How Janet Mock Is Redefining Womanhood

jm embedPhoto: Gregory Pace/BEImages.
Anyone interested in inspiring and intelligent women's journalism would do well to re-up their Marie Claire subscription, stat. The women's magazine has recently added some heavy-hitting names to its masthead, from Alyssa Mastromonaco, former deputy chief of staff for the Obama administration, to a personal favorite of ours, Janet Mock.
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Mock is the New York Times bestselling author of Redefining Realness, which chronicles her journey as a multiracial trans woman in a world that's often hostile to both. Since her book's publishing, Mock has also emerged as a much-needed advocate for the trans* community, brilliantly breaking down the ways our culture dehumanizes trans* people (check her Colbert Report appearance for more on that).
Now, as contributor to Marie Claire, Mock gains a platform to continue her mission to "expand our culture's definition of womanhood" — and we can't wait to see what she does with it. Read on for how Mock plans to help make the world a safer and more accepting place for women from all walks of life, the one beauty product she can't live without, and what she's got up her sleeve for that possible Beyoncé feature.
Congratulations on becoming a Marie Claire contributor! When will your first piece appear?
"My first piece will appear in the fall and will largely relay my experiences traveling the country speaking about my book and my mission to expand the idea of girlhood and womanhood. As a writer, I'm committed to contributing as many pieces as possible, whether that's via print or online, [and] sharing the ideas, experiences, and people who've crossed my path, who've taught me something, who've challenged me."
What perspective do you hope to offer to MC readers?
"There's no one perspective that I want to offer per se, but I think the overall expansion of what womanhood is would be the prism from which I will filter my contributions and work, continually pushing for the inclusion of girls and women from all walks of life in Marie Claire pages."
You’ve said that Redefining Realness was your chance to “create the story I didn’t have growing up.” What stories are you most excited to bring to MC?
"I'm excited about creating more spaces for girls and women to feel safe enough to share their experiences and stories. I want readers to see themselves, their neighbors, their sisters in these pages and feel truly reflected. I'm all about creating more affirming, empowering mirrors, and I know Marie Claire is as well. My commitment lies in helping create those mirrors with Marie Claire through my own pieces and perspective."
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You’ve spoken previously about how transgender women must navigate that “crooked room” where they’re often invisible, except when being objectified. Do you see that slowly changing through the activism of women like yourself, Laverne Cox, and other LGBTQ women?
"I see the national conversation about trans women shifting to a more challenging (and often times uncomfortable) discourse, where people find themselves wanting to know more about the lived experiences of women and girls like us rather than the mere parts of our bodies that have long been dissected and sexualized. We are more than our body parts, and I believe our culture is finally understanding that because of the work of some of the women you mentioned and many more."
I know you're big into beauty — what’s the one product you’re currently obsessed with?
"Oribe Texturizing Spray — It makes my curls so freakin' huge!"
If, as you mentioned on Twitter, you do get to interview Beyoncé for MC (fingers crossed!), what would you love to ask?
"I am sooooo making this happen. She's my dream interview! Okay, I would love to know if it was her idea or Joan Smalls' to have the supermodel lick her chest in the 'Yonce' video. But seriously, I would love to know the books that have shaped her feminism or the pieces of content or ideas that have shaped her way of thinking, her drive, her queendom."
Any other dream interview subjects?
"My absolute dream would've been my literary angel Zora Neale Hurston. I'd also love to share words with Zadie Smith."

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