The pandemic has altered our daily routine. Instead of getting up to go to work, we’d rush to the grocery store, in search of toilet paper. Instead of walking through the hallways and seeing friends, we were forced to see our classmates through a computer screen.
Change is tough — especially when it pops out of nowhere. However, it’s a new year now. It’s your turn to utilize your creative talents and share them with the world. Even if you’re restricted from attending in-person events/interviews, don’t let this stop you from pursuing your dreams.
As a form of inspiration, here are 7 social media influencers that have pursued their dreams, achieved milestones, and expressed themselves for who they truly are — all in the midst of a global pandemic:
1. Charli D’Amelio
In 2019, Charli D’Amelio had one million followers on TikTok. By the end of December 2020, the social media star hit 100 million followers — making her the fastest growing influencer on the short form app. Along with growing her social media presence, Charli released her first makeup line (along with older sister, Dixie D’Amelio), in collaboration with Morphe. The makeup line is called, “Morphe 2”, and each product retails from $7-$24.
During 2020, Charli also got her very own drink named after her, at Dunkin’ Donuts. Charli is a regular at Dunkin’, and her go to drink is a cold brew with whole milk and caramel syrup. So, on September 2nd, the “Charli Cold Brew” was added to Dunkin’ Donuts menus, nationwide.
Throughout this pandemic, Charli has also teamed up with Dixie, to start a podcast, announced the start of a family reality show that will premiere on Hulu in 2021 (dates TBA), and back in December, Charli released her first book, called “Essentially Charli”. The book is Charli’s way of expressing herself to her fans — in a way that they’ve never seen before. She talks about the pros and cons of being in the public eye, and how she continues to stay positive throughout it all.
2. Dixie D’Amelio
Dixie D’Amelio utilized 2020 to pursue a passion so close to her heart: music. In April of last year, the D’Amelio Family Official TikTok page posted a video of Dixie singing, when she was 14. The comment section was flooded with positivity, and the fans began to plead for Dixie to sing more.
So, on June 14th, she posted a video on TikTok of her singing. At the time, no one knew that it was Dixie’s original song. However, on June 26th, she released her first single, “Be Happy” — as well as a music video to accompany the soundtrack.
Since then, there was the “Be Happy” remix (featuring blackbear and Lil Mosey), amongst others: “One Whole Day (feat. Wiz Khalifa)”, “Roommates”, and Dixie featured on Liam Payne’s holiday track, “Naughty List”. Dixie D’Amelio has always been honest and transparent with her fans, regarding her mental health struggles, and she uses music as an outlet to promote mental health awareness.
3. Addison Rae
2020 was a year of firsts for Addison Rae. Much like Charli, Addison had only accumulated a handful of followers, pre-quarantine. Once the pandemic hit, Addison’s social media presence was rising quickly. Addison is known for constantly showing positivity and kindness, and her genuine personality has garnered many opportunities for the social media star.
Although TikTok is what Addison is most known for, she can officially add “beauty influencer” and “actress” to her list of 2020 accomplishments. She dropped her first makeup line, called Item Beauty, in July. The makeup line serves to promote self love and confidence. Items to choose from include: concealers, primers, contours, bronzers, lip oils and more.
Addison ended the year with a bang. She wrapped the filming of her latest project: “He’s All That” — a spinoff of the popular 1999 romantic comedy, “She’s All That”. “He’s All That” is Addison’s first major movie role, marking a significant milestone in her career. The film’s release date has yet to be confirmed, but we couldn’t be happier for Addison!
4. Jalaiah Harmon
You may know Jalaiah Harmon from the infamous TikTok trend that kicked off 2020: The “renegade” dance. Although Charli D’Amelio popularized the dance, Jalaiah was the initial creator. Her dance moves were so complex, that the dance had to be further simplified for those who couldn’t complete the original dance. After speculation as to who created the dance, Jalaiah finally got the recognition that she deserved.
During 2020, Jalaiah was interviewed by large scale platforms/media outlets (such as The New York Times), she performed the “renegade” dance several times with Charli D’Amelio and Addison Rae, and she drew in over 2 million TikTok followers.
She’s also been sponsored several times by a variety of companies, and in February (prior to quarantine), Jalaiah was a guest on The Ellen Degeneres Show — where she received $5,000 and performed her dance for millions of people to see. The Atlanta-based dancer made a name for herself, and she continues to generate hundreds of thousands of views.
5. Sienna Mae Gomez
Sienna Mae Gomez is a social media star, who first gained popularity during the peak of the pandemic. She joined TikTok on August 16th, and the first video that she posted went viral — gaining a total of 20 million views. The video was meant for only her friends to see, but she didn’t realize until after it went viral, that she still had the video set to public.
Although Sienna was initially embarrassed that her video was seen by millions, so many fans were thanking her in the comment section. In her TikTok, Sienna was dancing to WAP by Cardi B (feat. Megan Thee Stallion), dressed in a crop top. She showed her stomach in its natural form, and although it was meant to be a joke for her friends to see, that video made so many people feel confident in themselves.
Since that day, Sienna has become an advocate for body positivity. She showcases the different angles of her stomach, and constantly promotes positive affirmations for anyone going through body dysmorphia, eating disorders, etc. She prides herself in making ‘unrealistic standards’ types of videos. Sienna currently has over 14 million followers on her TikTok account.
6. JoJo Siwa
JoJo Siwa is best known for being a contestant on the 2011 hit reality tv show, “Dance Moms”. Since then, JoJo has gone on to build a business empire: selling rainbow bows, bedroom decor, backpacks, sweatshirts, etc. According to JoJo, her “JoJo Siwa” brand is worth over one billion dollars in total.
Although she’s still such a talented dancer, JoJo has transitioned into the YouTube/TikTok platforms, since her “Dance Mom'' days. She’s thriving career wise, but a few days ago, JoJo made a public announcement that broke the internet. On TikTok, she posted a clip of her happily dancing to “Born This Way” by Lady GaGa. People immediately began to speculate that the video was JoJo’s way of coming out as LGBTQ+.
Well, three days later, JoJo posted a video to Instagram, thanking fans for all of the love and support. JoJo admitted that she’s been hiding her sexual orientation since she was 12 years old, and that she now feels so free and so happy. During the Instagram video, she looked so relaxed, and the laughter was so genuine. The fact that she finally felt comfortable enough to express herself to her 53 million combined followers took a lot of strength and bravery. We’re all so proud of you, JoJo!
7. Lil Huddy
Chase Hudson (best known as Lil Huddy) went through a tough time during the Summer of 2020, but he didn’t let backlash stop him from pursuing activities that he’s passionate about. In just one year, Chase went from being a social media influencer, to an actor, and now, a musician.
In November, Machine Gun Kelly teased a clip of his visual album, “Tickets To My Downfall”. The visual album was a 49-minute musical film, starring Sydney Sweeney and Chase Hudson as the two leads. This marked Lil Huddy’s first acting debut, and he did a phenomenal job, playing the role of Fenix. The musical film premiered on MGK’s YouTube channel, on January 18th.
Then, on January 20th, Lil Huddy announced the release of his first single, “21st Century Vampire”. The song falls into the pop-punk genre, and has almost 3 million streams on Spotify alone. He’s been interested in the music industry since he was younger — as he grew up in a very musical household. Lil Huddy plans on releasing more music in the near future.
You can accomplish anything that you put your mind to — no matter how big or small your dream is. All it takes is passion and drive. Next year, you might find yourself on this list.