Taylor // 27 // Graphic Designer, iced coffee drinker, horror movie watcher, Coastal-Carolina traveler, embracer of the ugly laugh.
Please tell us a few words about yourself.: Hello! My name is Taylor, I have a deep love for coffee and paper, and I was born with a rare congenital disorder called Klippel–Trénaunay syndrome. It's through my struggles with this disorder that I've conquered, overcome, and grown into the person I am today - a girl with an endlessly compassionate heart and a deep love for humans that is also not afraid to stand up for what's good and right. It hasn't always been the easiest life, but I would go through every struggle ten-fold if I was still able to be who I am blessed to be.
Why would you like to model for circa1910?: Other than the fact that the jewelry is I N C R E D I B L E , I also have a serious love for the message that circa1910 stands for. I have seen first-hand the love that Kayla pours into the pieces she creates, and the women that wear them. To be able to model for this brand, and tell the world how wonderful it is would be a tremendous honor!
What makes you beautiful from the inside out?: I don't usually toot my own horn, but I think my welcoming spirit and warmth are a big part of what make be beautiful from the inside out. I love human interaction and just listening to people's stories, and something about that speaks into parts of our hearts that modern conveniences like social media have made us forget. We all want to be seen, we all want to be known.
I also love to be joyful and encouraging - I always strive to build others up and make sure the humans in my space are feeling their best.
What do you wish more women realized?
((I will scale it down from the laundry-list I have.)) I wish that women realized that we are enough! We were enough when we lost the boy. We were enough when we didn't get the job. We were enough when that brat in 4th grade made fun of our last name. We were enough when our friend decided they never wanted to return our calls ever again. And we will always be enough. The world puts so much effort into trying to help us "better ourselves" and they do that by showing us ways we aren't whole so they can fill us. But we are. All of our flaws, our jagged edges, our stories of loss and victory shape us into the glorious creatures we are. We should never doubt our abilities and what we can bring to the table, because even if you're bringing something as simple as sugar, somewhere down the line someone will need it to make their tea sweeter.
Do you have a mantra that you live by?
The mantra I live by the most is: "Be uncomfortable with being comfortable."
I have found that when I let myself settle, when I allow my heart to say, "this is enough, you don't need anything else," something happens. It can be anything - I am thrust into a new social situation, I lose a friend, I have to make hard choices, I discover a new skill I want to master - but something inevitably arises. I think it's the universe's little way of making sure I keep going when I feel content to just sit, because we are all biologically ingrained to be cautious creatures, but we are all called to something bigger and greater than a life of aimless caution. We should always be open to those moments of "uncomfort" because they can take you to a place you couldn't have dreamt of going.
Do you mind sharing your insecurities, either physical or emotional?
((I don't mind - all about that uncomfortable life haha))
From an early age I knew I was different. I grew up road-tripping to Lexington, Kentucky from our small Georgia town with my parents every few months and have vivid memories of Hardee's hashbrowns in car seats, toys in waiting rooms, and x-ray machines that resulted in receiving Barbie stickers if I stayed still. I was born with a condition called Klippel-Trenaunay Syndrome and it's so rare that I've never met another soul with it. One in 100,000 people are living with this everyday, and although it's been a great struggle for me, I'm one of the luckier ones. I was born with a birthmark that criss-crossed bright red marks all down both sides of my body from, literally, head to foot, my right leg was shorter than my left, and one finger on each of my hands was significantly larger than the others. My parents are perpetually my heroes, because from birth they fought for me - they fought the insurance company to pay for my laser surgeries to remove my birthmark that would have turned into large masses that would have covered my body over time, and they fought to ensure I always had the best of care when it came to my rare disorder. I got the treatments, had surgery to make my legs the same length, and went upward and onward.
It wasn't until I hit puberty that my right leg began to swell, which is normal for those that have KTS. It was great that I preferred t-shirts by Bum Equipment over dresses from Limited Too because I did not want anyone to see my "mishapen body", and middle school was hell enough as it was. I was in a constant state of wishing I looked like someone else - whether it was having another girl's hair, looking skinnier, or something as simple as having two matching ankles so I could wear shorts instead of jeans on hot summer days. I would hear girls talk about their pores or split ends, and while I was glad I didn't have those insecurities, I also resented them for not realizing how lucky they were to be "normal". I remember when I had one of my first boyfriends in high school, and how nervous I was for him to do something as simple as hold my hand, praying he wouldn't see my larger fingers entangled with his and think I was a freak.
Fast-forwarding to college, I began to not care so much. I wore the shorts, rocked the bathing suits, sported the dresses, and embraced the body I had. Sure, I can always wish for a slimmer figure or tanner skin, but after 27 years of hating what God made me, I am at peace with it. My story is mine and no one else's and I'm thankful for that. Sometimes I worry when I make new friends if they're thinking, "what is up with this girl's leg?!" or when my leg is aching and I can't go exploring as long as everyone else I hope they don't think I'm a party pooper. But this is life, this is my life, and things could be much worse. If this hand I've been dealt can be a bright spot of overcoming and endurance that gives hope to someone else, they hell yes my calling has been found and I'm grateful for this journey of mine. It's not easy everyday, but it's always worth it.
How do you fight to overcome those insecurities?
I overcome them by seeking peace in the people that love me for more than my outward appearance, knowing that I'm more than a swollen leg with soft tissue and varicose veins, and honestly just getting out and doing things I love because that's what life's all about.
How do you hope to see women affected by your Role Model Call photoshoot?
I hope that my photoshoot will inspire others to do what Justin Bieber says and "Love Yo'self" (and treat yo'self - girls we all work so hard!). Almost daily I struggle with anxiety and feeling like I am a hot mess express that can't get it together, but I always have to stop and find my center again. The world will crush your spirit, take your joy, and make you feel less than in the blink of an eye - but if you remember your worth, believe wholly in yourself, and embrace the life you've been entrusted to live, you'll always be joyful, gracious, and appreciative for the insane ups and downs that come with living a good and whole life.
View Taylor's photoshoot below: