50 People Who Are Redefining What It Means to Be an Influencer

As of July 2020, more than half of people on earth now use social media. This means that (like it or not) the social media influencer is here to stay, with 91% of marketers believing that influencers are an effective use of budget. In fact, influencers have perhaps never been more influential. 

While the pandemic saw a shift in celebrity culture away from the unreliability of the elite (think Kim Kardashian's vacation pics) many micro and macro-influencers have broken through the noise and found their communities online. Here are a few of our favorites. 

Elsa Majimbo

There was arguably no bigger breakout star in 2020 than 19-year-old Nairobi-based comedian Elsa Majimbo, who gathered a cult following for eating chips, wearing sunglasses, and ignoring calls. 

Ziwe

Ziwe, the hilarious comedian and iconic influencer whose Instagram Live-hosted Baited talk show quickly became the hottest thing to watch during the pandemic. 

Jordan Firstman

If you haven't yet watched one of Jordan Firstman now-famous impressions, they're hilarious. 

Aja Barber

In the environmental space, Aja Barber is a necessary follow, breaking down big ideas around sustainability and holding brands accountable. 

Gabrielle Richardson

Model, founder of Brown Girl Butterfly Project, and curator of Art Hoe Collective, the talented Gabrielle Richardson is a must-follow. 

Michaela Quan

Michaela Quan, a traveling photographer based in London and close friend to Jorja Smith, is a go-to for outfit inspiration, film photography, and cute TikTok videos. 

Moonbear

Kabrina "Moonbear" Adams, part of the "Skate Kitchen" all-female group of skateboarders that inspired a film with the same name, is also in HBO's Betty and is an advocate for body positivity. 

Isaias Hernandez

Isaias Hernandez, or @queerbrownvegan, is opening up a larger conversation about the white-washing of the vegan community. 

Mimi Zhu

Mimi Zhu, the creator of Britney's viral communion post, posts beautifully in-depth graphics and is currently working on a book.