The comeback is always greater than the setback. And in the case of Jordyn Woods, the aftermath of an evanescent storm that was her personal life is looking like the biggest f*ck you. Because instead of staying down, the now 22-year-old bossed up, releasing clothing lines, fitness guides, making big-screen moves, and on-stage singing debuts that have her 11.6 million Instagram fans on the edge of their seats wondering what other tricks the California girl has up her sleeve.
Nearly a month into quarantine we hop on a call from our respective homes, nearly 3,000 miles away from one another. After navigating the distractions of our temporary living situations, we settle into a flow of conversation that is part-interview and part-girl talk. Days blend together just as seamlessly as her foundation, but Woods pays it no mind. With every sunrise comes a new opportunity to set the pace for her success.
"I wake up and I always create a million things for myself to do, so I don't stay bored during this," she says in reference to the quarantine life that millions have recently adopted.
What fans see is a fresh-faced Woods posting picture-perfect selfies and bodacious body shots, but behind the scenes, she's building an empire. Fresh off of an impressive run on the hit celebrity singing show, The Masked Singer, Woods is revealing more than just her vocal chops. Underneath the mask is a woman who's really about her business. Her debut album will be released under her own record label, a move she said allows her to own all of the rights to her music while maintaining creative control of her passion project. She's also using her platform to create a budding health and wellness community. Her brand FRSTPLACE— a series of workout programs that Woods swears by— was birthed from the idea of putting yourself first, something that admittedly took some time for her to understand. Fitness, she says, is what carries her through the days and helps with her mental health.
"It was never about physical appearance," she says. "My dad was always healthy, never sick, and then passed away really quickly from pancreatic cancer. So it was kind of a wake-up call to get it together but more importantly, it was more important because fitness became therapy for me, and doing something that helps me feel good and look good."
Along with her activewear line SECNDNTURE, Woods is hoping to help transform the bodies and minds of those who follow her. She recently created a fitness challenge awarding $1,000 to the top two transformations. "I really just did that to help motivate people to have some center and to just get up and start doing because what's deeper than health is also mental health, and when you're sitting for too long it becomes toxic."
She's making the most of her moment while simultaneously shedding the shame of her past. Just last year she was dodging headlines linking her and the Kardashians, but in the worst way. And as we watched a teary brown-eyed Woods tell the tale of her fall from grace on Red Table Talk, many of us couldn't help but to empathize with a young girl in an unfortunate situation that may not have been much different than the mistakes of our own.
The experience has led her on a journey of self-evaluation and elevation. Everything from friendships to relationships has entered an excavation period as she rids herself of what no longer serves her and makes room for something new. This includes learning to forgive and fall forward.
"It's easy to take advantage of kind people; the world can turn you cold really fast," she says. "I love that I have the ability to not hold onto things and to move forward and to always remain myself and still be able to have love for people regardless of what happened. If God forgives people who have done wrong, I don't have the energy to hold onto people who have wronged me. What I also know is that in life we have the tendency to take things very personally. And what I had to understand is that most of the time it's never about us."
"If God forgives people who have done wrong, I don't have the energy to hold onto people who have wronged me. What I also know is that in life we have the tendency to take things very personally. And what I had to understand is that most of the time it's never about us."
Loss is something that Woods is no stranger to. The loss of friends and loss of loved ones all lead to a loss of innocence that often accompanies the transition of a young girl to a grown woman. Thankfully, she has her mother to help her navigate the world of womanhood. "She always told me when I was younger, 'Don't talk bad about anyone. I don't care if you don't like them, don't talk bad about them.' She always instilled in my mind always keep your integrity and don't speak badly about people."
"If someone is doing you wrong, they're doing themselves wrong and I don't have the energy to meet you at your level," she adds. "I'm going to stay where I'm at and if in the future you want to come to where I'm at I would love to meet you there. But if not, it's all good."
I point out that her vibrations must be sending positive energy into the atmosphere. Earlier this year she posted a photo of her girl group of celebrity friends that had Black girls celebrating the magic of brown-skinned beauties in her comments. "Every girl in that group is really their own person and everyone is so beautiful and individual in their own way," she says. "We can come and have a good time and it's no pressure and no competition. It's a really sweet, positive girl group."
Though she seems to be mastering female friendships, love is still a fickle friend in Woods' world. It slips in and out of reach, often making an appearance in the form of tests. Will she choose the bad boy or herself? "I'm trying to find my Russell Wilson...but right now I've got to hang out with myself for a bit."
Life has taught her that self-love isn't just what you allow in, but also what you keep out. "I think now people have this idea of ownership when it comes to relationships and I am like we are all individuals because personally I don't want to feel like I'm being owned. I don't need you to question me so I think just having trust in your partner is a big thing, and also understanding the idea of you don't own anyone. If it's meant to be, it will be."
"I wish that I got to grow up in the era that my parents did because things were a lot more genuine," she continues. "They didn't have Instagram, there wasn't as much accessibility. If you wanted something you really had to go for it. Now everything is just oversaturated. And love, people have the idea of it messed up. But yeah...I mean," she pauses and lets out of a deep sigh. "That's all I really have to say about that."
"If someone is doing you wrong, they're doing themselves wrong and I don't have the energy to meet you at your level. I'm going to stay where I'm at and if in the future you want to come to where I'm at I would love to meet you there. But if not, it's all good."
If she does find that special one though, we won't know until she's married. She likes to keep her private life private, only giving us a glimpse into what her world appears to be. A necessary move, too, if she is to stay on top of her game as a girl boss. Without the distractions of her personal life overshadowing the progress of her professional one, we're able to witness a young woman destined for stardom.
In December of this past year, she starred in the thriller movie Sacrifice alongside Paula Patton, an experience she said allowed her to observe how to move while on set. "She made everyone feel very comfortable and very welcomed. The vibrance of her personality and who she was and how talented she is was a learning lesson for me without her having to tell me anything directly."
Woods will appear in another thriller directed by Chris Stokes in the near future, though her true aspirations lie in making it to the big screen. She admits that she hopes to one day do films like Black Panther, but in the meantime, she studies award-winning movies (she recently tuned into the Oscar-winning Korean film Parasite) while continuing to add more experience to her resume.
"Even when I started modeling when I was younger, every job is a stepping stone, every job is a learning experience whether it's big or small," she says. "I can learn from everything and sometimes I take jobs that aren't as big just to learn the art of the craft. It's about really learning and growing through every experience. Every person I work with, everything that I do is ultimately for me for growth and to learn from."
A fitness brand and apparel line, a budding television and film career, an upcoming album— is there anything that she can't conquer?
"Well, I want abs," she admits with a hearty laugh. "But that's tricky because the pantry is right here, and quarantine. But besides physical, I just really want to grow in my entrepreneurship and start more businesses and invest. I'd love to get into real estate and just...I have so many projects I'd love to do so it's really just creating a plan, thinking and prioritizing the list, and getting it done."
And we'll be here watching every moment. Not in anticipation of her downfall, but in celebration of seeing another Black girl climb from the ashes and rise to the top.
For more of Jordyn, follow her on Instagram.
Featured image via Jordyn Woods/Instagram