This year has been rough, namely because of the policy brutality we’ve witnessed across the U.S. and Canada and the Black Lives Matters protests that followed. It has affected me in different ways. Despite this, I have been more woke than ever.
This year things have changed a lot, including social media. When I go on Instagram and Twitter, I notice a new norm. Previously, for example, the celebrities I followed would mainly promote their singles or post trailers for movies.
The change in tone has shown me that it is essential to use your platform to speak up – because doing so can really impact people directly. For example, when celebrities post about equity issues – and especially when my idols do – I end up sharing and reposting stories and posts with my words. It makes me feel productive and more informed about what’s happening in the world.
There are a couple of celebrities that stand out to me the most with their posts about the BLM movement. Selena Gomez, for example. She was a little late to the BLM movement, but when she did, it resonated.
In the middle of BLM protests and police brutality, Gomez took the time to share her platform. She allowed real mentors and activists – all black people – to take over her platform and share their stories, organizations, resources, and post on her words and her Instagram feed.
Gomez took the time to educate herself and her fans about the BLM movement. Her Instagram stood out among other celebrities because the other celebrities mainly posted on their stories and bio, and they have a highlight on their Instagram feed about BLM resources. Gomez stood out because she took the BLM resources and mentors and activists to her feed and Instagram Stories Highlights. Even in the days after, Gomez still had her BLM posts on her feed – she hadn’t deleted them.
Another celebrity who uses her voice platform is Lauren Jauregui, a former girl-group member of Fifth Harmony. Jauregui has always been using her stories to share links and videos and resources to charity organizations before activism became the new normal. She follows politics closely, and I follow her words to keep up with politics. She is very active and educated on politicians because she cares about her country and her Latinx community. She wants her fans to be aware of what politicians are up to and she wants to better inform them.
It’s essential to use your platform to speak up and raise awareness around equity issues because it can actually make a difference in keeping young people informed. It’s also a way to be active and productive on social media – unlike liking memes and posting random content about movies and music. Now I actually use social media to find out what’s happening in the world.