Amelie Zilber’s brand can’t be distilled into just one category. Beauty, nor lifestyle, nor politics alone truly encapsulates the space she has curated with her online presence, but rather a blend of all three. Her social media influence, in short, is vast.
Zilber initially found her footing with TwoMinutesTimes, a short-form news platform that fractionated the major stories of the day into bite-sized pieces for followers. It wasn’t until much later — roughly six years after she developed that space — that she found an affinity for social media outside of the political realm.
“This is not new to me, per se,” Zilber said. “But I didn’t really start getting such a committed and supportive and engaged platform until the pandemic hit, mainly because of the election…I was so desperate to see Trump leave office that I was dead set on using every possibility and every foot, arm, and limb that I had through social media to get young people to care and to vote and to stand up and use their voice in the election.”
But it didn’t stop with the election. Since building her audience on her personal platforms (and outside of her former TwoMinuteTimes days), Zilber has tackled everything from street harassment, the special Senate elections, oil drilling in the Arctic, and beyond in her TikTok videos and Instagram captions.
Though Zilber still frequently uses her social accounts to spread the word and generate action, she found that the answer to “Who is Amelie Zilber?” could have an even more expansive answer on the internet in the last year.
“I think that my goals have evolved a lot over the past year,” Zilber said. “I was super set on becoming a Middle Eastern policymaker, working at a think tank and formulating policy behind the scenes. I envisioned myself doing that; I couldn’t see myself doing anything else…[then] the pandemic hit, I started putting a lot more attention into my social media, and my goals basically just completely changed.”
While Zilber can still envision herself taking on policy-making (at least, someday), continuing to develop an engaged community online is at the forefront of her priorities. In particular, Zilber believes there could be opportunities that lie in utilizing the online community she has built to enter the political world in a different way, whether that be speaking or direct engagement.
This is all because Zilber believes young people “intrinsically have a desire to help others,” explaining that social media has equipped the up-and-coming youth with hope for the future and the notion that change is possible. Though she isn’t speaking in schools and on stages just yet, Zilber is aware that her existing platform is one that still influences, and she tries to choose what she places at its forefront accordingly.
This is especially true of the products and services she boosts in her feed. “I’m very conscious about what I promote to my community,” Zilber said. “You will not see me promoting brands that are ethically not aligned with my morals and values.”
Naturally, Zilber decided it was ready to promote something of her own with a vegan, cruelty-free brand. And with that, the 19-year-old Middle Eastern foreign policy major’s empire just grew by one (collection). In collaboration with mom Christina’s company Jouer Cosmetics, Zilber developed her own shades of Jouer’s Blush & Bloom Cheek + Lip Duo, adding a personal touch to the product line as part of her 19th birthday celebration.
“I noticed that my mom would come out with these cheek and lip duos and I was obsessed with them, but I never really found the right color,” Zilber said. “My mom tends to go with more nudie pinks, but I love bright colors; I love bright pinks and bright roses. I had been mixing all of her different colors together to create the one that worked perfectly for me, and she was like, ‘What are you doing?’ And I was like, ‘Oh, I’m just mixing a bunch of these to create the perfect color.’”
It was there that the idea for Zilber’s shades — appropriately named Be Loud and Be Strong — was born. Zilber chose the words for her collection because of their ties to empowerment and using one’s voice, a sentiment she intends to hold true to both on and offline. Essentially, the product created a best-of-both-worlds scenario for Zilber; she had the opportunity to break into the beauty space while continuing to bolster her outspoken brand.
Zilber is a firm believer in wearing makeup with the intention to highlight beauty rather than cover flaws, a struggle she found she had prior to introspection brought on by the pandemic. “I used to kind of throw on a bunch of makeup when I got ready for school,” Zilber said. “And then the pandemic hit, and I was like, ‘What was I doing?’”
The launch of the cheek and lip duo doesn’t mean that an original beauty line is in the cards just yet, though she knows she would start with light shades and subtle looks if she were to dive in.
As for what will come next for Zilber’s post-birthday and cosmetic collaboration, she plans on taking the “be loud” and “be strong” mantras to heart with outreach geared directly toward strengthening the bond between inner and outer beauty.
“I would love to speak to womxn directly and empower them to find their own beauty within,” Zilber said. “Encourage them to develop their characters and their personalities and their passions and find what they love and connect that with what makes them feel beautiful on the outside…encourage all others to validate themselves from within by curating their passions and paying attention to the world around them.”