Following the pageant Jasmyn attended both Clemson University and Georgia State University where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in Sociology. She then immediately went on to become a full-time fashion model Jasmyn is currently signed with Next Model Management in Miami as well as ONE.1 in New York City, LA Models, Select Chicago and MGM Germany. During her long career she has modeled for several well-known beauty, fitness and fashion brands such as Nike, LOREAL, Maybelline, Savage x Fenty, Adore Me, House of CB, and BITE Beauty.
Wilkins also landed a coveted spot as a rookie in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue in 2018 where she shot in Nevis with the likes of Ashley Graham and Kate Bock. Jasmyn has been dedicated in using her growing platform to not only show her success in the fashion industry and love of all things health and beauty, but to also bring light and awareness to many social issues such as mental health de-stigmatization, racial injustices, and organ donation. Jasmyn splits her time between Los Angeles and New York City and she currently resides in Atlanta, GA.
BELLA got to know Jasmyn a little more, talking all things career and plans for the future…
What came first, modeling or pageants? How were they similar, and how were they different, in shaping you as a woman?
Modeling actually came first for me though I didn’t find success in the industry until after doing the Miss Georgia USA/Miss USA pageant. When I first started modeling, I was so new and green that I lacked the confidence and was afraid to even go to certain castings out of fear or rejection. I think that pageants helped make me much more refined as a woman. I acquired interview skills, stage presence and confidence that I carried with me into my modeling . I took those skills and applied them whenever I went to castings and jobs. Modeling and pageants are way more similar now than they were in the past. Both industries are changing for the better. Now we see models and pageant winners of all different shapes, sizes backgrounds etc. It’s much more relatable now.
Landing a spot in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue must have been a dream come true! What was that experience like?
It really was a dream come true. My biggest goal when I first got into the business was landing S.I. Early on in my career I would go to Miami for swim week and often times the S.I Swimsuit team would be holding their launch week at the same time. I would go to the events they would put on and just imagine myself in the pages of the magazine. Fast forward a few years to when I signed with my NYC agency, I made them aware of my goals and they submitted me in the casting package for the 2018 issue. I was happy enough that my agents believed in me enough to submit me amongst other models who had done major jobs like VS and Vogue, but then actually receiving the news that I was selected as a rookie was unreal. The shoot itself still feels like a blur. The whole S.I team is wonderful, and they are so passionate about what they do and their mission. I’m still so honored to have a place in the Sports Illustrated family.
Having a background in pageants myself, I know the positive impact they can have on your life… how do you think your experience in the pageant industry has impacted you?
I think it’s easy to look at pageantry and assume it’s just filled with superficial women however I learned through my own experience that its so far from the truth. Pageantry impacted me in a number of ways from giving me the courage to try new things, empowerment through rigorous training and discipline, and overall self-confidence. One of the biggest takeaways for me was it taught me to keep pushing even when I fail. I got so close to winning Miss USA. I was 4th runner up. Instead of beating myself up about it I used it as motivation to work even harder to reach other goals in my life. I try not to dwell too long when things don’t work out as planned and I can credit pageants with giving me that push to try new things even if they do pan out the way I had envisioned them.
What are some of the issues and causes you are raising awareness and advocating for?
For years I have been actively advocating for Mental Health Awareness, the importance of Organ Donation as well as a number of social issues such as social justice in the black community and fighting homelessness. I feel very strongly that if one has a platform, it’s important to use it for good. I just collaborated with Lee Jeans for a social campaign in light of Black History month where they highlighted up and coming black trailblazers. I was honored to be a part of that and I’m looking forward to seeing how I can continue to use my growing base as a way to share useful resources and give back to my community.
Let our readers know some of the things you are currently working on and some exciting things we can expect from you in the future.
Right now, I’m stepping into the entrepreneurial space and starting my own skincare and wellness brand. I have to stay a little mum until launch, but I will say that this brand is unique in that its skincare meets “soul care”. Mental health destigmatization is so important to me so creating a brand with mission has been very fulfilling. I’m in the early development stage meeting with suppliers and labs but we will be officially launching in October 2021 so be on the lookout for that! I love modeling and still plan to keep doing it as long as the industry will have me, but I’m very excited to step into this new space.
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