An athlete from an early age, Jenny Fletcher was discovered by an international modeling agency at the age of 15. This was also the year she discovered the pentathlon — a sport that includes pistol shooting, swimming, fencing, running and horse jumping . At the age of 16, she competed at the Junior and Senior Worlds. After a long successful modeling career, in 2010 Jenny chose to take her hobby of competing in triathlons to the professional level. She has aspirations to someday represent her home country of Canada in the Olympics.
Do you think it’s hard for people to see women as both physically strong and beautiful? Why?
Not as much anymore as there has been a shift in the way women have been viewed. I find there is a lot of support and encouragement and always find people are so inspired by seeing a woman both physically strong and beautiful.
What about being seen as beautiful and smart? Do you think women sometimes think they can’t be both?
Once again I feel the trends have changed. Women are highly esteemed when they are beautiful and smart. There is a lot of respect out there, but yes it’s a tough world, so with respect comes criticism. You can’t let that stop you from being your best. We are born to grow, change, learn, and strive! We can be both beautiful and smart. It’s up to us what we will do with what we have been given. There are no limits when you exude confidence and have a sense of self worth. People may be caught off guard at first, but in the end there is a tone of respect.
Have you ever felt judged for being too pretty or too athletic, by either men or women?
All the time. Who isn’t judged, though, in this world nowadays? People are always looking for a way to fault you. And most likely they will find faults, but as long as we are being true to ourselves you have to learn to let it not affect you. I’ve been in the fashion modeling world for 20 years — we are pulled apart everyday. It hasn’t changed switching over to being an athlete, but it’s not going to stop me. We must realize we can’t make everyone happy. So live life to the fullest and those that want to be a part of your life will and those that don’t will eventually fade away.
How do you deal with keeping up your feminine side while being an athlete?
I think from years of modeling it’s innate. It’s a part of me, even more so now as I am aware of my body becoming stronger and therefore losing some of it’s softness or curves. It’s all in the way I dress. I can downplay my athletic body by wearing clothes that show my femininity, but still show I am a strong woman. I wear earrings all the time now and feel a bit lost without mascara. My apparel sponsor, Oakley, has great lifestyle apparel that totally suits me being an athlete, but is still fashionable, and they have very feminine sunglasses etc. And my race-kit I designed by Hincapie Sports is all feminine with it’s corset looking appearance!
Lastly, I love to eat! Got to keep a bit of my curves!
What is your favorite part of being a woman?
The power you have! A strong confident women is inspiring. When I see a women that is confident and strong I am immediately impressed and drawn to wanting to be more like them. Beauty is from within and if you have it within it radiates without!
What is the hardest part about being a woman?
I love being a woman so I can’t say. It could be emotions, but without them we wouldn’t be women.
Do you have any guilty girlie pleasures?
I love getting manicures and pedicures, having my hair blown out, and feeling all sexy wearing heels and dressing up in feminine sexy clothes. I have a thing for shopping, though I don’t do that as often as when I was solely modeling. Once a fashionista always a fashionista. I love being a girl.
Did you ever wish you weren’t a woman?
Has being female ever held you back in any way? (career, sports, etc)
How has being female been an advantage? (career, sports, etc)
Here’s what I think: If you are strong and confident and believe in yourself nothing will stop you. If one door closes another opens. There is a world of opportunity — we just have to be looking for it and most importantly take the risk and step outside the comfort zone. The worst that can happen is rejection and failure, but that doesn’t set me back only makes me try harder.
If you could go back and give your 12 year old self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Well…. Advice? Just believe in yourself and dream big…. But that’s already what I did.
For more about Jenny Fletcher, visit her website www.jennyfletcher.com.