Who are the Heroes of Our Generation?
When you think of heroes of the past, the likes of George Washington, Alexander the Great and Joan of Arc may spring to mind. Each of the legendary figures is renowned for changing the course of history and inspiring others. Today’s heroes may look slightly different to these iconic figures, though. Nowadays, people look up to leading figures online on websites such as YouTube and Twitch, or celebrities who are highly active on Twitter and Instagram. So, who would the youth of today class as their heroes?
Rihanna is one of the most recognisable and successful pop stars on the planet, but she hasn’t risen to the status of modern hero for her music alone. The Barbadian singer is considered to be one of the most influential people on the internet, with 29.7 million followers on Instagram. When Rihanna posts something online, the masses tend to heed what she has to say. For instance, earlier this year she denounced an ad on Snapchat which had used her image to make light of domestic violence. Snap Inc. subsequently dropped $800 million in value. The 30-year-old is now an ambassador on behalf of the government of Barbados and is responsible for promoting education, tourism, and investment.
There are plenty of famous YouTubers who could be considered heroes for today’s generation, and it is hard to single out just one. But KSI is up there with the best and his stock is increasingly rising. The 25-year-old British entertainer’s YouTube videos have surpassed four billion views and he has more than 19 million subscribers. The man who started out by streaming videos while playing FIFA is easily one of the world’s most famous YouTubers, and he is inspiring other youngsters to follow in his footsteps. Now, KSI has ventured into music, and his debut EP Keep Up reached number one in the UK R&B Albums Chart in 2016.
Shaun King is a civil rights activist and writer who gained fame alongside the Black Lives Matter movement in 2014. The American journalist took to Twitter to post details about the death of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old African-American man who was shot to death by a police officer. King had 100,000 followers on the social media platform at the time but nowadays that number is well in excess of one million. King uses his huge following to spread his messages and raise awareness of the struggles of minorities and people who face hardship. If the human race is ever to achieve equality, it needs more influential thinkers like King.
In an age where keeping fit and staying healthy is the norm, there are thousands of gurus across the globe trying to help people achieve their goals. Perhaps the most famous of all of them is Kayla Itsines, a 27-year-old Australian personal trainer, author, and entrepreneur. She is well-known for her Bikini Body Guide fitness eBooks, as well as her workout app, Sweat with Kayla. The latter generated more revenue than any other fitness app in 2016, and led to Time Magazine naming the athlete as one of the 30 most influential people on the internet. Itsines has eight million followers on Facebook and 5.5 million on Instagram. By helping people to get healthy and prolong their lives, Itsines could be considered a hero.
In the age of the internet, there is a strong platform for people to become seriously influential. These are some of the celebrities who may be classed as modern heroes, and they all have attributes that others would like to replicate.