Being both a celebrity and an activist has become the social standard in the 21st century. The role of being a celebrity often includes using their platform to promote social justice or speak on current events. In many cases, the public perceives not speaking out on issues as a danger to the brand of a celebrity.
Whether the issue is political, social or just opinion, when celebrities are vulnerable to the public, it creates an opportunity for connection between the two groups.
Many celebrities posted on Instagram on Sept. 22 in honor of National Voter Registration Day to encourage their fans. Celebrities such as Reese Witherspoon, Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato, Taylor Swift, Michael B. Jordan and Lebron James have all encouraged their followers through their social media accounts to vote.
Actor Paul Rudd visited voters waiting at the polls in Brooklyn, delivering cookies and thanking fans for showing up to vote. Swift posted a video of herself encouraging the public to vote.
“Hey guys, it’s National Voter Registration Day today,” Swift said. “The election is November 3. It’s really coming up and I’ve put together a swipe-up of resources. You can register if you’re a first-time voter, check your registration, request an absentee ballot and you can figure out the process of voting early. We need everyone and it is more important than I can possibly say.”
Regardless of a political party, it is clear that most celebrities share the same passion for advocacy. There are countless examples of celebrities using their platform for good across various social media platforms.
Earlier in the year during the height of the Black Lives Matter movement, celebrities such as Chrissy Teigen donated $200,000 to help the organization. Jordan Peele also donated $1 million on behalf of his production company Monkeypaw. Donations from celebrities helped encourage the public to donate to organizations that help those in need.
Along with raising awareness for social issues, celebrities have used their platform as a way to connect with the public and recognize their privilege. Harry Styles tweeted about the Black Lives Matter movement in May, calling attention to his privilege and showing his support for the movement.
“I do things every day without fear, because I am privileged, and I am privileged every day because I am white,” Styles wrote. “Being not racist is not enough, we must be anti-racist. Social change is enacted when a society mobilizes. I stand in solidarity with all of those protesting.”
Through statements such as this, celebrities can advocate for causes that are important to them both personally and socially, and set a standard for others to look up to and strive to achieve. While activism may not be the primary goal of every celebrity’s social media, it is an extremely helpful tool that should be utilized for good.
While it may be easy to focus on the scandals and the bad publicity, it is important to recognize the changes celebrities are working to enact through their platforms.