Taylor Murray is a bright young woman of 21 years of age. She has been with Top Buttons as a volunteer from the start and now is an intern with us. Because of her dedication to the mission of our organization and her completely contagious personality, we couldn't help but choose her to spotlight as she gets ready to finish her 4 year degree in broadcasting. She has the dream to be in the entertainment industry and is already well on her way. As I sat down with her in a local coffee shop, she began to tell me what she sees in her future. It's hard not to be slightly envious of her stunning and unique look... Yet she is so stinking down to earth and hysterically funny, you can't help but just appreciate who she is and the love for life which she exudes so brightly. There is no question that this girl has the grit and determination that will take her exactly where she wants to be and maybe further.
So Taylor, lets get started with this question. How would YOU define your personality?
Well, I’m extremely extroverted. I get energy being around other people and making them laugh. I like being the hero that saves the day and I work well under pressure. That’s when I shine.
What is your personal style?
My personal style is constantly changing. In high school I was more boho/chic but as I have grown older my style has switched to shabby chic. Girly but also laid back and it can change from sophisticated to boyfriend jeans in a day.
We love how confident you are with your body. Do you mind sharing with our followers how you got to that point?
I love that I am not a size 2. I really feel confident in my body even though it is on the curvy side. Beauty is not just characterized by one size ideal, but bodies of all shapes and sizes are beautiful. I think that women need to start loving their bodies regardless of what size they are. I'll be honest, I used to be really insecure about my weight. In high school, I struggled to feel pretty, because I didn't look like the stick thin models in magazines. Living in that kind of insecurity is exhausting. You waste so much energy thinking about what your not, when you could be loving who you are and making an impact on the world. I have made the choice to stop obsessing over looking skinnier, and have started to discover the styles that look great on my current body . On the days where I start to feel insecure again, I choose to tell myself that I am pretty. I am a curvy, bustier, fuller woman and my confidence in that is what makes me beautiful.
Where do you shop the most to find clothes that fit your body type and your style?
Since I am a fuller girl, it is very hard for me to shop at stores that are geared towards the smaller teen body type. So, I have discovered that department stores that carry a women's section tend to sell clothes that better fit my body type. I love to shop at department stores for all of my wardrobe basics, such as jeans, cardigans, simple blouses. Some of my favorites include Nordstrom Rack, JCPenny, Belk, and Khols, because they tend to provide a wide variety of sizes and fits for clothing. My style changes upon my mood and is very undefined, so when looking for statement pieces I shop at stores like Urban Outfitters, ASOS online, H&M, Francesca's, and Mod Cloth. However, to be honest, because I am Senior in college with classes and work to juggle, I rarely find time to shop. Thus, lately, Target has truly been my go to store to update my wardrobe. I can go to Target with the purpose of getting notebook paper or granola bars, and also leave with a pair of booties or a new dress. Target has also started featuring different designers and selling their clothing at a cheaper price, so I love checking out the clothing section to see whats new.
What has been your greatest challenge in your journey to reach your goals?
My biggest challenge has been doubting myself. I think a lot of young women have BIG dreams, but lack the faith to believe that they can actually have what they've dreamed of. I dream of being a television personality one day, but I tend to doubt if I am good enough. This is something that I am trying to change about myself. I want to be fearless and confident enough to reach high for my goals. Sometimes the end goal seems so far away, but that doesn't mean it doesn’t exist. I want to stop doubting my dreams, so I may enjoy the journey and the process of reaching them.
Who has been the biggest influence on your life in the past couple years? Why?
My family and friends have been the biggest influence on my life in the past couple of years. They have seen me through major insecurities and guided me towards confidence. Whenever I stop believing in myself, they are always there to cheer me on and remind me of who I am. I think it is so important to surround yourself with people who are in your corner and believe in your dreams. I can definitely say that I have the right people around me. I have best friends from childhood, high school, and college that have shared in my failure and successes. My family has put me through college and been a constant encouragement through my life. The ones I have around me are the real deal. They correct me when I'm wrong and promote me in my successes. The experience of truly being loved and cherished by my friends and family has taught me how to live my life and love others.
Are you dating?
No. I am not currently dating. My love life, or lack there of, could be a whole separate interview. I have never been in love, but look forward to the day of meeting the man that God has for me and loving him with my whole heart. God's timing is everything, so I trust Him and wait for the moment when He choses to reveal my spouse. Yes. I said spouse. At this point, I have been single for so long, I am confident that who ever I date next, I will marry. In the mean time, I take this time of singleness to discover more about who I am and what the Lord says about me. These moments of being single are precious and won't be forever, so I cherish them.
We all want to know what you are looking for in a fella! What’s your response?
Woah. Such a big question. Where do I begin?!?! I am looking for a man who loves the Lord with his whole heart. I mean really loves God. He needs to have such a strong relationship with our Father that I envy it. I want a man that is compassionate and quick to lift up the dreams of those who tend to be pushed aside. I am fiercely independent, so I want a man who can make me feel taken care of for a change. I want a man who is so confident in his calling and dreams that I feel safe to depend on him. I want a man who loves to laugh, finds joy in the simple things, and yet appreciates the extravagant things. I want a man who buys me sunflowers. Thats what I am looking for.
Here's a random questions for ya. What’s your favorite film of all time?
How do I choose just one? I love Christmas and a good cry, so The Family Stone ranks rather high on my list of favorites.
And ...What’s your favorite food and how do you take your coffee?
I am the worst at choosing a favorite food, because I am a foodie who loves all of it. However, currently I love avocados. It may change tomorrow though. ;) Coffee.... medium roast, half & half, and sugar in the raw. Sometimes I opt for flavored creamer if I am feeling adventurous.
What job or position do you feel has prepared you the most for your future? why?
My job as a student worker for my broadcasting professor at SEU, Roxane Griner, has really prepared me for my future. It was in that job that I learned how to edit videos and use photoshop. These skills have proven to be valuable in preparing my reel for future jobs. I know that I will continue to use the skills that I learned in whatever job I find in Television. Being the former female host of Raw TV has also prepared me for my future, by allowing me to discover my love for being on television. Hosting Raw TV taught me what it looks like to be on a real life show, with deadlines, networks, and an audience to reach. No matter where TV takes me, I will always remember Raw TV as the show that sparked my dreams and started it all. (Raw TV is a internationally broadcasted Christian talk show produced out of Southeastern University's Campus.)
Why have you dedicated so many volunteer hours and decided to intern for Top Buttons?
Dedicating time and deciding to intern for Top Buttons is a no brainer. I want to live in a world of confident young women who use their outward appearance to project the beauty that lies within. Going into the Television industry, I know for a fact that people judge you, firstly, by your outward appearance. Thus, I agree with the Top Buttons mission to encourage young women to feel good about themselves for all the right reasons. I watch girls get attention by flaunting their bodies with zero boundaries. I feel that every young woman should have healthy boundaries of self-expression, so that the world can see who they really are and be appreciated for more than their body. Top Buttons also gives a platform for girls like myself to learn, grow, and share our stories with the world, because WE create the content! One of my favorite experiences working with TB was getting to help young girls who are at risk and in need of a major confidence boost by giving them quality used clothing and makeovers. So many girls feel unworthy of love and respect, but I desire to see the return of the “confident girl”, who dresses for the respect that they deserve and are valued and cherished once again by society. I believe in the message of modesty, I LOVE fashion, and know the power that us ladies have to change the world, so volunteering for Top Buttons has been a great fit for me.
What dreams and goals do you have in the next 5 years?
I want to be a television personality or anchor on a national TV show. Preferably, News/entertainment or on a morning show like a national level morning show such as Good Morning America or the Today show. My 15-20 year goal is to have my own show. I want my light to shine on television, that is where I get the most energy. It is my platform to have a voice.
What advice would you give to younger girls that have the same dreams to be on Television?
Don’t be ashamed of being interested in it and know that isn’t all about selfish goals and gain. There is a different way to do it, you can do it in a way to shine your light and make God’s name known. Don’t be afraid to be in the spotlight because you can make a difference in peoples lives.
Interview by TB Intern Destiny Young
Photography by Elisabeth Huijskens