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Meet Jasmine Sanders — The 'Sports Illustrated' Swimsuit Issue 2019 Rookie Of The Year

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Who Is Jasmine Sanders? New Details On 'Sports Illustrated' Swimsuit Issue Rookie Of The Year

Who is Jasmine Sanders? As of November of 2018, Sanders is the newest addition to the Sports Illustrated family, joining Chrissy Teigen, Kate Upton, Nina Agdal, Kate Bock, and Sara Sampaio.

A mixed-race model, Sanders is equal parts gorgeous and goofy. She started modeling in her early teens by sheer coincidence, and she has pretty much excelled ever since. 

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Dubbed the Golden Barbie, she's now rumored to be dating Nick Cannon. That would be shocking to begin with, but the real twist here is that she was allegedly involved with another man at the time — Cannon's friend, Terrence Jenkins!

Here's what we know about Sports Illustrated's 2019 Rookie Of The Year, and the not-so-great rumors.

1. Who is Jasmine Sanders? She was born in Germany, but raised in South Carolina.

Her mother is from Stuttgart, Germany, and her father is African-American. The two met when he was stationed in Germany with the U.S. Army.

Her mother is actually her #1 supporter. In an interview, she revealed, “I cannot remember a day that has gone by that she is not rooting or screaming, or asking me what’s next or pushing me for the next big thing.”

When Sanders was one, her family moved to Columbia, South Carolina. There, she fell in love with fashion. “There are photos of me when I was really young just sitting around with a bunch of magazines, flipping them upside down, and looking all crazy at the photos,” she told Ocean Drive.

2. She got her Golden Barbie nickname from a teacher when she was younger.

"I had a teacher who used to call me Goldilocks in school because of my curls, and my friends used to tell me I looked like a life-size Barbie,” she said.

“One day, my sister and I were playing around with silly usernames for social media, and we put the two together. Golden Barbie had a ring to it that I liked, so I stuck with it. I’m actually thankful my following knows me as Golden Barbie, versus some of the other names we suggested!”

3. She’s what they call a "curl ambassador" for Moroccanoil.


A post shared by Sports Illustrated Swimsuit (@si_swimsuit) on Aug 1, 2019 at 10:56am PDT

“It’s super exciting for me to be apart of the Moroccanoil family because I’ve had such a struggle with my curls for a long time,” she said in another interview from 2016. “Being one of four, my mom did not know how to do our hair a lot of the time. She did cute braids and stuff like that, but when it came to curls it was all over the place.”

Some of her curly-haired icons include Beyoncé and Alicia Keys, who “empower women with different textures.”

4. She started her modeling career as a teenager. 

At 13, a local photographer approached her mother to see if she’d be interested in doing a photoshoot, and before she knew it, her photos ended up in New York City and then in magazines like Seventeen and Glamour

She built her fan base through her numerous appearances in editions of Vogue (American, British, Italian, Russian and Arabian), as well as other magazines such as Esquire, Glamour, GQ, and W. She has also modeled for Ralph Lauren, Gap, Victoria’s Secret PINK, American Eagle, and Roberto Cavalli advertising campaigns. She even attended the Met Gala in 2018 as a guest of H&M. 

RELATED: 5 Inspiring Facts About Mara Martin, The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model Who Walked The Runway Breastfeeding Her Baby

5. Don’t worry, though — she had an ugly duckling phase just like the rest of us.

Her childhood was happy, that’s for sure, but not glamorous by any means. “I was super tall at one point and very, very skinny,” she revealed. “I hated my legs because everybody would talk about how bony my knees were.”

And, yes, she was even bullied for her wild curls that have now become her trademark. “Living in the South, people look at you differently because you are a mixed kid,” she admitted. “I would get bullied over who my friends were — if I had too many white friends or too many black friends.” 

6. Now, she’s best friends with Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner.

Back in 2016, she Jasmine appeared in an Instagram post with Kim K when the two were vacationing in Mexico. The same year, she also appeared in Kylie’s “Glosses” video.

She considers Kylie “a little makeup guru... She’s taught me how to do some great brows. Plus, how to get a nice shine and contour. Honestly, she doesn’t let me walk around looking crazy, so that’s a good friend right there.”

7. She has a style of her own.


A post shared by Jasmine Sanders (@goldenbarbie) on Dec 30, 2019 at 9:36pm PST

It’s “a thoughtful, yet effortless look” that her former tomboy self would definitely approve of.

“A lot of people who inspire me, whether they’re famous or not, are usually [people who are] not really trying so hard. I feel like everybody just needs to take a breather and smile more, and care less about their outfit and hair and everything else. Not that I’m not going to care about it — and it probably will take me a while to do it — but it’s going to look like I didn’t care too much,” she said.

Moving forward with her career, she wants to become more of a businesswoman. She recently launched her own YouTube channel where she shares makeup and fashion secrets. “I cannot tell you some of the fun stuff I have coming up, but I can’t wait for you guys to see it.”

8. Is Jasmine Sanders dating Nick Cannon?

There have been rumors that the model may be in a relationship with Nick Cannon. Sanders and Cannon were actually first linked to each other back in 2014 when the pair were seen together not long after Cannon's divorce from Mariah Carey. 

However, a source claims that Sanders may have actually been in a relationship with Cannon's friend, Terrence Jenkins, at the same time when she was with Cannon! Sanders and Jenkins started seeing each other in 2016, and when Jenkins was involved in a car accident a year ago, witnesses claimed that a woman was with him and that it was Sanders. However, a rep for the model denied the claims. 

The rumors of Sanders and Cannon being a couple are still ongoing as the pair was reportedly spotted together over the 2019 holiday season. Either way, don't let rumors distract you from her talent.

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Leah Scher is an ENFP, and alumna of the Kenyon Review Young Writer's Workshop the Iowa Young Writers' Studio. She writes about Judaism, poetry, film, satire, astrology, spirituality, and sexual health.