Jonathan Van Ness: Influencer of the Year

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[Originally published on the Dash Hudson blog.]

There is a plethora of influencers and celebrities gracing our Instagram feeds every day — but one celebrity influencer truly stands out from the crowd.

We first met him when Netflix rebooted “Queer Eye” with a new fab five taking over Atlanta. Since then, he’s won over our hearts and made our world less heteronormative. 🙌

Jonathan Van Ness (JVN) is a sparkly, positive, meme-generating breath of fresh air that has given a whole new meaning to celebrity influencers. JVN has 3.8 million followers on Instagram, his personal hashtag has been used more than 27K times on Instagram, and his posts have on average, racked up a 13% engagement rate! To put that into perspective, we consider any engagement rate over 1 percent to be successful. 🤯

JVN isn’t just another celebrity influencer endorsing products on their feed or showing up to events for publicity. He is an LGBTQ+ activist, role model to thousands of young queer people, and an icon that is helping to normalize being nonconforming, genderqueer, and non-binary. JVN resonates with people from all walks of life, and he has openly talked about how his rise to fame has been hard to deal with. With a mission to stay true to his core self and beliefs, he is genuinely himself in all circumstances — a refreshing change in any social space.

Editors note: JVN identifies as non-binary, however, he has stated his preferred pronouns are he, him and his.

JVN has a reach like no other. He has become a magnet for brands who are looking to support a good cause and leverage his influence to improve communities. In honor of World Pride 2019 held in NYC, Hinge threw a Pride Prom. The idea came about after the dating app company surveyed its members and discovered over 90% of Hinge members who identify as LGBTQ+ believe that proms need to be more inclusive and inviting for all, moving away from prom night clichés, to create an experience that celebrates everyone. Hosted by JVN himself, Hinge’s Pride Prom raised $12,150! Hinge matched the amount raised and all proceeds went to the It Gets Better Project, an organization that is committed to uplift, empower, and connect LGBTQ+ youth.

Mark your calendars for the breakout celebrity influencer’s memoir, Over the Top, set to release on September 24th of this year. The book will give us insight into how he became who he is today, beginning with his small Midwestern town upbringing. There is no magic formula for insta fame, each case is unique — but JVN happens to be our personal fav.

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