Social Media Stars Making a Social Impact: Why & How Raven Ross Is Helping To Change Our World

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You have to get out of your comfort zone- I’m still working on this one especially when it comes to networking and being social. But I know this is something I have to get over ASAP!

As a part of our series about leaders who are using their social media platform to make a significant social impact, we had the pleasure of interviewing Raven Ross.

Raven Ross is a masters Pilates instructor and content creator reaching more than 1.8MM community members and followers. She recently moved to New York City, but was previously based in Dallas, where she was a fan favorite on season 3 of Netflix’s Love Is Blind. Raven is a trained dancer with degrees in political science and dance. As a small business owner currently expanding her diverse Pilates community (@piltesbodyhotties), she is reaching people at various stages of their fitness journey by offering easily accessible, affordable and tailored programming.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

My career journey began with a deep-rooted passion for promoting inclusivity, self-care, and self-confidence. As I developed my platform, Pilates Body by Raven Ross, I realized the transformative power of social media. I wanted to create a space where everyone, regardless of their background or body type, could feel empowered to prioritize their well-being. This drive was fueled by personal experiences and a desire to challenge societal stigmas.

My partnership with Sculptra — an FDA-approved injectable that helps smooth cheek wrinkles, smile lines and improve overall skin quality/glow — was a pivotal moment in my career, as it aligned perfectly with my mission of embracing self-care. It allowed me to not only share a product I believe in but also to advocate for personal choices and self-confidence while breaking down the barriers associated with injectable treatments.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began this career?

I think the most interesting story I have so far is how I met my manager! It was just meant to be. She reached out to me with a fantastic intro email, and we had a great meeting, but I was super busy at the time juggling a day job and life. I didn’t follow up with her and a few months later she reached back out in a time where I was starting to feel like I needed a partner in building this community. We ended up working on a project and clicking immediately! It just goes to show timing and persistence are key in business!

It has been said that our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

One of my first partnerships was with a company that turned out to be a little controversial. I made a big mistake not doing my research beforehand. But my manager sprang into action and got me out of it! It could have been a lot worse, but the lesson is ALWAYS do your research.

You have been blessed with success in a career path that can be challenging. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path, but seem daunted by the prospect of failure?

My best advice is to make a plan and then really go for it! Starting with a strong direction is the best thing you can do. Be yourself ALWAYS and ask for help when you need it. Anything that’s worth it will be challenging and seem daunting, especially as you’re scaling. Stay on the course!

Let’s now jump to the core focus of our interview. Can you describe to our readers how you are using your platform to make a significant social impact?

I’m all about fostering a diverse and inclusive community through my platform, namely by offering variety of Pilates workouts for all body types, with a strong focus on size inclusivity and body positivity. My community can watch my weekly live sessions on my Instagram page and YouTube channel.

My goal is to create a space that boosts people’s self-esteem and prioritizes well-being. Plus, I love sharing my favorite products with my audience. Take my partnership with Sculptra, for instance, it perfectly complements the idea of feeling great, doing what’s right for you, and embracing self-care, and glowing from the inside out (with a little help from Sculptra).

Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted by this cause?

Most of this beautiful community I serve is made up of strong moms. And it’s extra special to me when new moms reach out to me. Hearing how Pilates can transform their lives and bodies and made them feel more confident and stronger means the world to me. I truly believe Pilates can benefit both mom and baby. And seeing how my work has even the smallest impact on these women’s lives makes it so much more meaningful.

Was there a tipping point that made you decide to focus on this particular area? Can you share a story about that?

I think naturally I’m very passionate about women’s’ wellness. In the past I experimented with workouts like “Pilates for Athletes” and I just wasn’t as passionate. I knew I wasn’t really making a difference. But once I started to focus on women’s wellness and tailoring workouts to this part of my community the positive feedback made the decision obvious.

Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?

Normalize daily movement as a component of self-care

Provide zero cost resources on self-care and wellness to underserved communities.

Amplify more voices of color in the health and wellness area

Why do you think social media in particular has the power to create social change and create a positive impact on humanity?

Social media has the remarkable potential to create social change and a positive impact on society, as exemplified by my own channel’s approach. By fostering a diverse and inclusive community through platforms like Instagram and YouTube, we can reach and connect with people from various backgrounds. I like to focus on size inclusivity and body positivity, promoting a sense of belonging and self-acceptance.

The power of social media lies in its ability to amplify these messages and create a safe space for individuals to come together, boost their self-esteem, and prioritize their well-being. In addition, it provides a space for sharing insights and ideas that can make a genuine difference in people’s lives. For instance, my partnership with Sculptra and showcasing my Sculptra glow not only supports self-care but also works to destigmatize injectable treatments as well as promote self-confidence, and personal choices. Through this combination of inclusivity, self-care, and positive representation, social media can foster meaningful social change, encouraging a healthier relationship with one’s body and mind.

What specific strategies have you been using to promote and advance this cause? Can you recommend any good tips for people who want to follow your lead and use their social platform for a social good?

I think the best way you can use your social platform for social good is by really understanding your audience and identifying how you can truly add value to their lives. I’m not a politician or educated in social policy but I do study my audience deeply and try to provide the highest quality resources I can. I know Pilates won’t save the world, but my hope is that creating an inclusive and safe place for women to become their best selves will increase social good.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why? Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Don’t be scared to START!- When I first started my YouTube channel, I was so nervous of what people would say. The fear was almost paralyzing and held me back for so long. You have to just go for it!

2. It’ll NEVER be the perfect time- When I first started my journey, I was hesitant about the smallest decisions because I wanted everything to be “perfect”.

3. Ask for help from an expert- This is something that I just recently started doing. If I have a question or need a recommendation, instead of using my time to research, I reach out to the people or experts I know! Use your network!

4. You have to get out of your comfort zone- I’m still working on this one especially when it comes to networking and being social. But I know this is something I have to get over ASAP!

5. Take rest when you need to- I’m a workaholic so this one still applies to myself! Know when it’s time to take a break because rest can be SO healing.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

If I could inspire a movement, it would center around promoting self-care and self-confidence, all while emphasizing the importance of physical health. Self-care goes beyond the superficial; it’s about fostering a healthy relationship with our bodies and minds.

For example, injectable treatments like Sculptra, which boosts natural collagen regrowth to help you feel more like yourself, can enhance self-esteem. However, there’s often a stigma attached to these procedures. My movement would aim to break down these barriers by emphasizing that taking steps to feel good about oneself is perfectly valid. We should encourage people to make choices that boost their self-confidence, embrace their unique beauty, and prioritize their physical health. By doing so, we’re reshaping the narrative around beauty, health and self-confidence for the better.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a power lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

I’d LOVE to have a power lunch with Oprah. I grew up watching her show and watching her build her empire. She’s so inspiring to me and I’d have a million questions to ask her!

How can our readers further follow your online?

@pilatesbodyraven (Personal Instagram)

@pilatesbodyhotties (Community Instagram)

PilatesBodyRaven (YouTube)

This was very meaningful. Thank you so much!

Social Media Stars Making a Social Impact: Why & How Raven Ross Is Helping To Change Our World was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.