He enjoys acting and has performed in several plays including being cast as Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He enjoys video games, board games, and RC cars and trucks. Jaydyn began playing football and basketball at the age of five and is looking forward to starting guitar and vocal lessons in the near future.
I was intrigued by Jaydyn’s fearless sharing of his faith by identifying himself as being a believer and sharing hope through posts like “You had a purpose before anyone had an opinion.”
Not all men are sensitive, artists, dancers, or romantics but I do believe we are all a unique mingling of God’s creativity. I am encouraged that we live in a day and age where many young men (not knowing or mirroring many of the culturally influenced, hyper-masculine stereotypes) are abounding in healthy confidence and live life with full abandon. Young men like Jaydyn are being more bold, vulnerable, and passionate. They are defying cultural expectations and I love it. This is my interview with jmoneykix. May you be challenged by his words inspired to embrace your purpose, and motivated to share the love of Christ with those who need it most!
STEVE: Good morning Jaydyn! First of all, let me say THANK YOU for agreeing to do this interview with me. I hope you find it to be fun and revealing! Let’s start by finding out a few fun facts about you! Tell us about your favorite colors as well as your current style and accessory preferences.
JAYDYN: I know it sounds complicated but I guess I really don’t have a “favorite” color. I like them all for different reasons. It depends on what I’m feeling at that time or what the object is. At the moment I like Black Pyramid and Bape clothing. Those are pretty cool, but I’m not really caught up in names as long as I look and feel good. I love my snap backs, sunglasses, and the custom necklace my older brother Reggie made me. He designs cool stuff.
STEVE: Tell me about how you got your start on social media and what it was like.
JAYDYN: I’ve had supervised social media (mostly to interact with family and friends) for a few years now. My first account was on Instagram, then Snapchat, and then I got Musical.ly. I wasn’t as active as I am now. Recently a lot of new doors have opened which provided more exposure and I am so grateful. I think it’s cool that I can use this new exposure to be a light and I love interacting with people in a positive way. It’s been really exciting and a little overwhelming at times.
STEVE: Tell those of us who don’t know much about musical.ly, what it’s all about. What’s the hype? Why do you love it!?
JAYDYN: Musical.ly is all about being creative, having fun, challenging yourself, and uniting with people from all over the world. I think in the beginning it was mostly lip-synching and comedy stuff but musical.ly has expanded the categories to so much more. Now there’s specific things like gaming, vlogging, style, talent, food, and more. Oh, and now your videos can be longer too. It used to only be fifteen seconds but now they’re up to five minutes. You can do a lot in five minutes! LOL. It really has something for everyone. I like the weekly trending tags, but I mostly like the friendships I’ve made. It’s been pretty cool. I love meeting and inspiring people.
STEVE: How did you get the name jmoneykix?
JAYDYN: It’s catchy right? LOL!! Well, my name begins with J, I’m going to be successful ($$), and I like sneakers (kix). My older brother Kyle was a sneaker head. I guess it wore off on me. So ya, that’s how I can up with my name.
STEVE: What do you love about church or Christianity?
JAYDYN: I love the personal relationship I have with God and how I never feel alone. Its a good feeling to be around other believers. I can pray, worship and raise my hands without feeling awkward.
STEVE: So, I struggled with self-esteem issues when I was in middle school and high school. How about you?
JAYDYN: There are things about myself I don’t like. But it’s how I was designed. So I’m not going to argue with God. LOL!
STEVE: Although you get lots of Instagram likes and comments, etc. do you still struggle with what others may think? Not looking like the “perfect” portrayals of men and muscles, etc. we see in the magazines?
JAYDYN: I don’t let the amount of likes and comments define who I am. I mean, It is great when people say nice things but that’s not always the way it goes. Some people can be really cruel. I don’t really struggle with what they think, it just makes me sad that people can treat others like that. No one has the right to make anyone feel bad. We are never too important to be kind. As hard as it can be at times, I choose to remain positive. I also know that under all that airbrushing and makeup those people are normal too. Right? Anyone can be made to look good.
STEVE: Do you have any words of encouragement for other young people who struggle with how they look?
JAYDYN: Embrace your gifts. I learned that from my Pastor. Don’t believe what the world says about you. Believe what God says about you! We are all designed in His image and He does not make mistakes. We aren’t perfect. We are perfectly imperfect and the more people that get that, I think the less we will have to feel the need to fit in a “perfect” box that doesn’t exist.
STEVE: What would you encourage other young people to do if they are lonely because we both know social media only makes us feel wanted for a short time?
JAYDYN: Just don’t get so caught up in the opinions of others.
STEVE: Who do we turn to?
JAYDYN: Your parents, family, people at church, close friends. I have a great relationship with my parents so that really helps.
STEVE: Is Christ or prayer a part of this?
STEVE: Have you ever been bullied?
JAYDYN: Not so much before I got on social media. But now it’s like every day.
STEVE: Any words of encouragement for those being bullied?
JAYDYN: Stand up for yourself. Tell the person to stop. If they don’t, tell someone. Sometimes people just say things trying to be cool or to get attention. A lot of times when I confront the person about spreading rumors or bullying, they apologize.
STEVE: Not too long ago, I noticed your Instagram post that stated: “The devil whispered in my ear, ‘You’re not strong enough to withstand the storm.’ Today I whispered in the devils ear, ‘I am the storm.’” It looks like you recently experienced a social media rumor “storm” that had to be hurtful. Can you share some of that story?
JAYDYN: When you’re young like me and you “date” someone, things don’t always last. It’s the same way with adult relationships and friendships. I don’t talk badly about anyone publicly. I’m looking forward to many friendships and spreading kindness and understanding. No one is perfect, but trying your best and being your best is the way to go.
STEVE: How did it make you feel?
JAYDYN: It has definitely made me stronger and more aware of the different kinds of people there are in this world.
STEVE: What has been helping you get through it all?
JAYDYN: My faith in God and my family, especially my mom. This has been a lot for all of us.
STEVE: Are you a stronger person because of it all?
JAYDYN: Yes. It’s opened my eyes to a lot of things and I’ve learned a lot.
STEVE: How has your faith helped you?
JAYDYN: I’m a child of God and I know He has a plan for me. My mom always reminds me “before people had an opinion, you had a purpose”. I believe God wants us to continue to love regardless of the hate.
STEVE: You recently became a youth advocate for FREE2LUV. What does this mean to you?
JAYDYN: I’ve gone through a lot since January and I was really looking for support. But, the more I found out about their organization, I knew I wanted to get involved to help other people that may be going through what I went through (what I STILL go through). It’s been really cool to be able to inspire so many people to stand up and speak out. I’m really glad that I got involved in such an important issue.
STEVE: I was drawn to your account not only because of your smile but because of not being afraid to proclaim on social media that you are a believer. That might keep some from following you but could be a huge inspiration for others. What does your faith mean to you?
JAYDYN: It’s everything to me, it’s something that I love, it’s powerful, and it’s where I get my strength.
STEVE: What do you think about the book I am writing to help men (young and old) with the many macho stereotypes, identity in Christ, God’s creativity in creating us as unique individuals, gender, etc.?
JAYDYN: I think when God’s truth is involved it’s always amazing, especially if you can use it to reach someone, to help them know that they’re not alone. It’s like a way to show them that they can break generational curses.
STEVE: This has been amazing Jaydyn. Is there anything else you would like to share with those who took the time to read this interview?
JAYDYN: Wow, I think I’m all shared out, LOL. I’ve never done anything like this before and it really taught me a lot. It was a cool experience. Thank you! To everyone reading this, don’t forget: You’re never too important to be kind!
A NOTE FROM JAYDYN’S MOM AND MANAGER:
Steve, this has been a fabulous experience for both Jaydyn and I. We have grown together through this and its provided healing to areas of need. We are so grateful that God brought us together for such a time as this!