork and wanted to change my image. 

Middle school was not kind with its frizzy hair perms, braces, freckles, and awkward phase. In high school, I wanted to be a thin, cool girl. I became bulimic. It was such a dark release. On the road to recovery with that, I secretly still wished I could be an anorexic. 

To deal with how uncomfortable I was in my own skin, I drank a lot at parties. I hooked up with guys who didn't deserve me. I was always trying to escape me. Cocaine gave me that confident superpower feeling a few times that scared the crap out of me. Fast-forward to being an overweight mom at 26.

I lost 60 pounds. I still didn't like me. I drank too much again. I started a journey to find out who I was. I couldn't live in pain anymore. 

I decided that at 130 pounds, I was beautiful. I wanted to get more fit but decided the inner feelings were more important than getting to 110 pounds on my 5-foot frame.   

jenny g. perry closeup

What are your greatest struggles?
My greatest struggles are the smoke-and-mirrors dance in a bikini after five babies. I rock my stretch marks and not-perfect tummy, because I don't need to be looking like the model on a fitness magazine in order to be worthy of wearing whatever I want. I make a choice every day. I want to judge my tummy, but I don't have to. I don't follow the herd mentality that we have to buy into looking younger, thinner, or whatever. I choose to have fun with clothes, style, fashion, and food. 

Eating healthy is easy for me, but I still LOVE french fries. If I ever get too restrictive on what I eat, which can happen, I take a look at how I am feeling. I love eating organic, vegan, and all that, but having no-no foods on a list a mile long where I am only eating protein bars because they are also low-carb and low-fat can feel like a prison.

To me, self-love is about loving yourself when you are eating clean and eating the chocolate. I just had this amazing chocolate last night with chipotle in it while I was sipping red wine. I almost went back and ate the whole thing. I ate half and felt good. 

jenny g perry

What upsets you about how society treats body image?
It's one size fits all. I was dying for long legs for years and watched everything that went in my mouth. I have muscular legs. I call myself a powerhouse. I am short and strong. It fits. I would love to see women realize, in all the marketing campaigns, that it's all backwards. You have to FEEL good first, then take action, pick the food, exercise, choose the clothes, and it's a win-win then. 

The whole reason anyone does anything is because they want to feel good. If you want to feel good about your body, you first have to talk to it nicely. It is your best friend, if you shift the paradigm. It all comes down to mindset. ... I want to see women judge themselves and each other less.

jenny g perry

You are very pro-woman. I love that about you. Can you speak about that?
I am so pro-woman! It sounds so cliché, but I do feel like a champion of woman. I am a mojo expert and love helping women see themselves like I do. I wrote about my philosophy in my book Sexpot With Stretch Marks and preach it daily. I am such a girl's girl that operates from the place of NO competition where we all get to win. I love how many rock-star, transformational, awesome women there are out there right now helping women to love themselves. I am a leader, but there are many. It's a movement. I want my kids to see how you can be fierce and kind, peaceful and passionate, and that if you love yourself, life gets to be freaking amazeballs. With my coaching, writing, blogging, speaking, and living, I try to live up to the title Life Catalyst so I can use my story, life, experience, pain, journey, and truth to help others. 

I studied all about mind-body-spirit wellness and continue to so I can be a light for others. Sending all my sister goddesses out there big hugs and crazy massive self-love. Remember your brilliance, gals!


We certainly will.


Images via Jenny G. Perry

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