Social media influencers who have impacted the way we live today
The opportunity to become a full-time social media influencer and earn a living through content creation has become one of the most desirable career paths in recent years, thanks to the expanse of technology at our fingertips and an array of different apps to choose from – but who are the individuals using their popularity and following for good, rather than just make a profit and help brands to sell products and offerings?
Many influencers have decided to incorporate activism and raising awareness on subjects important to them into daily content, allowing followers to educate themselves about world events and issues with some posts, and seeing how to use the latest eyeshadow palette in others.
With some social presences earning up to thousands of pounds for a sponsored or branded post, it is no wonder they are using a portion of their funds to donate to causes, travel around the world to volunteer, or even drum up interest for charity events, fundraisers and giveaways.
To coincide with the brands Influencers: Mapped report, Sam O’Brien, Chief Marketing Officer at Affise, shares his thoughts on influencers using their platforms for good below:
“Having a massive following is opening up opportunities that some people would never have thought to be possible. Take Kim Kardashian, for example – she has 268 million Instagram followers, and has used her notoriety and her fortune to pay legal bills for people that have been wrongly convicted.
“Kim Kardashian has paved the way for fellow social media influencers to attempt to resolve injustices in the world. Having started out as a personal assistant for heiress Paris Hilton and finding fame in a reality TV show, the feats this influencer has achieved are no less than astounding.”
“Below, we have outlined eight other influencers that are working to change the way we live, and using their prominence to make a genuine impact and change for good on the world:
Demi Colleen – @demicolleen
First up we have the queen of slow fashion: Demi Colleen. The beauty and lifestyle blogger is passionate about ethical fashion, along with calling out the sunscreen brands that only cater to white skin, and posting honest reviews to encourage businesses to diversify their ranges.
Along with this, Demi’s important work also aims to shine a light on businesses for treating people differently because of their skin colour.
After seeing Boots was ‘holding her haircare products under lock and key’ by not displaying curly hair formulas on the shelves, and instead leaving labels saying they had to be ‘requested’, Demi publicly voiced her outrage, highlighting her advocacy for the Black Lives Matter movement.
Rupaul Charles – @rupaulofficial
Needing no introduction is RuPaul Charles. After launching RuPaul’s Drag Race back in 2009, Ru helped to transform the way the world saw drag queens, allowing the art to become as globally mainstream and accepted as it is today.
As the first openly gay talk show host on the ‘RuPaul Show’ in 1996, he paved the way for other young people in the queer community to follow their dreams and embrace self-love.
Having raised over $400 million for AIDS awareness, as well as starting the careers of hundreds of drag queens, this influencer’s life-changing actions show no sign of stopping.
Courtney Stodden – @courtneyastodden
Another influencer that has used their platform to change the world is Courtney Stodden. After a controversial start to her career in the spotlight, Courtney has used her large following to promote animal activism.
Regular campaigns with PETA have allowed her to raise awareness of animal cruelty, while her marriage to actor Doug Hutchinson when she was just 16 years old has empowered her to speak out against the grooming of minors in Hollywood.
Chidera Eggerue – @theslumflower
Chidera is the iconic creator of the #SAGGYBOOBSMATTER movement, promoting body positivity and acceptance of appearances in all their forms.
Her book ‘What a Time to Be Alone’ allowed millions of readers to seek comfort in the fact that there is nothing wrong with being single, as Chidera empowered women and men all over the world.
She is also the creator of the documentary ‘WOMANHOOD’, which highlights the struggles of being a woman in the 21st century.
Lucy May Dawson – @luuudaw
After surviving a rare brain disease, being wrongly administered electroshock therapy that caused seizures, falling from her bed, and severing her sciatic nerve in her lower leg, Lucy May Dawson is speaking out for disabled people everywhere – and she’s doing it in style.
From calling out venues and events for not catering to disabled people, to highlighting that being disabled does not mean you lose the ability to reclaim your sexuality – every day, Lucy changes the way we all live by raising awareness of issues that are repeatedly ignored by able-bodied people.
Hannah Witton – @hannahwitton
Self-proclaimed sex education enthusiast Hannah Witton empowers her followers every day by de-stigmatising taboo subjects around intimacy.
From sex toys and lingerie to sexual health and relationships – nothing is off the table for this influencer, highlighting that there should be no shame or intimacy around sex.
Regular YouTube videos allow her to share her own experiences – some funny, some sad – while also opening up about her colostomy procedure, and helping to normalise stoma bags.
Donté Colley – @donte.colley
Next up, we have Donté Colley, who regularly blesses his timeline with upbeat, energetic videos of himself dancing alongside motivational quotes.
Donté regularly uses his platform to push for better mental health facilities and strategies, while frequently sharing his own stories to show the rest of us that we are not alone. As well as this, he passionately advocates for the Black Lives Matter movement.
Tess Holliday – @tessholliday
Finally, we have the world-renowned Tess Holliday. Founder of the #EffYourBeautyStandards movement, Tess advocates for the acceptance of fat bodies, regularly pushing for fairer treatment of fat people.
Posting regular workout videos highlights the fact you can be fit and healthy at any size, while she also regularly challenges the media on their fatphobic narrative.
Tess stands as a beacon of hope for people whose bodies do not look like the airbrushed images we see online, helping us all to begin to like what we see in the mirror.