Although it doesn't always seem like it, being a successful social media influencer is some very serious business. As we've all come to realize, social media influencers who are absolutely killing it in the game can make millions of dollars doing what they love, build up audiences of millions of fans all over the world, and can achieve the kind of success that no one would have even thought was possible when the whole social media thing first started.
But in a move that should surprise pretty much no one, a lot of influencers who gain a significant amount of success try to use their massive platform to make the world a better place, and thankfully they want to, or at least feel some personal responsibility to, use that platform for good. So, which well-known influencers have gone out of their way to, or even made it their entire mission to, change things for the better?
10 Huda Kattan
Most of you would be most familiar with beauty influencer and blogger Huda Kattan because of her mini makeup empire, Huda Beauty. The route of Kattan's success has been based on makeup, and Huda came up with a unique and interesting idea to pay that success forward to one of her lucky supporters. Kattan came up with an idea that she called the Elevator Makeup Challenge, a video makeup tutorial challenge where she asked her followers to film themselves getting glam in an elevator for a chance to win a $5,000 scholarship that they could either use for their own makeup training or donate to charity.
A lot of social media influencers like to put fun and unique spins on the things that they do for charity, but when YouTuber Markiplier decided to show his support for the Depression Bipolar Support Alliance he decided to go all out. Markiplier, AKA Mark Fischbach, told his followers if he could reach $100,000 in support in 4 hours he would dye his hair pink, and shockingly the video star's fans managed to reach that goal. It's not the biggest surprise considering Markiplier's subscriber count now sits at 23 million, but no doubt the attention and donations he brought to the program made a huge difference.
8 Molly Burke
Social media has become such a ubiquitous beast that there seems like there is a platform that is perfectly suited to nearly every kind of person in the world, but one social media influencer and activist that loves to play against expectations is blind YouTuber Molly Burke. Burke does plenty of things to advocate for people with disabilities and promotes and encourages charities and non profit organizations for the blind, but she has essentially built her entire social media career around letting everyone get a glimpse into what life is like as a blind person, both to raise awareness of how differently abled people have to navigate the world around them and to erase some of the discomfort and stigma that can come along with blindness.
7 Tyler Oakley
Social media influencer and entertainer Tyler Oakley got his start on YouTube, but his career and profile has grown astronomically since he first started finding success with an online audience. Oakley is openly gay, and he is a very strident activist for causes and charities involving LGBTQ+ youth. Tyler is a particularly ardent supporter of The Trevor Project, a charity that is focused on suicide prevention for LGBTQ+ youth, and Tyler has definitely gone way above and beyond to put his money (and the money of his fans) where his mouth is. Oakley has held fundraising drives for The Trevor Project for years and has astoundingly raised more than one million dollars for the charity.
You might be more familiar with social media influencer Zoe Sugg by her nickname, Zoella. Zoella creates social media content that focuses on beauty but really runs the gamut of whatever interests her, and she has parlayed her social media success into her own beauty brand, lifestyle brand, and publishing career, but Zoella also likes to pay her success forward.
Zoe's charitable interests particularly focus on physical and mental health, she has participated in charity events and fundraisers for a variety of causes like vaccinations for children in Uganda, cancer charities in the UK, and she has taken a particular interest in fundraising for the UK mental health charity Mind, becoming their first digital ambassador ever.
5 James Charles
Makeup artist James Charles is one of the most well known and influential people in the social media beauty community on pretty much every social media platform known to man. He's even popular enough that he was made the first male model representative of makeup brand giant CoverGirl. But Charles doesn't take all of his success and good fortune for granted. Besides breaking barriers for boys in the makeup world, Charles has been a pretty outspoken advocate against bullying, and as you might imagine he's a very serious proponent for embracing who you are no matter what anyone else thinks or says. That's no surprise though, considering how that seems to have obviously worked out pretty well for him!
4 Lilly Singh
If you choose a moniker like "Superwoman" as your alter ego then you're certainly giving yourself a whole lot to live up to, But YouTube's Superwoman, also known as Lilly Singh, seems to be doing her best to live up to it. Singh is one of the most popular creators on the platform, and she is more than happy to use that platform to enact some good. In addition to being a UNICEF ambassador, Singh has taken a specific interest in women's education across the globe, often traveling to a variety of places to shed some light on the issue and raising money to fund women's education all over the world.
3 Tati Westbrook
We all know that the most famous beauty vloggers, bloggers, and influencers are sent more beauty products on a daily basis than one person could probably use in a year, but beauty YouTuber Tati Westbrook came up with an awesome way to make sure all of her free product goes to good use.
Tati typically samples the product that would work for her or that she would personally use, and she collects the other PR she's sent and then takes it all to a local women's shelter in Los Angeles to be donated. There are plenty of ways for beauty influencers to ditch their unused product, but this is definitely one of the coolest.
2 Tabria Majors
Worldwide culture has undergone an interesting paradigm shift in the last few years. While mainstream media has traditionally tried to sell the idea of perfection that must be attained at all costs to consumers, in recent times it seems like body positivity has become the new "it" idea that people and corporations want to promote. However, it seems unfortunately obvious that in many cases this "body positive movement" is simply lip service without any substance beneath it. But plus-size model and Instagrammer Tabria Majors is really putting her money where her mouth is when it comes to body positivity, and uses her platform to encourage and inspire confidence in people of all shapes and sizes.
1 Laci Green
YouTube star Laci Green has gone through her fair share of slightly surprising moments throughout her video making career, but her overall attitude and the way she chooses to use her platform is a very impressive and useful tool for a lot of the members of her young audiences. Green's videos focus on comprehensive sex education that involves a lot of information and ideas that most teens and young adults don't learn in their formal (and typically woefully lacking) educations, and although Green started her YouTube channel as a hobby she has grown to an audience of millions of subscribers who might not otherwise gain insight into complex ideas like gender identity and feminist principles.