Websites like Elite Daily, Buzzfeed and Thought Catalog, viral content websites aimed at millennials, flood our newsfeeds. It’s hard to resist the “7 reasons why” or “10 ways to” articles laced with advice on sex, relationships, love and just about everything else.
Then there are websites like Phylicia Mansonheimer’s, or Phylicia Delta as she is more widely known.
The 24-year-old newlywed living in Virginia has garnered global attention and is even featured in secular media for her posts that combat the messages of those websites. Utilizing Christian scripture as her basis, she outlines arguments to empower women to be “capable, confident, and complete,” said Masonheimer.
The Daily Campus spoke with Masonheimer and got a look at the woman behind the blog.
Daily Campus: How do you balance sharing too much online and being transparent with readers?
Phylicia Masonheimer: For a while, I left my last name off my blog and called my husband “Mr. M” to avoid using his last name. Eventually, I allowed my last name once my blog gained more publicity. But there is a line of transparency; I think the world ‘overshares.’
DC: Where does your mission for the blog come from?
PM: I was raised by Christian parents who gave me a firm foundation. At 16, I was involved with a group of young women who were saving themselves for marriage and didn’t date in high school. This cemented my faith and encouraged me to seek the “why” behind those choices. When I entered college and began dating, my convictions were put to the test. Through all of those experiences, I developed a mission to reach girls who were questioning their faith and convictions.
DC: What is your inspiration for your posts?
PM: It is usually a subject under fire in the media, or a topic I see repeatedly in emails from readers. Most of all, it’s something that inspired me as I was praying about an issue or reading in my devotions.
DC: Can you tell me about your childhood and family life?
PM: I was raised in an environment that allowed me to be an individual. I am the oldest of six children. We were all homeschooled. I grew up on a horse farm and spending time with a huge group of homeschooled friends. That community taught me the importance of knowing what you believe and why. My family was loud, open and close. We ate dinner together every night, no electronics, no cable TV.
DC: You are pretty published and your posts have gone viral. How does that make you feel?
PM: The good part is people are being reached with the truth. I get emails from girls whose lives have been changed. The bad part is negative feedback. I have haters; people who are angry that what I have written could require change in their lives, or who feel I am judging. I’ve really struggled with that.
DC: How have you handled controversy and criticism?
PM: The first time, I had an emotional breakdown. I have to remind myself that when you stand for something there will ALWAYS be opposition. Forgive as Christ forgave…then address the issue at hand with facts and truth. Opinion is subjective, but the truth of the Bible isn’t. They may still hate me, but as far as I’m concerned, I’ve done what’s right.
DC: What messages do you want to combat for your readers?
PM: [Messages] that twist Scripture to make it palatable to our culture’s tastes and morals. I don’t want to write reactionary pieces. [I want to combat] the sexualization of culture, the disrespect of women through pornography, and other issues that confront women.
DC: What is success to you?
PM: Success would be reaching one girl’s heart with a message that drove her to Jesus Christ.
DC: What are some of your top posts?
PM: The top post was “That Day I Wore Yoga Pants.” It garnered 90,000 hits in one day. That post also gained me the most negative feedback. My post “I Waited Until My Wedding Night” combated a post saying the opposite. The most recent post to go viral was “Dear Girl, a Good Man Will Still Want You.”
DC: How many readers do you have?
PM: It’s hard to tell, but I have 1,600 likes on my Facebook and average 4,000 hits a day on the blog. On a peak day, it will go up to 10,000 or more. My biggest readership is in America, Canada, Australia, Singapore and Finland.
DC: Any advice to SMU students?
PM: Know your value. If you don’t believe you have value, you will lack confidence, allow yourself to be demeaned, and try to create value by giving yourself away. The best way to know your value is to know it objectively, and that is to know the God who values you more than anyone in the world.