For 27 years I have been trying to be the best Jasmin that I can be. I struggle with reality sometimes--what world do I live and love in where being dressed scantily clad is acceptable and normal? In a world dominated by social media, I’ve noticed the misconception that being a video girl, Instagram model while selling flat tummy tea, or party host equates success. Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with being beautiful, and being confident in that, but there is also nothing wrong with showcasing said beauty while also highlighting one’s intellect and class.
When I was a young girl, I remember watching my mother get up for work every day. I remember watching women on TV like Claire Huxtable and the young college-aged women on A Different World and recall knowing that was the life I too, longed for. I had to be a college educated woman who knew my worth was more than my looks, but also knew how to leverage them.
Now let's fast forward to 2017 where there is no privacy or any responsibility...reality TV is idolized and the goal of fame has become the norm. See now, I have never desired to be famous except for that time when I lived in Atlanta for an extended vacay and I was just figuring out my life, but I thank God for blessing me with my morals and strong sense of self-discipline. I often find myself even wondering if these qualities have held me back.
I spent a great deal of time sitting at my desk trying to figure out how I can impact the world without compromising who I am and who I want to be, but is this not a common confliction many young women today face? So, I came up with the concept of Ladies in Training; I have dabbled in creating my own mentor programs several times, but my laziness got in the way. This time it is different -- my silence is acceptance and there are certain things I am just no longer willing to accept. I want young women to know showing everything won't necessarily get you to the top even if it does get you noticed. I want them to know that yes, going to college is hard, but so is trying to be famous or trying to do anything for that matter. Now I am not here to judge because I too am still figuring out my place in this world, I just know there is more to being a black woman than being subject to rape culture or becoming hyper-sexualized. I have nieces who look up to me and secretly brag about me on career day, so I can't just do anything. Still, I sit at my desk contemplating my next move, my next thought, and I am admittedly nervous, but I know my task in life is not to stay behind this desk and be told what to do, but instead to actively change lives.
In order to change your world you have to begin to change the things that make up your world. At one point, I had to acknowledge my worth and discovered that it’s not a matter of being better than someone else, but you can be better than particular set of circumstances or events. Ladies in Training was created because young girls need to know that being smart is just as important as being pretty. I intend to take my life experiences and use them as a catalyst to assist the Ladies in Training in identifying their true talents and abilities while ensuring the realization of their fullest potential in life.