Founded by Emmy winning journalist Maria Menounos and Producer Keven Undergaro, AfterBuzz TV is the artist-friendly entertainment news platform that celebrates, discusses, interviews, promotes and reports on the widest range of stars, creators and content through video, audio and article publications.
credit: Miss USA
Jasmyn Wilkins is an American fashion model and social media personality that is taking entertainment to a new level.
After winning the title of Miss Georgia in 2012 and placing 4th runner up at Miss USA, Jasmyn went on to become a full time fashion model. She is currently signed with Next Model Management in Miami, One.1 in New York City, LA Models, Select Chicago, and MGM Germany. She has had an impressive resume so far working with top brands including; Nike, LOREAL, Maybelline, Savage x Fenty, Adore Me, House of CB, BITE Beauty, and Sports Illustrated.
Now Jasmyn’s main focus is to bring awareness to many social issues such as mental health de-stigmatization, racial injustices, and organ donation.
Jasmyn sits down with Afterbuzz TV to discuss how she is making a difference and bringing awareness using her platform.
Thank you Jasmyn for joining us. How are you doing today?
“I’m good! I’m good, just enjoying this gorgeous day.”
We are excited to talk with you and were impressed by your resume. In 2012 you won the title of Miss Georgia and went on and placed 4th runner up at Miss USA. How did you get involved in pageants?
“Before I did Miss Georgia, I actually never have done any pageants before. Doing Miss Georgia was my very first one. The only thing I knew about pageants was what I would get in the mail. Like for the Miss Teen Georgia, USA, and Miss America flyers you used to get. That was pretty much the extent of my pageant knowledge. But I have always wanted to get into modeling. So, when I was a senior in high school I signed a modeling contract here in Atlanta. I didn’t do too much. I was just doing local runways and mall shows. I knew I always wanted to get into the fashion industry as a full time thing. So, when I was in college me and my roommates happened to be watching the Miss USA pageant and they were like, ‘why don’t you try to do a pageant as another entry way to getting into modeling.’”
Jasmyn explains that she didn’t know if she could win a pageant since she has never entered a contest before.
“The only thing I knew about pageants is what I’ve seen from Miss Congeniality [laughs] but I just figured I’ll do it. I raised all of my money for my dress and entry fee. I went hoping to maybe crack the top 15. Just so I could get a little bit of recognition and say I did it. But I ended up winning the whole thing. It was kind of a whirlwind for me.”
Wow! Congratulations, that must have been a humbling experience for you. Since this was your first time competing in a pageant were there any contestants you looked up too?
“Yeah! At the time I didn’t know her but Olivia Culpo and I were in the same pageant. We connected when we were out there because we were both first time pageant competitors and she is from this tiny state of Rhode Island. So we both kind of came into it like we don’t know much but here we are [laughs] We both shot Sports Illustrated together the same year back in 2018. So, it was like a little reunion and we’ve stayed in touch since then. I obviously look up to her career growth that she’s had. It’s incredible to see how far she’s gone from winning Miss USA to winning Miss Universe. Then going on and having a successful influencer and modeling career. She really has become the embodiment of what you want to be after Miss USA.”
Jasmyn also looks up to her dad who has had a successful career in the NBA. She explains what she loves most about her dad and how he helped her with her own career in entertainment.
“Growing up it was great but also when I was younger I felt a lot of outside pressure. Not even from my family just from other people being like, ‘oh you’re going to be an athlete and you’re going into the sports realm. Aren’t you trying to get into basketball?’ But I always wanted to get into entertainment. I loved music and I loved acting. So my family was really supportive of that. So I’m thankful. But I think the biggest thing I learned from my dad in his career is to have the drive to keep going even when you haven’t done something before. Even when you feel like there’s obstacles in your way.”
Not only was Jasmyn’s father someone she admired but was his support team when he was facing mental health issues. That is one of the main reasons why she is an advocate for mental health.
“Yeah, it definitely is. My dad was diagnosed with bipolar one. I was 15 and at the time, mental health wasn’t talked about in the way that it is now. Now everyone talks about it, which is great. I’m so glad that people are bringing awareness to whichever ways they can, but it was just still kind of, I don’t even want to say taboo. It was just something that was kind of in the shadows at that time. Especially in professional sports where they’re looked at as these superheroes.” Jasmyn explains, “my family kind of handled it in secrecy and also we just wanted to protect his privacy. We talked about it within our family but didn’t talk about it publicly.”
Can you go into detail about what a typical day looks like with someone who is diagnosed with being bipolar?
“With bipolar in particular you have very up and down mood swings. There would be times where my dad would be in more of a manic state where somebody would see him or talk to him. Him being a public figure they would write about it and talk about it. You really can’t control that narrative. I decided to start talking about mental health in all of the ways you can destigmatize it. Just to control my family’s story but to also highlight all of the things I have been learning for years. It was finally time for us to step into that space because people were talking about it.” Jasmyn admits, “It was nerve racking at first being that vulnerable.”
Fans appreciate it when you can be vulnerable and openly discuss the challenges you have faced. What did you learn from your father?
“I learned that nobody is perfect. My dad was definitely hailed as this baseball player hero. This baseball legend and I was able to really see that vulnerable side of him that he didn’t really want to talk about, but it made us have a stronger relationship. He was able to open up to me in ways that he couldn’t to anybody else. It even inspired me to talk about my own mental struggles. I’ve dealt with a lot of anxiety. I haven’t been diagnosed with anything, but I can recognize when I’m having an anxious moment or a depressive state. I feel like I learned to not be afraid to ask for help when you need it. You don’t have to be on all of the time. You don’t have to be perfect.”
We agree! Society puts so much pressure on us to live this perfect lifestyle that is so unrealistic. Especially when you are working in entertainment.
“That was something that was kind of hammered into me in the modeling industry that you do have to be on it and you do have to be perfect. But like you said I feel like it’s just more raw and honest and realistic when people see, ‘oh you’re struggling with this? I’m struggling with this too.’ If it doesn’t cure me I understand that there’s a community of people out there that are dealing with those things too,”
Growing up predominantly in a white school and being part of the entertainment industry do you think as a nation we still have a lot of work to do in terms of diversity?
“There’s a lot of healthing that needs to be done and I think as an individual level I’m proud to see people who I never would have thought were going to talk about issues pertaining to race. Being very vocal. I can say in my own friend group. But I do think as a whole, as a nation we have a lot to do.”
What’s your hope for our nation in the next few years on how we can do better?
“I just want to make sure the changes we are making are long term changes. It’s not enough to just post one story on your Instagram or one post on your feed in solidarity. I don’t want it to just only be a trend. I want people to be making active changes and that’s what I would like to see personally.”
That is something we would like to see as well Jasmyn. Thank you so much for taking time and talking with us here at AfterBuzz TV. You have a lot of exciting projects coming up in the industry and we know your voice will make a difference.
Make sure you all follow Jasmyn on IG @JasmynWilkins to keep up with her latest projects.
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