Transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney has made a significant mark on Forbes’ prestigious ’30 Under 30′ list, garnering recognition for her resilience in the face of adversity, particularly in the aftermath of the controversial Bud Light campaign.
Mulvaney, a 26-year-old actress and LGBTQ+ activist, shared the digital cover of Forbes on her Instagram, exclaiming, ‘Businesswoman special!!! This was my dream, and I couldn’t be more grateful. Buckle up, because we’re just getting started.’
The online article highlights her viral ‘Days of Girlhood’ TikTok series, which chronicled her gender transition and accumulated over 1 billion views. It also delves into Mulvaney’s involvement with the Bud Light campaign, a high-profile venture that attracted both praise and criticism. Forbes notes that she “found herself at the center of an unexpected political crossfire” following the beer advertisement. Despite the initial backlash and boycotts, Mulvaney managed to secure lucrative deals with major brands such as Nike and Mac, earning a staggering $2 million in promotional work this year.
The Bud Light ad, which debuted in March, certainly stirred the pot and cost the company nearly $400 million in U.S. sales. Mulvaney’s reflections on this experience shed light on her growing sense of responsibility when working with brands. She emphasizes the importance of mutual respect, not just for herself but also for her community. In her own words, “I now realize that when I work with a brand, they will forever be a part of my story, going forward.”
Being recognized by Forbes was an incredible milestone for Mulvaney, who expressed her excitement by stating, “I think I am becoming a bit of a businesswoman. As much as I love the creative side, I love getting smarter: I want to know everything, and how it all works.” This newfound success, she explains, has propelled her into various aspects of the industry, including producing.
— Forbes (@Forbes) November 28, 2023
Despite her rapid ascent to fame, Mulvaney humbly acknowledges that she never intended to be a spokesperson for the trans community. She candidly admits, “I just ask for grace as I am learning so many things and navigating not only transness but this newfound success.” The power of social media, she notes, is its ability to catapult individuals into the spotlight at an astonishing pace.
With a desire to be more selective and deliberate in her activism, Mulvaney’s journey is one of self-discovery and self-improvement. She underscores the importance of thoughtful responses over knee-jerk reactions, a lesson imparted by her agent: ‘Respond, don’t react.’
The past year has been a whirlwind for Mulvaney. In October 2022, she had the honor of visiting the White House and meeting President Joe Biden. On April 1, she made headlines once again when Bud Light unveiled a special can featuring her face as part of their March Madness promotion. The ensuing backlash persisted for months, leading to several Bud Light executives being placed on administrative leave.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz has taken a keen interest in the campaign, launching an inquiry into the matter. In a letter addressed to Captiv8, the ad firm responsible for the Mulvaney-Bud Light partnership, Cruz expressed his concerns about marketing alcohol through influencers without proper age gating or disclosure. He noted that Captiv8 has positioned itself as a leading agency for influencer marketing, especially targeting Gen Z.
Mulvaney’s journey is a testament to her resilience and determination, as she continues to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of social media influence and advocacy. Her story serves as a reminder that success can come at lightning speed, but with it comes an increased responsibility to tread carefully in the world of advertising and activism.