Influencers have an undeniable impact on their audiences, but it’s not just the audiences they are influencing. Some influencers are even compelling brands to think outside the box. Take Suta’s Navratri campaign with Premananda Sahoo, for example. The Odissi dancer is already smashing gender stereotypes in his journey as a classical dancer. With an influencer-based campaign, the saree brand intended to set forward a strong message on gender inclusivity and body positivity while also creatively capturing the essence of Navratri. The brand collaborated with individuals who have inspiring personal stories, Prem Sahoo being one of them, and the campaign reached around 1M accounts in 9 days.
Influencers like Prem Sahoo are going beyond clichés and smashing stereotypes with their content. They are in every field, doing what they do best and putting their skills to good use. Sure enough, brands like Suta are recognising this and collaborating with them to break stereotypes too. Here are some examples of popular stereotypes that influencers are breaking:
Only Millennials and Gen Zs are influencers
Influencers are often perceived as young, gadget-savvy individuals who only know how to look pretty in front of the camera. Sure, there are many millennials who have made a mark as influencers, but their age isn’t what makes them who they are. Their success rests on the connection they have with their followers, their communication skills, and the quality of content they create. Granfluencers, for instance, are defying all age-related stereotypes and proving that age has nothing to do with career choice or chances. These senior influencers are creating a wave of change, showing that creativity only matures with age and experience. And brands in different sectors are taking notice of this.
Granfluencers and kidfluencers are proving that an influencer’s success depends less on their age and more on the connection they have with their followers, their communication skills, and the quality of content they create. Click To Tweet
On similar lines, we have kidfluencers who are charming people on social media platforms with their cuteness and childlike appeal. But that’s not all. Kidfluencers are following their passion, creating high-quality content, and cracking brand deals. Little Chef Kicha has been impressing the online world with his culinary skills and simple recipes. At six, his Mickey Mouse mango ice cream video was acquired by Facebook for a promotional campaign. The USD 2,000 contract earned him a feature on the ‘Ellen DeGeneres Show’, NBC’s ‘Little Big Shots’, and many more. He had also been roped in by snacking brand Double Horse as a brand ambassador.
Beauty, make-up, and grooming are for women influencers
Influencer Ankush Bahuguna is best known for creating funny content. Through his alternate handle, @wingitwithankush, he shares a range of beauty-related content. From make-up tutorials to recreating celebrity looks, he has it all. He’s vocal about genderless beauty and has been inspiring his audience to embrace make-up as an expression of self-love. While Ankush’s expertise has won him many campaigns with beauty brands like ColorBar and Nykaa, his collaborations are not limited to brands. He also collaborates with influencers and budding artists from other fields, creating an ecosystem that speaks up against gender stereotypes.
Over the years, cosmetics brands have successfully conditioned society to comply with their notion of gender roles and definition of perfect beauty. As such, we still see a lot of beauty brands favouring women influencers to promote their products. The good thing is that these gender boundaries are being challenged and gradually dissolved, and male influencers like Ankush are shining through with the change.
While the beauty industry predominantly engages women influencers, progressive brands are challenging gender stereotypes and promoting genderless beauty by collaborating with male beauty influencers. Click To Tweet
LGBTQ+ remains behind the scenes
The LGBTQ+ community has undeniably been subject to a lot of gender stereotyping, since their identities do not conform to conservative social and gender norms. While they have historically been forced to work behind the scenes in the fashion, beauty, and entertainment industries, things are now slowly changing. LGBTQ+ influencers are stepping out of the shadows, telling their stories to the world, expressing their creativity, spreading awareness, and educating audiences.
LGBTQ+ influencers are taking forward the community’s combat against gender stereotypes. They are telling their stories to the world, expressing their creativity, spreading awareness, and educating audiences. Click To Tweet
A noteworthy mention would be Suruj Pankaj Rajkhowa (@glorious_luna), a talented, artistic, androgynous model who has embraced drag as creative expression. With a bold voice for change and unique content, the influencer has bagged a variety of brand collaborations, including H&M x Myntra’s Brighter Than Ever and Bumble’s Big Little Move campaigns.
Dr Trinetra Haldar Gummaraju is another remarkable trans influencer whose inspiring content is gaining popularity. The 23-year-old doctor is creating awareness against transphobia and educating her audience with insights into the frequently misunderstood aspects of being transgender. The influencer recently collaborated with The Body Shop India for the brand’s #SpreadTheLight and Kaya Clinics’ #BeautifulIsYou campaigns.
Gaming influencers are all men
Women in Games Hall of Fame inductee Poornima Seetharaman set a precedent in the gaming world when she became the first Indian woman to receive the award. She is also the director of design for US-based gaming brand Zynga. Dipica Jerome is a 20-year-old gamer who also owns a gaming cafe in Mumbai. Girlaxy players Vidushi Singh Suryavanshi and Apollonia Hannah were instrumental in forming Girlaxy India.
Women influencers in the gaming industry have been determined to bring about a change in the way games are designed and are succeeding in compelling developers to include gender-inclusive elements in their games. Click To Tweet
The number of women gamers is increasing worldwide, and Indian gamers are not behind in the trend. In fact, a study reported that 43% of the Indian mobile gaming audience were women. Professional gamer women in India substantiate that gaming is no longer a medium of entertainment that only men enjoy. The gaming industry has been observant of this, and brands are incorporating gender-inclusive elements into their products. However, gaming brands are still falling short in tapping into this community of influencers, which we would definitely like to see happening in the future.
Only men rough it out on the road
Travel influencers do have a bone for adventure. Still, we usually see female influencers on the glamorous side of it — sharing content with splendid locations in the backdrop, be it a luxurious hotel room, a must-visit restaurant, and so on. While male influencers also do all that, hitting the backroads on a motor vehicle seems to be more of a fit for them. However, that’s not the case anymore.
Adventure travel is not just for men. Female travel influencers are hitting the backroads on motor vehicles and quite literally riding past that stereotype. They are inspiring young girls and some are training them to ride bikes too. Click To Tweet
Roshni Misbah, a.k.a. Hijabi Biker, is quite literally riding past that stereotype. She is inspiring young girls to cruise through prejudices and discrimination and training them to ride bikes. Owing to her love for superbikes, badass attitude, smart fashion sense, and enigmatic personality, she has been a choice for brands across industries. She has quite a few collaborations in her basket, from engine oil and make-up brands to mobile and e-commerce brands. She was also featured in Mercedes’ #BestNeverRest campaign.
Over the years, we have seen numerous influencers emerge and succeed. These influencers can present a brand’s products or services to the audience in their own unique way of communication. They help humanise brands, making them relevant and relatable. And there’s more to an influencer than what meets the eye. Influencers do not just take selfies for a living. They are the voice that urges the audience to listen. By addressing a personal pain point, starting a conversation on a cause, and going against social norms, influencers are doing things their way. And, in the process, they are shaping a revolution against stereotypes.