Jenny Triplett, is a media personality, motivational speaker, marriage & lifestyle expert, author, devoted mother and wife, and so much more. She is a Jill of many trades! We sat with Jenny to ask her about what she really does, and hers is a colorful laundry list (that's still growing), of all that she juggles. (video below).
Jenny, originally from Saginaw, Michigan, always aspired for a career in media. Starting out as an intern at a radio station, she established a relationship with several entertainers and Ready for the World, a platinum R&B group, where she met member, Rufus Triplett, a singer and writer in the group. The two later married, and the rest is media history.
The couple went on to raise three sons, and co-author their book, Surviving Marriage in the 21st Century, which stayed on the Amazon Best Seller’s List when it was first released in February 2013. The Tripletts remained busy touring across the country attending book signings and marriage workshops, created by the buzz of their book. In February 2012, the Tripletts were honored in Ebony Magazine as "Couple of the Year." They have created a combination of humor, and advice and well as real life survival. The couple has survived military service, a head on collision, incarceration, raised three young men, running their own multimedia company and are celebrating 28 years of successful marriage in October. They have been featured in a plethora of TV, radio & print media as marriage and parenting tipsters, which include REDBOOK, Ladies Home Journal, Dr. Phil and Huff Post Live (where they are producers and viewer favorites), and many more . They have successfully merged their marriage and religion and made it a lifestyle brand and allowed the world an intimate view into their lives on the TLC Guide to Love Special, where they were spotlighted celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary.
An interesting fun fact about Jenny is that she used to write scripts for television. "Yes, I had an early aspiration to be a writer for television shows. Sitcoms were my specialty and I had a little bit of success with submissions to The Cosby Show and A Different World. It’s not some place that you expect to see Muslimahs behind the camera, or in front of the camera for that matter, but all of what I used to do has led me to what I do now which is co-host my own TV show with my husband of 27 years, Lifestyles with Rufus & Jenny."
Lifestyles covers a variety of topics including food, fitness, travel and of course the couple's specialty, marriage & relationships from a Muslim perspective. Jenny describes the show as "A ground breaking project and it’s something that is near and dear to my heart. I am still involved in writing behind the scenes, but evolving into a TV personality is not something that you see Muslimahs doing either..."
As a co-executive producer of the program, Triplett says, “I probably watch more television than I should but when I look at the various shows, there is no one that represents me, truly. Not one personality on daytime talk nor one character on prime time situation comedy or drama. Yes, I am an African-American woman, but I am so much more than that. We watched Law & Order for 20 years. Why did no one ever have a Muslim friend? Why when the doctor or lawyer or photographer was killed, during the investigation none of their associates, employees or family members were Muslim? The only Muslims you saw was when there was some type or terrorism story line or the whole episode had to be about Muslims. That is not a true representation of society. I have Muslim and non-Muslim friends and employees and so do a lot of other people. Television and films have some more strides to make in order to represent present day America correctly.”
This trend is starting to quickly change with muslim pioneers making strides in media. Muslims have also become a "trending" topic due to the Trump presidency, and many media outlets developing an interest in muslims and their lifestyle. Muslim directors and writers are now pitching ideas, or even better, taking a page from the Tripletts, and becoming creators and producers of their own media.
In the words of Jenny, "I love to push the envelope just to see how many barriers I can break."
Here's to muslimahs in media breaking all barriers, and being fully represented. With hard working sisters like Jenny, this will be just another goal that will be crossed off the to-do list.
Follow Jenny on instagram and visit www.rufusandjennytriplett.com to learn more!