The (Much Deserved) Rise of the Monet McMichael

The rise of TikTok, Twitch, and Instagram, content creators, has made way for more diversity in the social media world. There appears to be a notable increase in BIPOC creators making more content and getting more attention (rightfully so). Their rise is more than a reflection of the changing demographics of the internet, although that is also the case — it is also a response to the systemic exclusion and erasure of BIPOC voices in social media over time. With technology more accessible than ever,  internet connection has made it possible for people to create and share content with a global audience. This increases new ways for BIPOC creators who may have faced barriers before to enter traditional media industries and express their interests.

Such an influencer who has found recent success is Ahnesti Monet McMichael, who is a POC content creator making videos on TikTok, Youtube videos, and posting quite regularly on Instagram. She has a strong mid size following, and her followers are happy with her regular content. She has recently been mentioned in popular magazine Cosmopolitan, and multiple different Instagram accounts, congratulating her on her success as an influencer. In the beginning of this year, I was concerned for the amount of work POC women have to put in to achieve the same success as White women. While I still believe that is true, I think with the rise of the BIPOC community in media in the past few years, the gap between people of colour and their White counterparts is slowly (very slowly) but surely, bridging. Monet is a good example of that. She is attending the same brand trips as Alix Earle, a White influencer who found much more immediate success than McMichael, but they now appear to be on a similar level. They went on a trip together with the popular makeup brand Tarte. 

Monet’s social media posts highlighted the Cosmopolitan article and the Klout9 post about her, and as a POC myself, I am very happy to see a fellow woman of colour thrive in a space she loves and feels comfortable in. BIPOC content creators like Monet McMichael continue to challenge traditional media norms. For instance, they are rejecting the strict beauty standards that are promoted via fashion and beauty conglomerates. They are creating content that promote a range of different bodies, skin tones, shades, hair textures, and much much more. They continue to call out ways in which social media companies are exploiting and appropriating BIPOC values and culture, without ever giving appropriate credit to the artists, or compensation. When BIPOC creators like Monet create their own content based on their personal needs, they reclaim their voice, their identity and fight against the erasure of their very being. 

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