Cover story: Jasmine Sanders aka Golden Barbie
September 6, 2019
Model and Instagram darling Jasmine Sanders has a lot to say about self-confidence and solidarity in the fashion industry. Our cover star sits down with Maurus Dumalaog to talk career and personal goals.
Just days after her 28th birthday, supermodel Jasmine Sanders, also known as “Golden Barbie”, sits down with us for an exclusive interview to share her experiences, expertise, and essence as it relates to her life in the fashion industry. Inspired by Austrian painter Egon Schiele, our shoot concept centres on exploring body form and sexiness from a contemporary, romantic angle. Join us to get cosy with this half-German, half-African-American goddess as she lets us in on some influential insight that exemplifies her embodiment of a #legend.
So how did you get the nickname “Golden Barbie”?
One of my teachers in high school used to call me Goldilocks, then some of my friends used to say, “You look like a Barbie doll!” Somehow, my sister and I threw “golden” and “Barbie” together and it worked. Honestly, I’ve tried to switch it to just my first and last name, but I can’t let it go – everybody likes Golden Barbie way too much. It’s like an alter ego; it’s fun.
Where does your confidence come from?
Honestly, my confidence just comes from the inside. You have to push so hard, day in and day out, whether you’re doing photo shoots or walking down the street. Whatever your job may be, you always have people who have your back – and if I constantly think about those people, I feel like that keeps a smile on my face and keeps me going. My confidence really comes from within and trying to be as comfortable as I can with myself.
Your mother was a make-up artist. How has she shaped the trajectory of your career?
My beauty tips and regimens literally come from everything my mom taught me, from the beginning. She taught me a way to move in the industry with grace and confidence, and constantly making sure I’m nice to those around me. At the end of the day, if I’m not going to be considerate of those I’m working with, I can’t expect it back. And we have long hours, so you might as well make friends and have fun.
What has been one pleasantly surprising aspect of modelling? And what’s something disappointing about it?
Ooh… that pretty girls can be really nice would be the surprising thing. People looking in on the industry think that a lot of us aren’t friends, but honestly, we all have to have real chemistry and real friendships to make our jobs work. It’s nice to know that no matter what photo shoot or runway show I do, I always have supportive girls around me. The bad would be when you see the girls who feel or act like they’re better than someone else. The stuff that really bugs me is when I see another model, usually someone who hasn’t really been in the industry that long, being rude to hair, make-up or lighting. Karma’s a fast-working bitch – be nice.
What current goals are you working towards?
I just bought a new house! It was the biggest step and the most powerful feeling, being able to say that I’m adulting now and getting on my feet. My biggest goal is really just making my house a home – a place I can relax, where my family can come and visit. I cannot wait to host Christmas and Thanksgiving. I was made to nurture and care, and really that’s what I’m working towards.
The biggest thing for me is giving back and helping others, I’ve been bugging my agents about charity work and I took into my own hands and went down to Slauson [street] and handed out food and water to the less fortunate.
What summer fashion trends are you currently into? What make-up colour palettes embody your vibe?
Pop-y colours – I’m obsessed with lavender. Also, trying to layer things differently, having something bold underneath or a sheer, statement top, and really switching it up. I like to look different every day – very little clothing, pop-y colours and comfort.
How do you define sexy?
Me, period. [laughs] Being happy. So many people know when I’m making a shift because they’re like, “You’re reading differently – your energy, your aura…” If you’re fully good with you on the inside, it doesn’t matter what you put on. You can be the crappiest person and it will show through your designer outfit. For me, it’s just trying to be as confident as I can and making sure that I know me. And knowing that when I walk into a room – “Look, girl you stopped the room!” Give them something to look at. I feel like everyone can stop a room.
How can lingerie enhance the relationships with oneself and others?
I think lingerie definitely helps with others, because everyone loves to see someone sexy. But especially with me now, being a workaholic, I’m like, “Let me throw on some leggings or gym clothes.” When I [recently] broke my hand, I told my girl, “I don’t feel sexy anymore.” But I threw on some lingerie under my top, and just knowing I had something cute underneath – no one’s going to see it, but it just makes you feel good.
How one can cultivate positive perspectives around their bodies?
The fun, cute trick of putting Post-its all over your mirror. Put those affirmations up and really say them out loud. Do it, live it, be in that! It’s also about having those people around you who can really help you keep your head on straight, knowing that you’re not the only person going through things. Don’t look at all the bad that’s going on in your life. Look at what you achieved the day before, and look at the goal you ended up meeting that you didn’t even realise that you met. A lot of people don’t give themselves enough credit or congratulate themselves. And you don’t have to promote it or put it out there on social media – just have that secret thing like, “You know what, damn, I did that today!”
How do you build the discipline necessary to prioritise fitness?
Having a friend with me – I have a girlfriend in DC and I tell her, “Call me when you’re going to work out, so I’ll go.” Have a partner. Make little goals and don’t make those goals be a number. Who cares about the number? Who cares about the pant size? If you feel good in those clothes, then you’re happy and you’re where you need to be. Happy weight is good weight.
Who or what was the inspiration behind the body movements, postures and poses you accessed to convey the essence of this shoot?
I thought a lot about Naomi Campbell today, because not only has she coached me, but I’ve always looked up to her, too. And obviously, she’s the best of whoever’s done it – all of her different poses. But really, just trying to do a lot of fluid movements and trying not to feel the pain at the same time. I was letting the crew know that I had so much fun on this shoot because I felt like a character. And it’s more of acting than it is modelling, which is nice. There’s a story behind my face in each photo.
Photography & Art Direction / PJ Lam
Styling / Krisana Sotelo at The Only Agency
Hair / Peter Savic at No-Name Management
Make-up / Charlotte Prevel at The Visionaries
Casting / Marina Fairfax
Manicure / Pilar Noire at Rouge Artists using Tom Ford Beauty Nail Polish in Mink Brule
Production / Helena Martel Seward
Photo Assistant / David Zolorsano
Styling Assistant / Nadiya Mazurczak