Badass Women: Youtubers

Sometimes I cannot believe the wealth of amazing people doing amazing things on the Internet, especially through the new-media formats featured on Youtube.

I was introduced to the Youtube community in 2012 when my friend posted a video by Grace Helbig entitled “Tampons.” This. was. hilarious. I immediately began to watch more of her videos and that uniquely obsessive way that only Youtube can induce. This began a semester filled with nights of falling down the rabbit hole of Youtube as I began to watch more videos from more Youtubers until I found my favorites.

Maybe one day I’ll write a longer post processing the power, creativity and general usefulness of web content creators and the Youtube community. But for right now, I’d like to celebrate some of the amazing women on the site that not only produce wonderful, educational and hilarious content, but also use their Internet-fame for good rather than using it to exploit the love of their fans. And there are so many amazing, beautiful women making videos, but these are my absolute favorites.

1. Grace Helbig — “It’s Grace” 

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This beautiful, hilarious, loving woman is my absolute favorite Youtuber of all time. As I said before, she was the first Youtuber I watched when she was still hosting “Daily Grace” with My Damn Channel. Throughout the time I have watched Grace, I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing her take on different projects (like #NoFilter shows and “Not Too Deep”), as well as new types of content for her channel when she left My Damn Channel. But through it all, she hasn’t lost that inherent Grace-ness that we all know and love (the wonderfully bad jokes, the hazing, the love, and the times when she’s self-deprecating but just owning it at the same time.) I just love her stream-of-consciousness commentary on her own style, habits, etc., because I often think the same things about myself throughout the day.

Unlike other Youtubers, Grace works very hard to keep her personal life private as far as relationships, drama, etc. I really appreciate her integrity on this because I have watched several daily vloggers and just feel that that amount of transparency can be very dangerous. Like many other Youtubers in her circle, she has used her platform to talk about a lot of issues (like bullying and homophobia) while still keeping it fun. And she’s made movies, and she’s written books and she’s been on TV. What can’t this girl do?

I just want us to be best friends.

2. Mamrie Hart — “You Deserve a Drink”

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Through Grace I learned about Mamrie who is such a clever, self-assured, confident woman and I aspire to be as amazing as her. Mamrie began on Youtube with her show “You Deserve a Drink,” which Grace helped to produce. On the show Mamrie creates a special drink for someone in pop culture, complete with all the amazing, relevant puns. At first I wasn’t sure if I would be able to watch much of her videos because I’m not totally into raunchy humor (and some of her early stuff definitely walks the line.) But her jokes are so clever and well-timed that it just all works so well.

Out of the Youtube Holy Trinity, her memoir was by far my favorite (so far.) Her general life philosophy of drinking well, laughing lots, being yourself and not giving a fuck about what people think just inspired me so much to embrace myself and life in general. Mamrie hasn’t really made many serious videos pertaining to societal issues, but to me her main goal in producing content is to encourage us to focus on the good and the funny in the face of so much awfulness  — a message I totally support. She wrote both of the Holy Trinity’s movies Camp Takota and Dirty 30, and the way she communicates her personal experiences in her writing is also something I hope to emulate in my own writing.

Also, she’s a total dog mom, to which I can definitely relate.

3. Hannah Hart — “My Drunk Kitchen”

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The final member of the Youtube Holy Trinity is just so sweet and cute, but also a badass, extremely compassionate spokesperson for many issues facing the world today. I eventually came across Hannah’s show “My Drunk Kitchen” through Grace (again.) “My Drunk Kitchen” is pretty hilarious, especially when she has guests on the show because their reactions to her puns are just the best.

But the main reason I love Hannah is that she is so honest about her feelings about things, whether it’s the election, gun violence, LGBTQ acceptance and more. She is so eloquent when talking about these issues and explaining why you should care and why you should do something to change it. She is also a strong advocate of being yourself and doing what you love — I feel like every video she makes has this message just running along underneath the food and alcohol. And, along with Grace and Mamrie, all three of these woman are such a great role model for female friendship. It is so great to watch all three of them in a video because they are so loving and supportive of each other in everything they do and they laugh and have fun while doing it all. This is what you should look for in your friendships.

Also, I’m so freaking excited for her new book Buffering, and I need it like yesterday.

4. Laci Green — “Sex+”

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Here is an example of a channel created solely for education and conversation. Laci Green is a sex-education teacher who hosts “Sex+,” which is a channel that deals with everything from specific topics relating to sex, sexuality, feminism, LGBTQ and more. She is most well known for talking blatantly about thinks like STDs, BDSM and other taboo things related to the physical act of sex. She also makes several videos about societal issues such as the debates surrounding abortion, sexual assault and domestic violence.

Laci Green has received so much hate (even death threats!) because of the videos she makes and the topics she chooses to discuss. Yet she has persisted, continuing to push the boundaries and facilitate conversation around topics normally considered taboo enough to ignore. She is doing such important work, and I have learned so, so much from watching her videos (especially considering I never had any formal sex education.) This channel is so important, especially for the young people watching Youtube. Like, if I ever have children, I will just point them to her channel when it comes time to have “The Talk.”

Also, she’s just gorgeous and confident and extremely empathetic, which we need much  more of in this world.

5. Lilly Singh — “II Superwoman II”

While I’m not a super-avid viewer of Lilly Singh (a.k.a: II Superwoman II), I have seen so many videos of hers that, like Hannah’s, address several issues in need of conversation and change. Singh came to Youtube fame through her videos parodying Punjabi culture. This is one of the most important things Lilly is doing because she is basically instilling diversity and education and conversations about diversity into both the Youtube community and the Internet community in general, which is extremely important in this day and age. But she’s also doing it in a wonderfully fun and funny way.

Another important campaign Lilly has launched is the #GirlLove campaign, which is focused on ending the cattiness and viciousness that can arise between women (think Mean Girls.) Hearing her talk about the importance of loving each other, treating each other with respect and working to keep each other safe and happy, just makes me tear up. This is such a problem right now, especially within popular culture and we need more voices like Lilly to stand up and say “We will not fall to this level, we are in this life together.” She is also using this campaign to help fund girl’s education in Kenya, which is also just so amazing and inspiring.

Who are your favorite badass women Youtubers? How do you think Youtubers can effectively use their platform for good? How can we increase girl love? Let’s talk.

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