Hanging on Jasmine Moore’s wall is a photo of her from 2002. She is small in stature, standing on rollerblades. Nearly two decades later, Moore and her affinity for skating have grown considerably, while catching the attention of thousands of people.
Moore’s skating clips are short but chock-full of lively dancing, vibrant outfits and smiles. Her jovial rollerskating style has gained her about 80,000 followers of skaters and non-skaters alike on her Instagram account for rollerskating, @justseconds.
Though skating started as a hobby for Moore, a 21-year-old Long Beach State student, in the past year the leisurely activity has shifted into a full-time job. She started posting on Instagram hoping to document her progress like many skaters do, never intending for her passion to pick up so much attention on social media.
For Moore, it was odd gaining such visibility online. Being held on some pedestal has never been the goal for Moore as she wants to continue to be active in the community.
“I still want to feel like I’m within reach to people,” Moore said. “And that was something that kind of freaked me out in the beginning was that I didn’t want to feel too out of touch. Because I’m still a skater. I’m still in the skate community. I still want to make skate friends.”
Moore’s Instagram following grew as rollerskating experienced a resurge in popularity summer 2020. Nationwide, roller-skates were out of stock due to the influx of interest in rollerskating.
Though Moore’s following had been incrementally growing since she created her Instagram account, Moore said she experienced spikes around May to August 2020 when her follower count grew exponentially. Moore explained that the sudden interest behind skating is partly due to the pandemic.
“People are realizing like, ‘Oh my god. Why am I spending so much time inside?’” Moore said. “Especially with the constraint of the actual quarantine itself. It’s like you were dying almost for those moments where you could get outside.”
Since gaining a following online, Moore has been able to monetize her page. Moore was previously a business major with an emphasis in social media marketing, a blessing in disguise as Moore has relevant knowledge for managing her page in her “tool belt.”
This past August, Moore was able to make more money in one month than she did in a year working as a barista shift-supervisor for The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. In the last year, skating has opened doors for Moore, who has done a Nike shoot and a Motorola commercial. Though Moore has been able to support herself with her skating, she urges others to not only skate in pursuit of financial gain.
“Now that people have seen that there’s money to be made or there’s potential to make money or have these opportunities, that is their main intention behind learning rather than to actually learn and progress and enjoy the journey of skating,” Moore said. “That was the reason why I started my account. I just wanted to document myself learning how to skate.”
Though many influencers avoid addressing topics that may be deemed too political in fear of losing followers, Moore said she sees the necessity in speaking out about issues valuable to her.
“Through my skating, it’s always really important to me to share resources and utilize my platform in a way that I can enlighten people about the injustices that are happening, because we become very blind or numb to them over time,” Moore said.
Recently, Moore has been advocating for accessibility for all on Instagram.
“Even if it’s a little bit of extra work for me, I don’t care if I need to put closed captions on,” Moore said. “I don’t care if I need to put an image description. I don’t mind if I need to go the little extra way for someone because I personally feel that is one of the greatest human things you can do, making someone feel seen and appreciated.”
Kristel Aranas, a CSULB alumni, met Moore through an on-campus organization. Aranas recalled their meeting during Moore’s freshman year.
“I remember her telling me how she valued sharing in different experiences and cultures,” Aranas said. “I think her platform as an influencer really allows her to do that on a larger scale.”
Despite Moore’s sizable platform, her main priority is school. Moore, a fourth-year studying sociology and minoring in human development, takes 20 units while managing and creating content for her Instagram.
“This is just a stepping stone for me,” Moore explained. “Not that I’m not enjoying the moment, or not invested. But my long-term goal in life is not to become a social media star or influencer. That’s not the lifelong job I want.”
Recently, Moore applied for graduate school for Urban and Regional Planning. She hopes to work with city policymakers and architects to help make communities more sustainable.
“Whether that’s through transportation, waterways, waste management, things like that, they help to strengthen communities by making sure that housing is still aware of their cultural ties to the places where they live, and also making sure that environment injustices aren’t taking place, whether that be excessive pollution, dumping waste or things like that,” Moore said.
For Moore, this career avenue was a clear choice for her as she has the ability to implement change and better communities.
“The way that we live needs a drastic restructuring. Not only in infrastructure, but also social relationships,” Moore said. “So many communities are being mowed over by gentrification. I want people to understand, gentrification doesn’t have to be a negative thing. We have greatly made it a negative thing. But as long as the community is very much involved in creating the changes that they want to see, it’s something that will ultimately better the community and make communities safer.”
As Moore advances towards her career goals to instigate change in the community on a larger and long-standing scale, she will continue to use her platform and her roller-skates to be a positive influence in her personal life and community.
“I’m already very focused and driven in what I want to do,” Moore said. “For me, skating is just the glimmer of positivity that I get to just enjoy on the way to reaching my career goals.”