September 12, 2023
In a rapidly evolving digital landscape, where influencers have become the modern-day storytellers, a heartwarming shift is taking place. Beyond the glitz and glamour of youthful faces dominating our screens, a new wave of voices is making its presence felt - one that resonates with authenticity, wisdom, and a lifetime of experiences. These are the senior influencers, affectionately known as "granfluencers," who are redefining the art of connecting and influencing across generations.
In an era where platforms like Instagram and TikTok have transcended mere entertainment, granfluencers are using these spaces to challenge societal norms, reshape the meaning of aging, and inspire everyone to live their best lives, regardless of age. Here are just a few of the remarkable granfluencers who are making a mark on social media and showing that age is truly just a number.
Larry Canam never expected anyone would watch his how-to cocktail videos on TikTok, but the 69-year-old ex-military man has now amassed 5.6 million followers. Canam built a following by personally connecting with his viewers. He responds to nearly every comment and takes recipe requests for the drinks he makes, from cosmopolitans to margaritas to peanut Butterfinger milkshakes. One of his most popular videos, which reached 61.6 million views, showed how to make a handmade peanut butter milkshake.
The foodie side of TikTok knows all about Cooking with Lynja. Viral sensation Lynn Yamada Davis is a retired MIT engineer who began making videos with her son behind the camera back in 2020. Suddenly, the TikTok star's simple recipes swarmed the internet, with her page garnering 17.3 million followers and approximately 301.2 million likes to date. Making cooking more accessible to people is important to Davis, who explains that she really didn’t experiment in the kitchen until retiring in 2016.
Barbara "Babs" Costello did not plan to be the internet's grandma. The 74-year-old influencer has taken social media by a storm with her seemingly never-ending supply of lifestyle tips and tricks. Whether she's talking about stripping pillows or storing bacon grease, 6.9 million fans across TikTok and Instagram excitedly watch and try Costello's methods. With hundreds of cooking and cleaning videos on social media, it seems like Costello never runs out of hacks.
In his offline life, Bo Petterson is a dad to his six adult children. But online, he is a father figure to millions. With the TikTok account @DadAdviceFromBo, one man from Leavenworth, Washington, has shared tips and tricks on navigating adulthood with 3.2 million followers around the world. Petterson has advice on so many things, including how to change a tire, mow a lawn, patch a hole in drywall, avoid debt and build up credit, and he even offers his perspectives on mental health.
Kenneth Jary, a veteran from Willernie, goes by "Patriotic Kenny" on TikTok, where his positivity and emotional openness have proved irresistible to his 2.6 million followers. On his TikTok channel, @patriotickenny, Jary’s neighbor Amanda Kline, who runs his account, helps him connect with other veterans, the military community, and beyond.
With a fanbase of 3.4 million Instagram followers, Helen Winkle, also known as Baddie Winkle, is the most followed elderly influencer of Instagram. She has amassed huge followers since 2013 and will continue to do so. The funny yet cool tagline of “Stealing your man since 1928” Winkle has brought great success to her.
Part of the magic of these creators is their brazen embrace of the aging process. They’re not trying to be 21. Instead, they’re genuinely enjoying this phase of their lives and bringing audiences along for the ride. Whether they’re embracing their wrinkles and gray hair or poking fun at some of their setbacks, senior influencers comfort younger viewers about the prospect of getting older. They not only inspire but empower people of all ages to redefine what is possible, embrace aging, and live life to the fullest.