Growing up in Compton, Jazzmine had dreams of changing the world as a little girl and she has done just that being a curvy model who has made HUGE strides on television as one of the first curvy models to be casted along with being one of the faces of New York Fashion Week Plus! We are so excited to have this breathtaking trial blazer as our February Cover Model!!!!!!!!!!
We are so excited to have you as our February Cover Model! For the readers who do not know who you are, please tell them who is Jazzmine?
I am so excited to be able to grace the cover of Luxe Kurves! It’s literally a full circle moment for me! A bit about me… My name is Jazzmine Carthon. I’m a plus sized model from Compton, CA, now living out my dreams in NYC. I have been blessed to have modeled for some of the biggest brands like Target, Good American, Cacique by Lane Bryant, Macy’s, and Aeropostale, and walked on numerous NYFW runways, but I am known mostly for being one of the first plus sized model winners of Project Runway and was also chosen as a top 16 finalist in the 2019 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Search. Aside from modeling, I am also a body positivity and human rights activist.
Please tell our readers, how did you get your start in modeling?
I had dreamt of being a model when I was very young after being glued to the television every Wednesday night for America’s Next Top Model. For years I tried to lose a bunch of weight to try to be skinny enough for the fashion industry but eventually gave up on trying to force my body to be something it wasn’t meant to be and instead decided to try being a plus-sized model. I worked as a freelance model for a while and was even casted in my first job in New York City by the CEO of Luxe Kurves, Brandee Joyner, for NYFW PLUS!
One day, while I was working for TSA, a friend of mine told me about a casting competition for a project by Khloe Kardashian that was open to all sizes. I applied and was selected out of tens of thousands of girls to be a part of the first campaign for Khloe’s denim line, Good American. From there, I signed with my agency, IPM Models, and moved across the country to NYC on a dollar and a dream. The rest is history!
You were one of the first plus size models to be featured on Project Runway! How was the experience for you and what did it mean to you when you received the news?
Project Runway was definitely one of the best experiences of my life! I had just moved to New York and was honestly questioning my decision to leave everything that I knew and loved in LA. I went to the project runway casting without expectations but I was elated when my agent called to tell me I had booked it!
Being a part of such a ground breaking season of Project Runway meant that I got the chance to be a part of history and a new evolved narrative for the fashion industry. I felt and still feel proud that I am able to be the representation that I wish I had seen when I was growing up.
I was also very proud of myself for not giving up even when my doubt (and honestly, a little imposter syndrome) started to kick in. For me, booking Project Runway was the blessing I needed to let me know that I did indeed make the right decision and that chasing a goal or dream is never a bad idea!
Being that you are plus size and in the spotlight, do you every the pressure from Hollywood to look a certain way? How do you handle that pressure?
Of course there are some pressures associated with being a plus model but, for me, the pressure is more about maintaining the same measurements that are on my comp card (which could be difficult since my weight fluctuates just like any other woman). However, the pressure I’ve experienced is minuscule in comparison to one of the real issues in plus size fashion: the lack of representation for sizes 18+. It is important to acknowledge that even though the fashion industry has opened its arms to larger sizes, it isn’t nearly as inclusive as it should be. There’s still plenty size discrimination in plus size fashion; plus models are typically hour-glassed shaped and rarely over a size 1X and that needs to change. So while I am happy to work as a size 14, I will not stop feeling “pressure” until ALL of my plus sized sisters and brothers can open up magazines and see billboards that they can relate to.
As black media, what can we do more to make sure curvy/plus size talent is the norm on the big screen?
I think the most important thing, you can do is hire more phenotypically Black, plus sized talent. Give us major roles, story lines, and opportunities. Make us the love interests in music videos and the main characters on television. We deserve to be seen and to see ourselves in the same spotlight as everyone else.
What can we do more as an industry to advocate more woman embracing their bodies and loving them without the pressure of the media?
I think as fashion industry professionals, we can continue to lead by example. When I show up for myself, I think I inspire people to do the same. I also think that instead of fighting for a seat at their tables, we should do everything in our power to build our own tables that are so inclusive that everyone has a seat! And again, hire a more diverse group of plus models and talents to represent these brands!
What are your views or thoughts about the current state of the curvy/ plus size industry?
I think the plus size industry is moving in the right direction but has a long way to go. Black Plus models, influencers, and industry professionals are still receiving the short end of the stick in this industry. Just like straight sized models, Black plus models are still underpaid, under represented, and severely tokenized in this industry and those who have decades-long careers as Black plus models have yet to receive their flowers or the same accolades and opportunity as their white or POC colleagues.
I am currently working with @modelsforchangenow to change this narrative and to fight for the rights and fair treatment of all Black models. We deserve the same treatment, opportunities, and pay as everyone else and this industry will continue to be extremely flawed until we ALL are treated fairly and with respect!
February is our LOVE issue! What is the one thing you LOVE about Jazzmine?
One thing I love about myself is fearless attitude. I think fear is what stops us from carrying out all of our heart’s desires so I made a decision a long time ago to not let that be my narrative. I can confidently say that I am not afraid of anything and even if I was (because I am human and definitely have moments where fear tries to creep in) I promise, it won’t stop me for going for anything that I want in life.
What is the one thing you would tell a young girl looking in the mirror who is having a hard time loving her kurves?
I would tell her that she should wear her curves like a badge of honor and that although it is normal to have moments of insecurity, she should try her best to celebrate every part of her being, inside and out! She is more than worthy of love and that love should first come from herself!
What do you want your legacy to be?
I want my legacy to be rooted in overall positivity. I want to be known as a woman who was honest, determined, and compassionate and someone who fought for what she loved and spoke up for those who were unable to do so themselves. I want to be the type of person who inspires everyone around them to love themselves exactly the way they are and to never ever waste their potential on the fear of other people’s opinions. I also want to be known for this killer runway walk because I plan to continue to set this industry on fire with every step I take!