If you’re reading this, you likely know how much of an impact TikTok has on our culture as a whole. I’m not just talking about how it influences the Billboard charts, or its unique ability to launch the careers of many actors, singers, and comedians, or sky-rocket sales figures for small businesses. We’re talking about a bigger impact.
Activism on TikTok has grown exponentially since the BLM protests in 2020, and it’s only on the rise. The app’s unique algorithm and the speed with which videos can go viral have created a perfect platform for Creators who want to be heard.
Check out some of the TikTok activists enacting real change and inspiring us every day:
Andrea Cheong –@ANDREACHEONG_
Andrea is all about fashion and embracing trends in a much more eco-friendly way. She uses her platform to teach people how to shop mindfully and sustainably, while still looking cool as hell.
She’ll share product reviews, explanations of what certain terminology actually means, her favourite brands and pieces, and expert tips for staying sustainable on a budget. Andrea’s feed is home to regular segments like the #MindfulMondayMethod which is a fun way to keep your audience coming back to your profile.
Ella Willis – @ellaellaw
Ella is a self-described queer Creator with autism who’s on a mission to educate and entertain in equal measures. Along with light-hearted trends and memes, Ella shares stories about what it’s like living day-to-day as a disabled LGBTQIA+ person.
One thing that Ella excels at is responding to her followers — many of her explainer videos are in response to comments on previous videos. She’s out there to spread the word about her experience and let others know that they’re not alone. More importantly, she’s educating us about things related to autism – such as Masking and Misophonia – that we may have never learned about otherwise.
Nina Tame – @ninatame
Nina is a councillor and disability mentor based in the UK. Her account is all about breaking down stigmas surrounding disability and educating her audience about wheelchair etiquette, something we don’t see discussed much in public forums.
"I use my TikTok to talk to non-disabled people about disability,” she told the BBC. “I wanted to bust some outdated stereotypes.”
Nina expertly balances the serious issues she’s discussing with fun and light-hearted videos, which is really the key to being a successful activist on a platform like TikTok.
Tara Bellerose – @tarabellerose
Tara, who lives on a farm in rural Australia, uses her TikTok account to show off how beautiful our planet is and why we need to protect it. She acknowledges that while you can’t really force people to change their minds, you can inspire people to care.
She creates videos that teach people about nature, wildlife, and what the earth has to offer. Rather than pushing her opinions in peoples’ faces, she’s simply here to remind us about the impact that we’re having on our home planet. This more gentle approach to activism has amassed her over half a million followers, giving Tara the ability to spread her message far and wide.
Taylor Bright – @sustainablecherub
Taylor hasn’t always been a sustainability advocate. In fact, she used to be a massive self-confessed shopaholic and meat eater, but after watching a bunch of documentaries and educating herself during her first year of college, she did a 180.
Now, she's using TikTok to help other people make similar changes. She shares sustainability recommendations for everyday life that are easy to implement. Sometimes when an influencer shares tips it can feel a little overwhelming — like a huge overhaul is needed to meet their expectations — but Taylor’s videos are welcoming and approachable, making it accessible for everyone to start living a little more consciously.
Drew Afualo – @drewafualo
Drew is an anti-misogyny influencer who’s all about fighting sexism and advancing women's rights. After leaving her job as a sports journalist at the NFL, she felt a strong urge to speak out about the misogyny and racism that she – and many others – face on a daily basis.
Her trademark on TikTok has become finding clips of men saying derogatory things about women, then stitching them with her own savage takedown. In her own words in a TikTok video: “Men have been unchecked for hundreds of thousands of fucking years. And now, there’s a new sheriff in town, bitch.”
Miguel Peña – @MIGUELITOFPENA
For Miguel Peña, TikTok was a safe place for them to document their transformation. It started with a simple video where they said: “Hey, does anybody ever feel like you’re not a girl?”. This led to them cutting their hair, changing their pronouns, and sharing the whole process in bite-sized videos.
Their feed is a fun mix of trends, Q&As, and serious videos explaining trans issues and discussing the importance of education around these topics. They’re a reminder that even when you’re an influencer discussing heavy topics, you can still have fun with it.
Miguel’s 3 million followers turn to them for support and recognition. “I might not be able to get to every person, but at least I know that the videos are out there,” they told Rolling Stone.
Rynn Star – @RYNNSTAR
Rynn went viral in mid-2020, during the Black Lives Matter protests. Then a school music teacher, she wrote a cute little ditty “Black Neighbourhoods Are Overpoliced”, and uploaded it to TikTok. It was short and catchy, but explained everything that was going on in a digestible way. The video went viral and she quickly amassed a huge following.
Rynn leaned into the role of being an anti-racism expert. She shares TikToks about topics like why highway systems are inherently racist or calling out J.K. Rowling’s use of happy elf “slaves” in Harry Potter.
She’s also got THREE podcasts, Hot Tea Hot Takes, Close Encounters of the Blerd Kind, and The Wordy & Nerdy Show, which she uses to make sure she’s able to spread her messages as far as possible.
Are you inspired to create meaningful content?
If you’re inspired by these influencers and want to get your own messages out there, partnering with brands whose values, ethics, and passions align with yours, can be powerful. One of the easiest ways to find brands you believe in is through TRIBE. Today’s brands seek authentic, meaningful content from Creators like you, so start pitching, creating content, and getting paid for making a difference, today.