British singer Jessie J, 29, (Bang Bang, Price Tag) is a spokesperson for Propel Fitness Water and their new ad campaign, called Get Ugly. It’s all about just doing your thing at the gym and not caring what you look like, which is a clever message. They picked a good spokesperson in that Jessie has a compelling back story. She suffered from a heart condition growing up, called Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, which caused her to have a stroke at the age of 18! It’s a disorder of the electrical system in the heart and can cause dizziness, fainting and shortness of breath. I actually got really worried for her reading this, because it sounds like she has to be careful about doing cardio, although from what I could find, sudden death from the condition is rare. Apparently she’s on beta blockers but I couldn’t find out much about her particular condition. Anyway she talked about working out and how it’s helped her manage her health condition.
For Jessie J, working out is a way to get fit and feel strong — something that’s particularly important to her as she manages a heart condition.
The singer, 29, inherited Wolff-Parkinson-White disease — a condition that means she has an extra electrical pathway in her heart that causes shortness of breath and dizziness — from her father, and his father before him.
“It doesn’t go away, sadly. It’s just something that I’ve had to deal with since I was a child, and it pushed me to get stronger. It’s just part of who I am,” Jessie J, a spokesperson for Propel Electrolyte Water, tells PEOPLE.
But after undergoing surgeries as a child, she doesn’t worry too much about burning out during concerts or her workouts — she’s learned how to monitor her body.
“I do have to make sure I stay healthy and look after myself,” Jessie J says. “I kind of love that I have something that pushes me to be healthier.”
“I just wanted to recreate the way people see the word ugly,” she says. “For me it’s like, don’t care, stop judging yourself, get on with it, get sweaty, get fit. Who cares what you look like? Don’t wear makeup; your hair’s going to be a mess. Just do it.”
“People say that you’re too skinny, or you’re too fat. You’re never enough,” she says. “I think it’s so fickle and silly. I’m comfortable in my own skin, so I try to inspire people who aren’t there yet to get there.”
I like the “get ugly” message, but I’m not about to go to the gym, or out of my house, without makeup. I just think I look like a freak without mascara at least and I feel better with makeup on. It’s not for everyone, and some women are confident and look great without makeup but I need a little makeup on or I feel weird. I’m not reapplying makeup before I go to the gym but I’m not going out barefaced either, and that’s everyone’s own prerogative. I do agree that you shouldn’t be concerned about your hair, but I shouldn’t judge on that either, some women like to have nice hair like I like having my face done. They’re so wrong though, you can’t control your hair!
Jessie’s red carpet style is wacky at best. She probably looks so much better at the gym.
photos credit: WENN and Getty