To meet Crystal Joy is to experience her and all the creativity that abounds from her. She utilizes her gifts, talents, education and hands-on experience to glorify God while serving His people. She is adamant and clear on giving all the credit for her accomplishments to God. She knows her passion for the arts and compassion for people serve a divine purpose.
After high school and training in the arts, Crystal continued her education in telecommunications, social work, and counseling. She added to her formal training a Masters in Administration and Education. While her background consists of public school teaching, she’s had accomplishments in the arts, media and entertainment industries. That includes a radio personality, television and film actress, writing, producing and performing in plays, conducting training workshops in the arts and ministry arts programs as well as a product developer, singer and writer of curriculums and books. Crystal’s acting endeavors led to a role in the film, Boulevard with the late actor and comedian Robin Williams. Currently, she operates in full-time responsibilities at Born Again Church as a Department Head and Producer of Living Parables Drama Ministry. As an accomplished author, her recent book titled, Who ART in Heaven? Understanding and Incorporating the Divine Symmetry of Arts and Academics is now available as ebook or paperback.
As part of the Joy in the Morning team, Crystal can be heard Sunday mornings on Nashville’s 92Q from 9 am – 1 pm helping people start their week with a joy fix. For more information about Crystal, go to CJoyMinistries.com.
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Rolita: As a little girl, how did your environment affect your view about beauty?
Crystal: Oh, wow! My environment? Well, unfortunately I think that my environment was so inundated with beauty connected to value that you really didn’t have much of any value unless some man or men thought you were beautiful. Otherwise, you were ok. As a matter of fact, I remember in high school overhearing my brother talking to some of his friends. And they were going down the list of all of these girls that they thought were fine or foxy or whatever the term was at the time. And then somebody said, “What about Billy’s sister?” And everybody got silent. (Laughing) I thought did they get silent because they were afraid to say something in front of my brother. Finally, one of them said, “She aight. You know. She got a ways to go.” And I thought, wow! It hurt but at the same time I thought, you know what? – I really don’t want to deal with anybody who doesn’t see me beyond what I look like on the outside. Of course, it didn’t help that my youngest brother called me pizza-face cause I had acne issues like none other. (Laughing) But, I think that to tell a woman or young girl that it’s all about the beauty on the inside, it really needs to start when they’re very very young. But, not just saying that but continually telling them that they are beautiful period.
Rolita: Ok, wait. So that is how you felt even as a young girl?
Crystal: Yeah. I always felt irritated when somebody did think I was beautiful. I felt irritated and good because it always was translated into your value as a woman. And if you were not beautiful, etc. so on and so forth in the eyes of whoever was looking at you, then you have officially moved to the bottom of the totem pole, if not beneath the earth. You were either pretty or you were ugly. And it’s interesting because I don’t remember anybody actually coming out saying it but I find it interesting that I never saw myself as that. As beautiful. I just saw myself as a basic girl. A basic girl that you basically marry if you basically can’t find anybody else. (Laughing) You know because I was good wife material except I was average as far as looks were concerned. Because beauty was always tied into a particular look and if you did not fit that look, you did not fit in.
Rolita: Ok. So did you compare yourself to other girls because of that look – whatever look was in at that time.
Crystal: I did. I did sometimes. And this may sound really crazy – but, to some people that know me personally they probably wouldn’t think that it sounded crazy. I always had my own way of dealing with that. I didn’t feel awful or, oh God, I wish I look like her. Because when I would get to that point, immediately I started thinking about how that person carried their looks. If they carried it with a stinky attitude, then I was like, ok I don’t want to look like her. But, if they carried it with grace and charm and beauty from the inside, then it would really make me feel like, man I wish I look like that. I really wish I look like that. But in all honesty, the ones that were physically beautiful but they had a nasty attitude – whether it was to men or to women or to both – I just didn’t want to look like them anymore. It was a major turn off. So there were some that I felt like, man I wish I could look like that. And it was usually the ones that carried themselves so well that I wanted to have the outside beauty as well as inside beauty.
Rolita: Did your views back then affect any of your relationships, be it with females or with males?
Crystal: You know that is a good question. To some degree with both but not extensively. Because when it came to looks, my family got to the point where they would tease me about, “Well Crystal doesn’t care what she looks like. She just walks out the door.” (Laughing) It would depend on my mood. If I wasn’t in the mood to look cute or to dress myself up in adding a little extra, then I wouldn’t. And why wouldn’t I? Because I knew at some point I would get a cat call or some kind of vulgar something thrown at me or a compliment in a nasty way.
Rolita: Ok. The cat call was coming from?
Crystal: Coming from the men. But as far as the women were concerned, it would make me feel more confident to dress up because it seemed like the women would treat me with greater respect.
Rolita: But the men’s side would come from the side of the vulgarity?
Crystal: Yeah! Yeah! And then it depended on the demographic. It depended on their background, etc. because even men that were well-to-do would treat me differently. I actually experimented with this kind of unconsciously. I went to a car dealership and I was looking like whosoever will. I did. I just looked like well whatever. Because I was on my way to do laundry or something like that. Something where you don’t dress up to do. So, I stopped at the dealership. I didn’t really want anybody to talk to me. I just wanted to look at a particular car that I was interested in at the time. I don’t even remember what the car was. I was just looking. And when I did and when I say no one – I mean noooo one came to help me. (Laughing) They looked at me from a distance and kept on moving. So, the next time I came back and I looked cute. I knew I was cute. I was like, you didn’t have to tell me I was cute. I walked in like you know I own this joint and yo’ momma in it. So all of a sudden different ones wanted to help. I mean they perked up immediately.
Rolita: (Laughing) Same dealership?
Crystal: Same dealership. Yeah! Same dealership. And it was a very short moment, a very brief moment, but I said I am going to remember this. This is a hot mess. It made me so mad. Cause I was thinking that I’m not going to buy from you at all, even if I wanted this vehicle because you didn’t respect me as a person to come and assist me. I could have been a multi-billionaire which a lot of billionaires and millionaires dress down. They don’t dress up. It’s only the ones that aren’t use to having the money or whatever, is what they always say. And sometimes I dress kind of average which I can’t do now since I’m working in radio. Everybody’s looking at you like, Eew! So you have to deal with the superficiality of people when it comes to being a public figure so to speak. And then, that’s even biblical. That you have to look your best and do your best when you are a public figure because you’re representing more than just the place you work or what you have as a career. You’re representing God on a whole different level. Not that you should dress like a bum any other time, but the demand is there more. So, if I know that I’m going to be around anyone in the public eye, I try to add a little something extra to it. Not that I dress like a bum any other time. But it’s a different perspective now. Totally different.
Rolita: With that being said, what does beauty mean to you now?
Crystal: Oh! Wow! Beauty means everything about being everything that God has called you to be on a 24/7 basis. Regardless of who you’re in the atmosphere with. Regardless of who you’re around. I believe it’s being humble. As far as the physical side of it, I believe it’s enhancing the gifts of the beauty that God has given you. You know? If you have a full nose, like I have a full nose. My mom use to call it a little bunt nose. And I don’t know what a bunt nose is. (Laughing) I guess that was short for button or something. But she said she always loved it. And I hated it only because for African-Americans, if you didn’t have a keen straight nose, like the white counterparts then something was wrong with you or you were too black. But, I’ve learned over time to just appreciate what God has given me with no desire whatsoever to get a facelift or nose job or anything like that. I mean seriously. Who wants to go through all that drama? Suppose you die the next day. Your nose goes with you and the bill. But things today, it’s all about the depth of the person on the inside and that’s what I want to be. I want to have such a sincere pure heart of humility that that is what draws people even if I look a hot mess. (Laughing)
Rolita: (Laughing) Ok. What do you think about society’s standard of beauty today, how it affects young girls and women? And do you think it adds to bullying?
Crystal: Whew! Ab-so-lute-ly! On the last one. On the last question. Oh my goodness. Absolutely.
Rolita: (Laughing) On the last one. You went right to the last one.
Crystal: There is something I tell people on a regular basis and something I’ve learned. If everyone practiced this and practiced it with full understanding – then that means we’d be perfect. I think it would shut down the bullying and the jealousy and the ridiculousness that exists as far as society is concerned in the social realm of every age group. And that is remembering the fact that everybody wants to be loved, appreciated, accepted, valued and respected. When all of those things are cultivated in your mindset, when you come in contact with anybody, if you filter that through everything you do, everything you say, your facial expressions. Imagine how significantly different we would treat each other. And unfortunately, that doesn’t exist across the board. It is very true that based upon our human nature people basically size you up in the first 5 seconds just by looking at you. Even if they’ve had conversations with you over a period of time, there’s an adjustment in how a person looks at you because they have seen you. So you can understand now that your own personal prejudices that you may not have been aware of start to surface. So it’s about crucifying the flesh and your thought process to not respond in the opposite way of those things that I listed. To respond to people in love, in respect, showing that you value them and appreciate them. No, that’s not happening right now. You can see it in social media. I think social media has its place. But as always the enemy finds another way to twist it up to teach us to destroy each other. Everybody has a comment about everything and everybody feels free to make that comment and to make it any kind of way they want. “You can’t stop me because it’s a free country or whatever.” But they never think about the consequences that come behind that. Case in point, so many of our young kids who have committed suicide because they were bullied. They call it cyber-bullying now. But bullying is bullying. I think also – and I would love to start a campaign with this – is to get the young people to understand that the bullying doesn’t stop in high school. You’ve got people in their 40s, 50s 60s, 70s, 80s who are booger bullies, honey. And you’re like, are you kidding me? It’s really a spirit of manipulation from a foundation of pride and insecurities, etc. And we all know the basis behind it. But putting a stop to it makes a significant difference. We need to stand up for each other without the fear of not being able to “fit in anymore.” To know that the real fitting in is in the kingdom of God. Hey!
Rolita: Which brings me to my next question. You hit my point. What does radiating Christ’s beauty mean to you and what would you tell the young girls is true beauty?
Crystal: Oh my God! One of these days I’m going to sum it up in a nutshell – you know I’m very talkative – cause there is so much. I would say if I could sum it up, as much as I possibly can in one sentence, I would encourage the girls to dig deeply into the Word of God and every teaching connected to the subject of your value to God. Once you get a full understanding of how much He loves you, how much He respects you, how much He honors you, how much He appreciates you, how much He adores you, nothing else really matters. It does initially sometimes. Because if you have parents that do not or friends that do not or siblings that do not respond to you in all of those ways, of course it’s going to affect you because you have an earthly relationship with them. But there’s something about being rooted and grounded in the Word and the understanding and the knowing that God loves me for me. He created me this way and there’s nothing you or you or you can do about it. And I refuse to allow you to make me feel or encourage me to feel like I’m nothing. However, I am going to love all of that out of you and I’m going to love you in spite of how you feel about me.
Rolita: Ok. That’s your advice to the young girls?
Crystal: That’s my advice to the young girls.
Rolita: So, I know I laid a lot on you. I’m going back to the top of my first question. I’m going to slow down. I want to end on this. What does radiating Christ beauty mean to you? How do you, Crystal Joy of Joy in the Morning, radiate Christ’s beauty? Because you’ve been given a platform. Like you said, you’re a public figure.
Crystal: Woo! Once you step over that line of just being a normal citizen so to speak and you become public knowledge. Like everybody knows who you are, who is connected to that particular media source, it changes everything. It’s like from that day forward; I have to be excellent in Christ. And all of that means to me and how I try to exemplify that or be an example of that is to crucify my own flesh. What does that mean? Cause I sound so preachery and churchy. That means to be very cognizant and very aware of my own nastiness, my own yuck, my own idiosyncrasies. Not that I take ownership of it like, you don’t tell me what to do cause this is just me. But I take ownership of the fact that I need to change that. I need to cast it down. I need to purify my heart, my soul, my mind so that I can reflect who God is through me. Not in a pretentious, (squeaking her voice) oh how are you? You know that phony baloney stuff. But in the sense that, when people leave my presence, there is something about His presence that goes with them. I remember reading in a book of one or two of my favorite counselors and I’m trying to think of their names. I can’t think of their names right now. But they’re two of the greatest relationship counselors in the universe. I love them. They gave an example in their book about when you bring in your presence, what do you leave behind once you leave? They were giving the example of a boat and when you watch a boat go through the water there’s a wake. And what kind of wake do you leave with everybody that you have come in contact with? Every time I go for my walk by the river, when I see a boat, I immediately think about what they said. Because you’re going to have an affect even after you’re long gone. And it’s amazing to me after the boat or ship or whatever is long gone and even too far to look back, unless you have a telescope or whatever, all of a sudden out of nowhere you hear the water hit the banks. And each time it hits, I’m like wow! – I wonder how many people I have hit as I have gone through the waters of life. How many have I affected? And it’s not like the water splashes and then vanishes. No, it splashes and coats. So, what did I say? What did I do? How did I respond to all of those people that I was passing through? And how is it affecting them now? So, I hope I answered your question.
Rolita: You answered my question. That’s how you try to radiate Christ’s, right? Is to make sure you leave a good example and coat them the right way.
Crystal: (Laughing) Yes. Yes.
Rolita: Thank you Crystal!
Crystal: You’re so welcome.
Rolita: Crystal Joy of Joy in the Morning! (Singing) ♪ Joy–Joy–Joy–Joy–Joy ♪♪. I love it. Thank you. ♥
Copyright by A. Rolita Adams
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