In my career on the internet and running this business, I have not done as much philanthropy as I could and probably should do. I have talked about the things I'm passionate about the fact that Trump is a white nationalist, racist, bigoted asshole, that we need stronger gun control laws, that people shouldn't be persecuted based on where they're from or the color of their skin or their religions, that women deserve equal rights and equal pay.
Any number of issues I have been vocal about, but I don't really have a huge platform. It's easy for me to be vocal about those things. We are doing this trip to Bangladesh this week. We're bringing three influencers with us. It is not going to be an easy trip. It's not going to be a normal press trip. We've already talked to the influencers.
There's no outfit post, there's no Bangladeshi skincare routine. We are going there to one of the gravest humanitarian crises in the world right now to watch and see the work that this charity is doing and to hopefully try and, one, raise money so that they can do more of that work and maybe, more importantly, bring awareness to the work that they're doing and start that conversation.
I think that as influencers, you underestimate the power that you do have. If you look at AOC and The New Green Deal which isn't even a bill, it's not an actual thing. I don't even know what the thing is actually called, what The New Green Deal is. Yes, everyone is like, "Hey, it's not possible" and right now it's not possible. It's like, "It'll never get passed in Congress." It's like, "Right, it's not even a bill." It can't get passed, it's not a thing that can get passed but it is driving the conversation.
It did put climate change into the front seat of the news cycle for quite some time. It, I think, is forcing Democrats especially to move farther left on global warming and our response to it. In that, it's massively successful.
I think as influencers, if you can move your audience a little closer to an issue or you can get them talking about it with their families or their friends or their loved ones or their colleagues, you're doing your job. Again, the easiest thing you can do is to become educated on the things that you're interested in and passionate about. If you build a following, I think you have to care about more than makeup or clothes.
Those things are massively important, I believe that. I, obviously, wouldn't dedicate my life to this business if I thought that what you all did was silly or stupid. I think it's really important and just reading the testimonials that influencers have been getting it's clear how much impact you have over people's lives in building self-confidence and not feeling like they're alone.
If you're not naturally political that's totally fine. You don't have to talk about politics, but become aware of the issues in the world and read up on them and see if you connect with some of them. If you become passionate, then I implore you to talk about them. Then to give your feed over to talking about those issues even if it's going to cause you to lose followers, even if those posts aren't going to do as well. I think you have a responsibility to talk about it.
In the same way that philanthropy is a counter-balance for extreme wealth, this is something that Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders would say is broken and how our economy is rigged and that philanthropy has to step in where government maybe should be if the super-rich paid more taxes. They have so much money, so much wealth that there is a moral imperative to give some or all of that away for them to be able to continue to live their lives.
It's like anyone who's that rich has done probably terrible things to get that rich and their businesses are probably ruining people's lives and the planet. They have to counterbalance that with philanthropy. As influencers, you have a different kind of wealth. You have a wealth of attention. You have more attention on your life than most people. You are in the 1% of the world as far as the platform that you have. I think there is a similar imperative to use that platform for good and for something that is not in service of you and your bank account and your stature in the world.
I hope that with the trip we're doing to Bangladesh, it's the start of many things like this that we're doing and more influencers are doing because I also believe that using your platform is great, but I do think that there is more that influencers can and should be doing. I think it will be harder and harder as an influencer to continue to enjoy the success that you do without doing those things, without at least using your platform to shed light on issues that are important to the broader world.
My last point is it doesn't have to be political. Countries being ravaged by disease and poverty, that is not a political issue. Nobody thinks that children should be starving in other countries. That is not political. You don't have to talk about Trump. You don't have to talk about even the things happening in this country. There are a lot of great organizations and they make it really easy now. You can post on your stories, there's a donate button, you can pull up almost any charity and you can raise money through Instastories without a swipe up. It's really simple. You can do that today. I implore you to do that.
I think all of us need to, especially as we start to come into some success, think about how we are going to share that with people who are less fortunate because in many instances we just won a lottery of where you were born, to what parents and what station in life. I think the sooner you recognize that and shine and spread the love and the wealth and whatever you have to give, the better the world will get.
- Getting brand attention, aligning values, using influence for good