Jasmine Sanders, a.k.a. Golden Barbie, Gets Real About Raising Her Voice


Model Jasmine Sanders Gets Real About Raising Her Voice

By Paige Mastrandrea | February 9, 2021 | People Feature People Feature

German-American bombshell supermodel Jasmine Sanders has had quite the year, full of ups and downs. Now, she’s getting real and ensuring her voice is heard.

543A9807HIGHRESPE.jpgRE/DONE bodysuit

You may be familiar with Jasmine Sanders —also known on Instagram as @‌goldenbarbie to her 4.1 million followers—for her supermodel figure, glowing skin, blond curls, piercing blue eyes and million-watt smile. She’s graced the covers of magazines like the coveted Sports Illustrated Swim issue and starred in campaigns for brands such as Savage x Fenty, Victoria’s Secret and Reebok. If you follow her on the social media platform, you’re aware of Sanders’ wit, her positive energy and her butt-kicking workouts.

Also having graced the pages of Ocean Drive's March issue and cover in 2018, the model talked Instagram, bullies and growing up in the South. Read more about that here.

However, throughout her journey over the past year, you may have noticed a shift in her content. As a mixed-race public figure and a strong advocate for the Black Lives Matter movement and other social justice causes, she has become more vocal, more involved, and she’s on a mission to make her voice heard for the betterment of our world. Day by day, she’s striving to shift the narrative and use her platform to enlighten others on topics that may be uncomfortable to some but unequivocally important to her and our evolution as a forward-thinking and more inclusive world.

Our Golden Barbie is strong, independent and powerful. And she’s here to let you know exactly what’s on her mind. Here, we connect with Sanders for a behind-the-lens look at her life.

543A9885HIGHRESPE.jpgLa Perla bodysuit; MaryJane Claverol jewelry

How have you been throughout the past year of the pandemic?

It’s been a very tough year for everyone, and I’ve been trying to do my part and speak up as much as I can about everything that is going on in our world, whether it’s being present at a protest or just having tough conversations with my friends and followers. I’ve been trying to check in on my friends more and have real and uncomfortable conversations. Sometimes, it can be overwhelming looking at the news or the internet, but you can’t ignore what’s going on, so I’ve been trying to find a healthy balance and stay positive through it all. I think everyone can say they’ve dealt with some type of depression, heartache or sadness over the past year, though.

Aside from staying mentally positive, what are you doing to stay physically healthy?

My boyfriend [Anthony Rhoades] is a celebrity trainer, so I’ve had an amazing advantage to have someone in my daily life that keeps me constantly motivated. We do a lot of workouts together, whether it’s him training me or just going and doing some sort of cardio together and staying active. At the same time, we meditate together and we have moments in the morning where we just sit outside and take in the beautiful view of the water in Miami, have moments of silence or listen to peaceful music that puts us in a calm place. We have so much going on, and it’s important to know that you’re not in everything by yourself. Being able to lean on my friends and family has been very helpful during this time.

It sounds like you have a really good support system.

I think everyone can have a [good support system] in their lives. People just have to be open to having uncomfortable conversations and know that it’s not always going to be smiles and laughs—maybe you have to cry a little bit to get to a place where you can resolve something you’re dealing with. It’s not always going to be beautiful, and you have to be open to that. But it will be beautiful on the other side of it.

543A9606HIGHRESPE.jpgPinkgun Gallery metal fan, stylist’s own

“I learned that

I definitely have a voice

in this world and using it is important.”

What lessons will you take away from this time?

I learned that I definitely have a voice in this world and using it is important. That’s part of the reason why I got on Instagram in general—to have a voice in the industry outside of being on the pages of magazines, covers or campaigns. I don’t feel comfortable having so many people at my fingertips and not letting them know what’s going on in the world. It’s easy to not look at the news and not pay attention to things, but I know how many people are on social media each day and I’m like, ‘I have to say something, I can’t keep quiet.’ I have very powerful people and conversations around me, and now I feel more confident in standing up for what is right. I think this all kind of comes with age. I learned you have to take action and sign petitions and do the work, so I’m trying to do as much as I can and really grow. I’m not acting like I know everything; I think you have to be open to asking questions.

It’s crazy that our entire world is dealing with the same issues.

No one can ignore what’s going on, as it’s affecting every single person’s life in some way or other. Exactly. It’s like even with masks—every single person has to wear them now whether they like it or not. It shocks me that we’re still going through this [pandemic]; it sucks. I am in Miami right now, which feels a lot different, but I try my hardest to stay home as much as possible and do my part. My sister works in healthcare. I don’t know how she’s surviving and dealing with this, and for the people working in hospitals, this is their day-to-day life. They’re helping save lives every day—I constantly remind my sister that she’s a hero, seriously.

What has your fitness routine looked like recently? Do you follow any sort of diet to help stay in such good shape?

I have been enjoying food; I will be real honest on that one. I eat healthy here and there—I’ll have a vegan meal now and then, more so because I’ve found cute places like Delicious Raw [in Miami Beach] that I love. I’m not vegan, but they have zesty food, and at the same time, I’ll eat pasta, french fries—I just asked [my boyfriend], Anthony, to order wings. I’m not a crazy health freak when it comes to that, but I just try to have a balanced diet. I do start my mornings with fasting cardio, so I like to have apple cider vinegar, and I dilute it with water and a little bit of lemon juice. I drink that with green tea extract, a quick vitamin, and then I run to get my workout in. At the moment, Anthony has been training me with one of my good friends, Isabela Grutman, here in Miami. I’ve found I like working out in the morning—waking up, banging out the cardio before eating anything.

I’m all about having a nice butt and abs. I don’t want to lose my curves at all, so we do a bit of weight training, kettlebell swings, a lot of squatting and lunges. Our warmups include running around a tennis court four times to get our heart rates going—or for example, today, we did eight minutes of jumping rope nonstop and sprints. He kicked my butt today!


543A9992HIGHRESPE.jpgMaison Margiela satin coat

Congratulations on landing the Sports Illustrated Swim cover this summer. What was that experience like?

Well, first off, thank you—it was insane; it’s still insane! It’s been one of my top goals when I first started modeling, to land the cover of SI Swim. Not even that, really, just to be in the magazine, so I was happy to come back for another year and to have that experience with Kate [Bock] and Olivia [Culpo]. I was so excited to hang out with them again. We have the best time outside of work, so I already knew I was going to enjoy being on set with them. It’s nice to feel the support from each girl during the process. It’s actually a pretty hard workout sometimes, just standing there and trying to hold a hot pose, having the girls next to you and everyone thinking, ‘OK, hold your cores.’ There are a lot of things playing in our heads, but at the same time, it was fun to know that we were doing this together and everyone was so supportive of one another. By the end, we could celebrate the fact that we shot together, having no idea that they were going to put us on the cover.

What was your reaction when you found out?

The second that I got the call and heard them say I got the cover, I literally dropped to the floor. I thought, ‘You guys have got to be kidding me right now; this is not actually happening.’ I was still on such a high from getting SI Rookie of the Year that I wasn’t even expecting any of this. And with it being such a crazy year, I wasn’t thinking anything like this would happen.

It’s nice to have had such a positive moment in a tough year.

It’s hard because people ask about my year, and I feel like this year was such an intense and difficult year and a time of growth, but when it comes to my work life, it was one of the best years of my life. It’s hard to find ways to celebrate, but at the same time, when you land something like this, it’s so important because you now have a huge platform and know that you have so much to do. It’s an amazing feeling and it’s something so beautiful. The second you meet the SI team, you feel like you’ve found a family, you feel accepted, and personally, it felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders where I felt comfortable talking about more things. There’s something about [the SI team]—it’s like their aura shines different and you can tell that the second you’re around them, they really make sure to take care of everyone. I personally never got the experience of going to college or joining a sorority, so it’s really special to me because it’s almost like having that—it gives me a forever family.

The SI Swim cover was, I can imagine, a huge bucket-list moment. What else is on your list to tackle next?

I’ve been saying for a while now that I’m going to put something out—my own project. I feel like this is my year to tackle that and make it happen. I don’t want to reveal what it is, but I will say that by my birthday [June 22], I will be doing some different things than I’m used to, and I want to get more into acting and using my voice as much as I can. I don’t want to give away too much, but I promise there will be something within the next couple of months. I like to be the girl who doesn’t say too much and makes stuff shake and happen, and then you guys are like, ‘Ooh, OK!’ So hopefully, I will be making some stuff shake.

543A9816HIGHRESPE.jpgLa Perla bodysuit; MaryJane Claverol jewelry

543A9872HIGHRESPE.jpgLa Perla bodysuit; MaryJane Claverol jewelry

543A9766HIGHRESPE.jpgRE/DONE bodysuit

543A0011HIGHRESPE.jpgSupreme apron, thearsenale.com

Photography by: RIOCAM