Television host and entrepreneur, Jeannie Mai Jenkins, former cohost of The Real, became a proud mom to baby girl Monaco with hubby Jeezy in January of 2022. Staying true to her style, Jenkins kept it real while joining forces with Tiffany Haddish on stage at BTL Aesthetics’ EMFEST in Huntington Beach, CA last weekend.
Not one to mince her words, Jenkins chatted about body image, money, skin care, and peeled back the curtain on refreshing postpartum realness. During a sit-down with the does-it-all mom, we dug deeper into her down-to-earth perspective that we all can vibe with.
You recently had a baby girl. Congratulations! What was your postpartum experience like? I’m sure being in the public eye adds another layer to it.
Nobody talks about postpartum anxiety. I kept hearing about postpartum depression. I checked all the boxes before I left all my doctors: Make sure you don’t feel depressed, make sure you don’t feel like killing yourself, make sure that you’re not sleeping all day. And I was like, “Okay, I don’t have that.” But what I had instead was this insane anxiety that felt like I was afraid of any person that was touching the baby, or asking me to go out, or posting on social media. Things that made me think “What if?” And I would play it day in and day out which is so unhealthy for you and so draining.
You lose control.
Right. And you’re trying to control it which is already bad. So about two months past my birth I said, “Okay, this anxiety is going too far.” I went to see my therapist, and he did a survey on me and he said I had postpartum anxiety. And I was like, “Wait, shut up. What the f**k is that?” So when he described it, I realized we really have to have a deeper understanding about what PBD and PBA [postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety] are. We have to make room for moms. It can take up to five years for a lot of women, depending on how healthy they are. Thankfully, for me, it only went for about eight months. Now, I have so much more sympathy and patience for moms.
What about physically? You mentioned struggling with a “pooch” after the baby.
I’m not going to sit here and say I had issues and I was struggling with my weight because there are so many moms that have so much more baby weight that they can’t lose. I gained, but I worked out a lot, and I love working out. So I worked it off and I lost it. The thing that was hard for me is that there’s certain parts of my body that don’t look the same. And even though I’m skinny, in shape and healthy, there are differences.
I have to wear a much tighter bra now because my boobs sag differently and my nipples are pointing in different directions and look cross-eyed now. The thing that I remind myself, though, is I did that. I did that all by myself. 100%. I carried and maintained a super healthy womb for my baby. And I’m today a successful result of being a mom. I’m healthy. She’s smiling. So I’m good. I remind myself that whatever it is, that saggy skin or that gut that’s not leaving, or your cross-eyed boobs, you get over it.
What has your experience been with EMSCULPT?
I love EMSCULPT—I did EMSCULPT on my lower belly and my thighs after I had the baby. I had three sessions waiting for me, but I only did one.
You didn’t do the second or third?
No; I didn’t need it! I saw the results after one session. I thinkI have a lesser amount of fat than maybe the average patient and I saw results immediately. And I loved it so much. I was like, “This is good.” The Asian side of me was like, “We’ll save it for a future time.” [Laughs.] But I haven’t needed to go.
You’ve spoken about not being used to spending money on yourself. What would you say is your favorite beauty or wellness splurge?
Massages are my favorite. I use my friend’s Soothe app just to get the discount. So massages are my number-one splurge and I never did that until I was in my late 30s. I’m all about a good facial. Shani Darden is a gift from god. She is just magical. You see an immediate change and she’s a pretty penny. But again, now I enjoy it. Now I’m like, “No, I deserve the money I worked for myself. So yes, I’m gonna do it.” I still live smart with my money. I don’t need a facial every day. But whenever I feel like I need some love that’s what I do—my facials and my massages.
Any favorite beauty products or skin-care products?
U Beauty has the best moisturizer ever. It is the best moisturizer I have ever seen on the market. It’s phenomenal. And it actually does lock in moisture until the day after. I’ve worn just the moisturizer as my makeup before and it gives you that glass skin that Koreans love. It’s so good.
She [U Beauty founder, Tina Craig] now has it for the body and she also has a lip gloss which happens to also be a lip plumper. It is super nice because it comes out of this metal tip. I never thought lip gloss could be so luxurious. It’s a game-changer.