What influencers are teaching their followers


Tik Tok

Dylan Mulvaney is creating a more positive social media environment one video at a time.

Katy Babcock, Copy Editor

In the age of influencers, social media has become a hub for negative energy. 

Impressionable minds spend an average of 4-6 hours staring at their screens. 

Unfortunately, those hours are often spent absorbing the dark side of social media, and it has taken a toll on today’s youth

However, there is a new wave of content creators pushing for inclusivity and self-love— and Dylan Mulvaney has taken center stage. The TikTok sensation, who has amassed 8.1 million followers on the app, catapulted into stardom after coming out as a trans woman in March of 2022. 

Since then, Mulvaney has released daily videos about her transitioning experience in a series titled, “Days of Girlhood.” In her videos, she covers a variety of topics all in hopes of educating her viewers and spreading positivity. 

The rise of social media sparked an increase in the severity of body dysmorphia and other mental health issues. Influential celebrities like the Kardashians not only establish trends, but they set unspoken guidelines about what a woman should look like. The latest fashion does not stop at clothes or makeup, it goes as far as promoting certain body types.

The effects of such trends often inadvertently cause young girls and women to skip meals to achieve the “ideal” feminine body. “It’s made me realize just how screwed up advertisements are and the people that we see in them and I want to give my body what it needs and I don’t want to be comparing myself to this unattainable goal,” Mulvaney shared. The desire to neglect nourishment in hopes of looking different is something Mulvaney herself understands. She warns her audience no body type is worth starving for. 

Social platforms have become a breeding ground for hate and bigotry. It has provided abhorrent individuals with a worldwide stage to share their prejudice.

The impact of social media and influencer culture is also seen on a local level. Bilal Ahmed, a prospective influencer and Pleasant Valley graduate, has 3.7 million followers on TikTok. “It’s disheartening to see people misuse their platform in such harmful ways,” Ahmed stated. Considering how much power internet personalities have over their followers, a change in the content created by these individuals is desperately needed. 

Recently, internet-personality Andrew Tate has deservedly received backlash for his homophobic and sexist content. Before being banned from three major social platforms in August, Tate was able to indoctrinate a large population of young boys with his statements. 

In contrast, the most striking attribute of Mulvaney’s content is its positivity. She combats hate with kindness and truly attempts to see the best in peoplesomething young people on social media can stand to learn from. 

Familiar with self-acceptance and body positivity herself, Mulvaney preaches the importance of self-love. She goes a step further to remind her followers to extend this affection towards themselves even when they don’t like the way they look. “It’s torturous to look at myself in the mirror and see somebody that I don’t wanna look like” Mulvaney commented. Influencers like Mulvaney have encouraged their followers to practice self-love even in an increasingly material world.

In just seven months of social media presence, Mulvaney’s words of affirmation have impacted countless social media users.

PV junior Brie Howell is an avid follower of Mulvaney. “It’s incredibly empowering to see a woman influencer who’s so open and confident no matter what’s going on in her life. From watching Dylan I’ve learned I may not know what lies ahead but I can always face it with confidence,” she said. 

In a world inundated with technology and social media, negativity has become ubiquitous. Seeing positive content can improve users’ self-image and mood. So the next time you open up TikTok and Instagram, consider following more influencers like Mulvaney.