Tokyo Wrestlingエディターズの編集後記。編集にまつわる裏話や、世界をまたぐTokyo Wrestlingフレンズからのお便りを紹介。
Personal notes from our editors. Also discover postcards from TW friends around the world!
Notes personnelles des editrices. Decouvrez aussi les messages des Tokyo Wrestling friends du monde entier.


Jenny Shimizu

2009 February 1

Hello, chief editor Yuki here.

Have you had the chance to check out our interview with Jenny Shimizu yet? It seems to be getting a lot of hits - especially from Japanese readers - which goes to show how close Jenny Shimizu is to many of our lives.
The first time I struck upon Jenny Shimizu was when I still lived in Switzerland before coming to Japan. I remember noticing her in the Calvin Klein ads - and also later hearing rumors about her relationship with Madonna.

I was a teenager at the time and didn't yet see myself as a lesbian, so in a way I didn't have the personal knowledge or social information necessary to recognize her as a fellow dyke. However, I remember the tremendous respect I felt for her as a model who had succeeded in making an impression on the world while still squarely defying beauty norms.

Switzerland was anything but fashion aware in those days - and yet Jenny Shimizu's name would very often come up in conversation. That's how recognized in the mainstream she was. Also, many butch women in Japan have told me how significantly she impacted their lives.

The first time I met Jenny Shimizu was 3 years ago at a lesbian event in Los Angeles. When faced with a model that dominated the world of fashion in the 1990's, I was sure that nothing would make me happier than to be able to talk to her. However, at the same time, I worried that she wouldn't be interested in speaking to me if I walked over to say something.

But, despite my apprehension, I found that she was extremely friendly. She expressed interest in the fact that I was a writer from Japan and I could see just how dear Japan was to her as a country.

We have several friends in common, so it seemed that I would run into her to each time I went to LA. And every time we met, she was as friendly as ever.

Jenny had actually agreed to an interview several years back, but whenever I was in the US scheduling conflicts and other chance misfortunes kept us apart. Still, we kept trying and when we finally met for that chat I had long been waiting for, in March of 2008, I was elated - to say the least.

One wonderful discovery was the fact that over the 3 years we had been in contact, Jenny and I developed a sense of familiarity that gave the interview a casual vibe. I felt that the conversation turned out to be quite relaxed and open. Though I was convinced we were vexed by poor timing early on, looking back I now know that things couldn't have turned out better. Jenny was really so kind that, to this day, of all the interviews I've done, I have a particularly soft spot for this one.

It was really exciting to hear her talk about life right there in the middle of the supermodel scene at its peak in the 1990s and I was very happy to get a glimpse at some of what cool LA culture was like at the time. I think that the amazing nature of her experiences shines through in this interview - as does her warm personality.

Also, I got the feeling that Jenny was at a more laid-back point in her life because she seemed to have a more relaxed and tranquil aura about her, compared to when we first met. Sure enough, as we were talking she mentioned, "I have a steady girlfriend and I'm absolutely happy." I met her girlfriend later on in the year at Dinah Shore Weekend, and she was charming. In the past rumors have linked Jenny to Madonna and Angelina Jolie - and she may have the image of a playboy, but in conversation Jenny mentioned that she's been thinking of settling down. This we'll hear more about in Part 2 of the interview....

As a bonus, here's Jenny Shimizu’s famed Calvin Klein commercial.

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