TikTok. One of the biggest social media platforms. The most popular one amongst teens.
Mental health, social media, a presumed TikTok ban; issues that stigmatize the daily-life of teenagers around the world. And TikToker Maddy Taylor tells all.
From talking about mental health, TikTok hate, a TikTok ban, and her career prospects, Maddy Taylor has given us insight about what the insides of the TikTok world really play out to be.
Who is Maddy Taylor?
Born in Charleston, South Carolina -yet currently living in New Jersey- Maddy Taylor is a 17-year-old TikTok star. She predominantly posts on POVs on TikTok, as acting is her primary interest. Sometimes Maddy will also post lifestyle videos, maybe a trending dance or a collaboration with her friends.
pov: we’re talking :) ##acting♬ origineel geluid - mgwvibes
With over 2.5 Million followers on TikTok and 181k followers on Instagram, Maddy has been thriving in the social media world.
Yet how did this all start?
The Early TikTok Fame
Just another highschool girl. Going to school, studying hard, trying to keep up with her friendships, struggling to fit in. Maddy went through the same things we all have; until her life changed overnight.
Having heard a lot about the app, just like many of her peers Maddy decided to download TikTok as a pastime app. All jokes, just fun. Until she started gaining attention.
She recreationally was posting videos on her account, of her dancing around or lip-syncing. Then one day her video lip-syncing to Eminem's Rap God hit 500k likes, making her realize that there might be more to TikTok than she initially thought.
She then became more and more invested in her videos and she loves what she is doing.
Changes in Her Life
Tik Tok fame, and any type of fame for that matter, may seem all glitz and glamour. Nevertheless, behind the seemingly ideal lifestyle is not as easy as it seems. TikTok has changed Maddy's life in more ways than she could have ever imagined.
"It's affected my life in both positive and negative ways. Negative-wise, it can be really overwhelming at times especially as I was in public school. I'll be a senior this year and I've definitely had to deal with a lot of people at my school making assumptions about me,” Maddy tells us.
On the more positive side, she finds that her peers have seen her grow and develop throughout the years and she's also gained great support from them. Her support system- consisted of friends, classmates, family and of course her fans- is what keeps her going. She's also met tons of new friends and has grown a fan-base that she feels deeply support her.
Maintaining Her Confidence Through the TikTok Hate
With any social media recognition, comes an inexorable aspect of fame: the hate. Whether it is mean comments or hateful messages, each influencer has most irrefutably received an overwhelming amount of hate.
And Maddy had a lot to say about that: "The hate can take a toll and be hard for anyone. People think that they know me and that they can say anything about me. But the thing is that they don’t know what’s really going on in my personal life, and the version of me that they know is through a screen."
Nevertheless, Maddy won't let the social media hate get the best of her. She does so by reminding herself she does not need the validation from strangers hiding behind a screen.
They don’t know who I am in real life, what I’m going through, my experiences, and mostly hate propels from insecurity. I just try to not to let it affect me and get to me. It’s obviously easily said but hard to do, but I do my best to not let it get in my way.
The Pros of Life in the Spotlight
Maddy, while reflecting upon the negatives of social media, also finds the positive aspects of rewarding and a great experience. “It’s really great that I have such an amazing support system, and that I have a platform where I can speak up on topics I believe in. I speak up on mental health and positivity often, because I want everyone to be happy, love what they do, and not let the hate get to them. Being able to have a voice in social media is really awesome.”
As part of her TikTok journey, Maddy has met tons of new people what has sparked some of her truest friendships. She finds that her TikTok friends understand and are able to support her throughout the struggles of social media.
I’ve met many amazing people through TikTok, and it’s just great knowing people that do the same thing that I do, because they understand what the process is, what goes through, which kind of bonds as a family. We get each other, and it’s awesome! We’ll collaborate, share ideas, and be there for each other.
Maddy's Career Prospects
Acting is Maddy's biggest passion. From doing loads of POVs on TikTok to having worked as a child actor, acting is all Maddy has ever dream to pursue. She is mostly intrigued by TV Show/Film acting.
Nonetheless, pursuing social media ventures professionally also interests Maddy a lot, and she would open to such a prospect.
Maddy's Appearance in Lucy Cloud's Music Video
The project Maddy prides herself most for is being featured in Lucy Cloud's music video for her song "Jealous". Getting to utilize her previous acting experience and working with such an incredible artist is what really distinguished this experience for her.
I got to be featured in Lucy Cloud’s music video for Jealous. It was so amazing and I loved the experience. I was on set with a lot of my friends and I had done a lot of acting when I was younger- overall the video turned out so amazing and I loved how it turned out. It was so fun!
What Would a TikTok Ban Mean for Maddy?
Over the past few weeks, speculation about a TikTok ban has been circulating the social media world.
Maddy finds that a TikTok would indeed be an impediment in her life, considering that TikTok is her biggest platform and she would interact with such a large audience.
However, on the brighter side, a TikTok ban would be propitious to her focusing on and growing her other platforms and areas, such as her YouTube channel.
A Heartfelt Issue for Maddy: Mental Health
Having been bullied as a child and as any influential TikToker having received hate online, Maddy comprehends the importance of mental health. Initiating a campaign for mental health awareness month is just the first step in her advocacy of this issue.
Maddy plans on shedding more light on issues of mental health as she intends to post more videos about mental health on her platforms, as well as making YouTube videos talking about her own story. Maddy wants to be transparent about what she has been through with her followers and make it clear to them that she is there to help in any way she can. "I want to let others know that I'm here for them and that mental health matters," Maddy says.
From Maddy to You, a Piece of Advice
When asked what advice she would give to her followers, Maddy said: "Be yourself and have fun! I feel like it is so cheesy and cliche, but it really does go far in helping make your life positive. Do what you really love doing, something you’re passionate about- because that will bring so much joy! Also, don’t listen to the hate, and follow your dreams!"
Fun Facts about Maddy
- Her dream travel destination is the Bahamas or Greece
- Her favorite artists are Ariana Grande and Billie Eilish
- Her favorite movie is LaLaLand and favorite show is Outer Banks
- Maddy's secret talent is that she plays field hockey
All Photos by Kate-Yeonjae Jeong, 2020