In the December issue of Vogue Arabia, Jasmine Sanders – aka Golden Barbie – is photographed by Ellen von Unwerth. Sanders deftly demonstrates how to turn heads in showstopping gowns from leading Arab fashion houses including Ashi Studio, Arwa Al Banawi, and Elie Saab. Here, the model and muse speaks to Vogue Arabia about her rise, life lessons, and the only way to deal with social media trolls.
What was it like working with Ellen on this shoot? What were your highlights?
I had the best time! One of the major highlights was being in the dressing room with her, finding the best looks that work for me. I was able to show my playful personality while playing off her fun spirit in her photography.
Why the nickname Golden Barbie?
Golden Barbie came about when I was in the early days of social media. My sister and I were trying to come up with a catchy screen name. My nickname was Goldilocks and my friends would say I looked like a Barbie doll so I combined the two and the name stuck.
You have more than 2.9 million followers. What’s your secret to achieving success on social media?
Social media success is all about staying authentic. I only share what I genuinely use, trust, and believe in and I feel it translates to my followers.
How helpful has social media been in your career?
I really love that social media gives me a direct connection with my fans. I can know almost instantly see everyone’s reactions and thoughts about my latest work. I love the give and take social media offers.
How do you use social media to keep you ahead of the trends?
I’ve never been the type to focus on trends because I love exploring all of my options when it comes to makeup and fashion. However, I do use social media to see what people think when I’m doing something daring or risqué. They help me decide if something works!
If you could only follow three people, who would they be and why?
Terrence J – he’s my boyfriend and he’s always sharing fun pics of him and the dogs. Beyoncé – because she’s Beyoncé; and Vogue, to find out what’s new and innovative in the fashion world.
How do you deal with trolls?
The best way to deal with trolls is to ignore them. It’s easier said than done, but you have to remember that it is a pretty miserable person who intentionally goes out of their way to be mean on the internet. You can’t let their misery affect you.
What do you love the most about your career as a model?
I love being afforded the opportunity to travel to so many different and beautiful places that I probably wouldn’t be able to do in a different profession. I love seeing the world and I can’t wait to see more of it!
You’ve been a model since you were a child. How has the industry changed?
The industry is revolves more around social media now, when before, you really had to go to castings and meet the clients beforehand.
If you weren’t a model, what would you be doing?
If I wasn’t modeling, I would be pursuing a career in nursing. Nurses are some of the most selfless people I know. I always loved helping people and my older sister is a registered nurse as well.
Best life lesson you’ve ever learned?
Understand when times are rough, things change so don’t sweat the small stuff.
Best beauty and fashion tips?
I don’t brush my hair that often. I like to run my fingers through my hair when it’s wet to detangle. I also dry my hair with a cotton T-shirt to avoid pulling or damaging my curls.
What has been your career high?
I feel as though I’m in my career high now. I’m trying to take everything day by day and am so thankful that I get to experience so much of life thanks to my job.
What’s been the biggest hurdle you have had to overcome?
Venturing out and hosting a full webisode. I was really nervous but the best way for me to overcome it was by practicing a lot with the teleprompter and giving it my all during rehearsals.
Advice to budding models?
Always stay ready. There are other models who want your spot and a job can come at any moment. I would also tell budding models to stay true to themselves.
How do you deal with being in the public eye?
It can be challenging but having a lot of friends and a boyfriend in the industry helps. They help me juggle my career and the many emotions that come with it.
Have you ever visited the Middle East?
I’ve just been to Dubai for Bulgari’s new hotel opening. I was really looking forward to the trip and loved experiencing the culture.
What’s your next big project?
I have some more fun covers coming out and a big surprise with Reebok for the holidays.
Follow Jasmine Sanders on Instagram @golden_barbie. The December issue is out now, featuring the full shoot with Sanders by Ellen von Unwerth.
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