#SWW: A Conversation with Taylor Young

If you've been with us up to this point you're more than likely familiar with our hashtag #selfworthwednesday, if not:

Self Worth Wednesday (v): a celebration of one's quirks and life's messiness.

Its the one day, where we dedicate our time to encouraging and promoting the power of self love.  For me, personally, self worth Wednesday is an intricate part of who we, DOY, are as a community.  It'swhat sets us apart, it's what makes our bond with our readers so strong.  But I'm curious as to what it is about the hashtag that inspires others.

I decided to have a chat with a former DOY intern Taylor Young about the importance of and positive affect self worth Wednesday can have.

Maire: Okay so I thought we might start by reintroducing you to our readers. For those who don't know, you used to be a part of the team! So give me a brief introduction of who you are and how you got involved with DOY and whatever else you deem necessary to share.

Taylor YoungHi, I'm Taylor. I'm a self proclaimed culinary queen. A sometimes writer. a keeper of many fandoms. & a cat Mom to a cat king named Armageddon. I was a member of the DOY family, but I think technically I always will be. It's in my heart & it's in my blood forever. I got involved because I knew of Cydney before she started it. we had met once before, & I had followed her on Twitter. long story short, she had mentioned DOY on her social media, & I was so lost in my personal life, that I wanted to be apart of something more. And thus, there was Dream On Youth. Which has changed my life so much for the better & has given me some of the best friends I could ever ask for.

M: You will always be apart of our family, Taylor. So, having been a part of DOY previously you are familiar with #selfworthwednesday. What I want to know is this: What does #selfworthwednesday mean to you?

TYTo me, #selfworthwednesday means a love from within. It means self love & falling in love with yourself & having the strength to say that you are worthy of love & everything within it. Just this week, one of my favorite people aka Jared Padalecki (who plays Sam in one of my favorite TV shows aka Supernatural) launched a new campaign to his original Always Keep Fighting campaign ((a campaign of fighting through your toughest battles & finding something worth living/fighting for)). His new campaign is called Love Yourself First, & I think it instills a lot of SWW within it. He wants everyone to just find it in themselves to not only keep fighting, but to love themselves as they should. because the more you focus on the love within you & the love you give yourself, the more you're able to love on others. And I think that's what I love about SWW. It's a day, every week, to focus on the love within you. & it's a hashtag, which makes it more accessible to see others doing the same. It's a really positive aspect. Positivity is contagious. Love is infectious. SWW is a beautiful combination of that.

M: I love how you put it that the more we learn to love ourselves the easier it is to share that love with those around us. It's an interesting point because I've found that there's this trend happening. This trend involves the older generations who look at the "millennials," as they call us, and see us consumed by social media. They observe as we tweet and we Instagram selfies and assume we're self-absorbed. They call us the selfish generation. Personally I find this way of thinking offensive. In my experience, through the Internet, there are more and more younger people out there seeing so little value in themselves. In my opinion social media is an outlet for them to find confidence. How do you feel about this and what role does self worth Wednesday play in all of it?

TYI think it goes two ways. The first example being that if something doesn't get a certain number of likes, then its not as valuable. Or at least that's what a lot of people think, and that's not right. & it's also not healthy. I'm a leader to a group of wonderful seventh grade girls, & I see it all the time within their social media. If something doesn't get a decent amount of likes, it'll get deleted & then reposted in a certain amount of time. That's them wanting validation to be worthy in someone else's eyes. But in the second way, it's something to where we can feel confident & empowered through ourselves & our social media. If we honestly post something because we genuinely feel good about ourselves in that moment, or our hair is cooperating, or our makeup game is strong, then we post a selfie or a snapchat or something about it. Then the likes and comments and chats follow. the more positive energy you put into something, the more compliments you'll get out of it. When you're honest to yourself about yourself & your worth, it makes a difference. SWW plays the part of being the catalyst for some of us. maybe some of us are insecure, but there's a SWW challenge to where we post something pertaining to our bare faced selves or something. It's an encouragement to be who we are, to step out & be bold in our true beauty, & to be confident & be reminded that we are worthy of love, no matter the likes or reactions that social media may give us. A number doesn't name you. Social media numbers don't get to name you. You are who you are. no number of likes or comments gets to discredit your worth.

M: Why do you think it's important for positive hashtags like self worth Wednesday to be utilized via social media?

TYI think positive hashtags are important because they're geared for a specific audience who is looking for something extra to make their day a little brighter. Something for them to believe in. A live feed of feeling validated through inspiring tweets that you won't find outside of social media. It gives authenticity to the people behind the social media handles & shows that we are in fact worthy & we're more than a number of followers or likes or retweets.