TikTok change makers take on the world

Big Shaq: Michael Dapaah is famous for his comedy song, “Man’s not hot”. © Getty

Are TikTokers our future leaders? The app has announced its top voices of change of 2020. These creators used the platform to shine a light on issues such as racism and disability.

What’s happening

Lucy sits at her dressing table putting on her makeup. With a careful sweep of the brush, she applies the eyeshadow. Then, she carefully draws in her eyebrows.

Makeup tutorials are a popular form of video on TikTok, but this one is very different from the rest: Lucy is blind.

Find out more

TikTok has announced its top “change makers” of 2020. It is a list of some of the most inspiring people using the app.

Lucy is just one of them. She uses the app to share disability confidence with other blind and visually impaired people. She also hopes to show others what life is like as a blind person.

Another change maker is Nikki Lilly. She uses her account to help other people with facial disfigurements to feel beautiful.

Michael Dapaah is using TikTok to talk about inequality. Also known as Big Shaq, he is famous for “Man’s not hot” and uses his comedy character to address racism in society.

TikTok has more than 680 million monthly users and #changemaker has millions of daily views.

Are TikTokers our future leaders?

Some say…

Yes! TikTok gives a voice to the younger generation. TikTokers speak out about important issues and reach millions of people. These changemakers are just a few of many using the short videos to make the world a better place. They are creative, funny and inspiring. These are definitely the people who should lead us in the future.

Others think…

Not really. TikTok was designed as a bit of fun. For most people, that’s all it is. These people are raising awareness about problems, but you cannot create change just using social media. The real leaders of the future are the people who are acting now and inspiring others to join them, like Greta Thunberg or Autumn Peltier .

You Decide

  1. Is social media really just a form of showing off?

Activities

  1. Make your own TikTok video about a subject you feel strongly about.

Some People Say...

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.”

John C Maxwell, American author and speaker

What do you think?

Word Watch

Tutorials
A short lesson that teaches you how to do something. In her tutorials, Lucy shows her viewers how she uses touch to work out where to put on her makeup.
Nikki Lilly
Nikki Lilly Christou is 16 and has a rare condition that changes her physical appearance. She first became famous for her YouTube videos, which she started at age eight. She has a show on CBBC and has won awards for her charity work and bravery.
Disfigurements
Something which changes the appearance of someone or something. Nikki Lilly has a facial disfigurement and speaks out about what it is like living with a “visible difference”.
Big Shaq
Michael Dapaah’s best known comedy character. Big Shaq is a fictional rapper whose most famous song is the viral hit, “Man’s not hot”.
Autumn Peltier
Autumn is a First Nation Canadian who fights for clean water for other indigenous peoples in her country. She has been a “water warrior” since she was eight and regularly meets with country leaders.

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