While going through the twists and turns of life and being truly committed to her growth, Mahogany Jenkins birthed a passion project that not only gives viewers a taste of her personal insecurities, but also a space that allows them to process their own. After years of suppressing her ability to speak out due to her facial and identity insecurities, she made it her mission to boldly uplift and encourage people with facial and identity insecurities to go within. She has a goal to encourage them to face what they run away from the most, themselves.
Hoppin' With Hago is a personal growth platform that encourages individuals with facial, and identity insecurities to "hoppIN" to themselves. By traveling through the depths of themselves and leaving no dust behind, the journey is bound to to help individuals set a foundation of individuality and experience the freedom of self-discovery.
The world is already set up for individuals to be self-separated, but for individuals with disfigurements, and identity insecurities, the effects of this is tripled due to the individual not feeling normal or like “everyone else.”
Hi my name is Mahogany Jenkins and I want to prove to you that you can still show up and be the best you can be despite your insecurities. Now of course you must face them but instead of separating yourself from the insecurity like I did by hiding them or beating myself up constantly, I learned to accept my facial insecurity or disfigurements as a part of who I am.
My disfigurements and identity insecurities were very big part of my life. They hindered me, pushed me, and in a strange way fueled me.
I grew up with facial features that I never approved of. It was hard accepting myself entirely for who I was because not only did I not like myself but the world didn’t either.
I always felt out of place way too different and often let my insecurities and disfigurements stop me from going after my dreams. I didn’t want to make YouTube videos because I didn’t want to face my eye defect and taking pictures reminded me of it every single time.
I then faced my insecurity by making face to face YouTube videos. My first self-help video titled “How to Let Go of A Toxic Relationship” was commended by a good sum of people!
Ironically I became a photographer that really enjoyed bringing the confidence out of other people and helping them to take bomb ass photos! I didn’t want people feeling the way I did which was fearing the camera! I looked down a lot when I took pictures and avoided eye contact.
Then, I stopped looking down when I took pictures and practiced looking directly into the camera and even I was impressed by my pictures. Ok maybe a few of them! But still I took a big big leap!
Even though my insecurities about my eye were in the way for years, I couldn’t help but love my knack for speaking and writing.
I always had this ability to capture an audience and explain my thoughts, feelings, and perspectives in a detailed way. One thing I want to make very clear is that I GET IT! I know exactly how you feel and most often I see people embracing disfigurements which is amazing but the hardships of them in my opinion, aren’t fully expressed.
In hindsight, I began to realize that my facial insecurity was the catalyst for my growth and courage. It was also the umbrella for all of my other emotional wounds. Because I never felt worthy for being so different, I tolerated a lot more than I should have and really battled with a stinging wound of rejection.
I was getting by for such a long time in my life working, going to school, always going places and running away from myself and my problems. The very reason I ran away from myself was because the world made me feel like I couldn't be Mahogany.
What I did not know is that if pain isn’t properly dealt with, it will deal with you. What felt like a rude awakening during my depression in 2019 was really a spiritual awakening that I was not ready for but life made me ready. I realized I was not healed from the majority of the experiences in my life. I just distracted myself from them. When I had no choice but to face my pain I began connecting my own dots, becoming my biggest advocate by using my pain as a stepping stone instead of a crutch.
For a long time, my disfigurements held me back, it kept me scared to fall in love and be in love. It kept me from wanting to show the world what I was about because I feared being judged.
Can I, a woman with a disfigurement show up and show out in a world that doesn’t approve of me? Or was it me not approving of myself?
The answer to that is hell yes! So often, we let our insecurities keep us from excelling. We don’t realize that the insecurity is the very thing we have to help us meet our true selves.