Jennifer Stone Making A Difference With Her Voice
When Jennifer Stone was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, it’s safe to say that her world was completely turned upside down. After going through the stages of grief, she decided to use her diagnosis for the better which guided her towards nursing and helping others with Type 1 Diabetes. Also an actress, Jennifer is truly wowing us all with her positive attitude, radiant look, warm heart, and open mind!
Share with us what your life has been like being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. How did you first react when you knew about it? How did you work overcome the hardship?
Being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes completely changed my life, because it changed my perspective on my health and how I prioritize it. When I was first diagnosed I basically went through the stages of grief which I’ve learned is fairly common with a newly diagnosed chronic illness. You go through the stages of denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. It’s a daily thing, so sometimes I approach my diabetes productively and sometimes I wish I could turn off being diabetic, but I can’t. Either way, I overcome the physical and mental challenges of diabetes by waking up every day and committing myself to do the best I can for my health for that day. I know that every day won’t be a slam dunk, but I know if I don’t put in an effort every day, I won’t be able to accomplish all that I want to in this life with this body.
Can you tell us in what ways Type 1 diabetes has helped you in life? How has it brought positivity to it?
It has helped me in a lot of ways. It helped me to have a healthier relationship with my body with my diet and exercise shifting to a goal of health rather than one of looks. Being diagnosed with Type 1 also inspired me to go into nursing. Type 1 diabetes has brought positivity to my life by teaching me how to take care of myself and how I can translate that into taking care of others. It has also brought a lot of good into my life, because it has helped me with perspective and not sweating the small stuff, because I have already faced a big challenge that I face every day.
As an actress, how has your career helped you overcome different obstacles in your life?
My career as an actress has helped me overcome different obstacles in my life, because when done right it is an art form of empathy and self-reflection. So having been an actor since I was six, I have really strengthened my muscles of empathy and looking inward. Whenever I am confronted with an obstacle or see someone else struggling, acting has helped me to empathize and try to understand what they might be going through or look at how I can best navigate that obstacle within myself. I don’t know if I wasn’t an actor if I would be as well equipped to approach myself and others with the intention of deeper understanding.
Tell us more about how you help others who have been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. What advice would you give them?
I help others by being involved in the diabetes community. I’m a global ambassador with Beyond Type 1 and being a T1D role model with the JDRF Children’s Congress to help not only advocate for education, research, but also community. When I was first diagnosed with T1D, I felt really alone, because no one I knew had to deal with the daily reality of being diabetic. When I got involved with Beyond Type 1 and JDRF it really opened my eyes to the diabetes community and how supportive they are and how I didn’t have to be isolated in this. I want to make sure I do what I can to help move forward the research and technology available to make diabetics’ life more manageable on a day to day basis. I also want to help others with the mental aspect of diabetes and reveal the reality that there is a huge support system for them out there. No one with any kind of diagnosis has to be alone in whatever stage they find themselves in.
What has it been like working with Olay? What is your favorite part?
It has been so wonderful working with Olay. If I were to try to imagine the kind of company and campaign I would want to be a part of it would be Olay and their Face Anything campaign. They are so much more than a beauty brand! Olay strives to empower women to explore fields that are lacking a female voice like STEM fields. They also encourage women to embrace their own beauty with the Olay Skin Promise which promises zero retouching on their images. That is something I think is important for women of all ages to see what women really look like and how beauty is embracing your true beauty instead of some projected image. Olay encourages taking care of your skin’s health and promoting strong, powerful, unique, intelligent women and that is something I am so proud to be a part of.
Growing up, how did you see the world? How did it shift as you grow older?
Growing up, I viewed the world in tunnel vision. My life was all about acting and a singular approach to accomplish that one goal. My view of the world has shifted from being singular to more dynamic as I’ve gotten older. I still love acting now more than ever, but as I’ve gotten older my idea of success has expanded to helping others and pursuing multiple passions. I’ve learned to embrace that life will unfold in a way I never anticipated and expecting the unexpected is better than getting everything you thought you wanted.
How do you stay healthy (mentally/physically)?
I’d be lying if I didn’t say it was a daily thing that sometimes I succeed at and sometimes not so much. With acting, nursing, and diabetes it has to be all about balance for me. Balance in diet, exercise, sleep, and things that build up my mental health rather than diminish it. That means having a pretty clear plan for my day and allotting time to do things or see people that rejuvenate me rather than drain me.
What does beauty mean to you?
Beauty to me means welcoming who you are -all of it- even the parts the world tells you, you should want to change while also putting in the work to be the best version of yourself.
If you could go back to any moment in your life, which would you pick and why?
I would go back to doing theatre and film as a kid back in Texas. Those were simpler times. I was too young to be aware of the joy of that simplicity of just getting to do what I love which is acting both on stage and screen without being aware of the business aspect of the industry.
What do you have planned for 2021?
2021 for me will be a year of nursing in the emergency department and hopefully helping people transition into the new normal with Covid-19, looking for the best fit for my next acting role, and working with Olay to encourage young girls to celebrate their beauty and brains in ways they never thought they could.
Interviewee Jennifer Stone @jenniferstone
Photography Ian Phillips @ianphillipsartist
Stylist Kimberly Goodnight
Jeni Chua at Exclusive Artists Management products used QMS Medicosmetics & Kevyn Aucoin
Hair Dylan Michael using Balmain