Lifestyle

New student organization sends message of self-love

Temple’s So Worth Loving campus representatives are promoting positivity and self-acceptance.

Among friends, Brianna Mullins said she is known to be “aggressively positive.”

Mullins, a senior social work major, became the first representative for Temple’s chapter of So Worth Loving — a blog focusing on self-empowerment — last year.

This year, Mullins was joined by Taylor Leonardo, a junior advertising major.

So Worth Loving first started as a blog created by Eryn Erickson, an Atlanta-based musician and art director. The blog posts stories submitted by the public about people’s journeys to establish self-worth.

Erickson quit her full-time job, turned the blog into a company and now sells clothes, jewelry, pins and stickers with messages geared toward positive self image. The company also hosts events where Erickson opens pop-up shops, discusses issues like self-love and tells her story of escaping a toxic relationship and redefining herself afterward.

The company began its campus representative program during Fall 2015. Mullins said she and Leonardo are working to create a group based on So Worth Loving’s mission to provide a “positive community and outlet for people.”

Mullins wanted to become a campus representative to spread self-acceptance. In elementary and high school, Mullins said she suffered from an eating disorder.    

“I’ve been in recovery for three years, and companies like So Worth Loving and Aerie and big public [figures] that are like, ‘You are okay…you’re worth loving,’ were a big part of me being able to be okay with myself,” Mullins said.

Mullins and Leonardo held their first So Worth Loving event at the Bell Tower on Oct. 12. They spoke with students who were interested in the club and gave out letters with handwritten, positive messages on them.

Amanda Nowell, a senior criminal justice major, attended the event. She said the positive posts on Temple’s So Worth Loving Instagram account spoke to her because she had a “really rough year” and recently suffered a loss in the family.

Nowell was particularly interested in the handwritten letters. She said she felt “one little note might get [her] through the day.”    

Nowell added that the positive messages spread by So Worth Loving are important for college students because “you never really know what someone else is going through.”

“I sent [the note I got from So Worth Loving] to everyone on my Snapchat like, ‘Just in case you’re having a bad day,’” Nowell said. “People wrote back to me, ‘I was having a really bad day, thank you. I really needed that.’”

Mullins and Leonardo have only been representing So Worth Loving on campus for less than a year, but Mullins said she has already seen the brand’s presence on campus have a positive impact.

“We wrote little handwritten notes and put them in envelopes and just walked around campus handing them out. The reactions we got were awesome,” Mullins said. “One girl cried. … One girl looked up and had the biggest smile on her face, and I was like ‘This is the best thing I’ve ever done in my life.’”

Mullins and Leonardo hope to organize a “Coffee and Conversation” night at Saxbys on Liacouras Walk for students to talk about their experiences learning to accept themselves, hopefully around finals time, Mullins said.

“I think a lot of people are still trying to figure out where they fit in or where they want to go in life,” Mullins said. “It’s really stressful, and I just think that if people realize they’re worth something, then everything will fall into place.”

Alexis Anderson can be reached at alexis.s.anderson@temple.edu.

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