This Crystal Does Spark

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[Our Beauty Of The Day]

Where She’s From: Crystal Sparks was born in Mobile, Alabama. “I was adopted when I was 18 months old by the Sparks' of Birmingham, Alabama,” she tells The Black Star News.

“I have three non-blood brothers. I took piano lessons from the time I was five until I graduated from high school, and attended the Alabama School of Fine Arts through my middle school years. One of the most important things I learned from my parents is how to have a healthy marital relationship. Although I am not married yet, when I do get married, I will more than likely mold my marriage after theirs. My parents have been married well over 40 years, and renewed their vows in 1970 when they came to know Jesus.”

Where She’s At: Crystal spent a year at Tuskegee University, but only spent one year there as they did not have her major. “I began my professional modeling career after I returned back to Birmingham in 1999,” she adds. “I currently attend Miles College in Birmingham where I am a year and a half away from my bachelors degree in journalism and I hold a 3.67 GPA and have been on the Dean's List every semester.”

“I grew up watching Elite model searches and Ford model searches on television, and patterned my runway walk after top models like Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, and Carmen Kass,” she continues. “I do not have a typical African American church fashion walk but more of a New York fashion week style walk and that typically sets me apart from other models in the south. My aspirations surprisingly do not involve modeling at all. My hopes involve journalism which is my major in college. I would like to be a sportswriter with either Sports Illustrated or ESPN the Magazine.”

“One of the major challenges in my modeling career now is the rise of the video-urban model,” she says, when asked how she deals with some of the industry’s challenges. “They have taken a lot of the jobs that were typically reserved for fashion models. My way to overcome those challenges is to find work that is specific to my genre.”

“One major accomplishment is walking the runway for designer Mychael Knight of Bravo's Project Runway. I have also been featured as a model in the style section of the Birmingham Post Herald as well as in Urban Mainstream magazine, an online fashion magazine,” Crystal continues.

“It’s so important to combine brainpower with beauty, because so many times you will go on a casting and they will assume from dealing with slutty video models that all African American models will behave the same way, and that is not the case,” she explains. “Also, a lot of magazines, producers, and photographers will have models do entire spreads and layouts and not pay them a dime. A smart model knows their worth and knows how to negotiate. There's a difference between exposure and being pimped. Exposure is nice if you're just starting out, but it definitely does not pay the bills.”

So how does this young beauty prepare to step out?

“My favorite brand of jeans is citizens of humanity,” Crystal says. “They make your booty look really nice. My favorite perfumes are anything by Escada or Dior, I love MAC makeup, although they have been taken over by another company and the quality is no longer the same, as far as shoes, I love Jessica Simpson's line—she makes really sexy shoes.”

Crystal’s Words Of Wisdom:
“I'm a goal digger, not a gold-digger. I set my goals and reach most of them.”
Crystal’s Secrets Of Success: “Stay positive, work hard, don’t get frustrated, and always try to stay a step ahead of everyone else.”
Crystal’s Three Favorite Movies: “Crash, Home Alone, and Little Miss Sunshine.”
Crystal’s Three Favorite Books: “Running with Scissors, by Augusten Burroughs, The Coldest Winter Ever, by Sistah Souljah, and Chasing Destiny, by Eric Jerome Dickey.”
Three Leaders That Most Inspire Crystal: “Oprah Winfrey, Nelson Mandela, and Hilary Rodham Clinton.”
The First Three Things Crystal Would Do As President: “Pull our troops out of Iraq; Stop putting other countries problems in front of our own—how are you going to help clean up somebody else's house when your own house is filthy; and, fix this healthcare situation.”
Crystal’s Favorite Musicians: “Rihanna, Jay Z, Tamela Mann, Corinne Bailey Rae, and Amy Winehouse.”
Crystal’s Favorite Websites: “,,,, and”


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