Not losing my voice at Playlist Live 2016

Last weekend I went to Playlist Live in Orlando, Florida. It was my second time going to this event, the first being in 2014. It was at a different venue and immediately felt bigger and scarier – but in a good way.

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I’m usually really good at combatting jet lag but on my first morning in Orlando I was wide awake so early that I’d gone for a run and done yoga all before 8am. Needless to say, that was the last time that happened over weekend. As soon as Playlist Live began I was in ‘convention time-zone’. It’s a thing: three hours sleep each night; on your feet all day; forgetting to eat; lots of alcohol; dancing and napping.

So my voice. This is a big deal for me – I didn’t lose my voice! If you know me or have ever met me at a convention you’ll know that by the end of day one I have no voice. And I don’t just mean a strained voice like everyone else. No. Voice. Can’t. Speak. I would also just lose my voice from nights out or being in loud bars.

Anyway, I decided that enough was enough and I went to my doctor about it. They referred me to ENT (ears, nose, throat) and had a tube shoved up my nose and down my throat to check it out and low and behold! there was swelling, irritation and soreness. They speculated that I might have a cyst or nodes. Although this sucks I was actually really happy that there was really something wrong with me because a lot of my friends just said I lost my voice because I was loud and talked a lot.

I was referred to therapy, I had a few sessions over a couple months and did my voice exercises every day. I went back to have another tube up my nose (really unpleasant btw) and they noticed improvement! I knew that I could feel I was speaking differently but I was so happy and shocked that they could see visible improvement. BUT nothing was real until I’d put my voice to the test and Playlist Live was going to be that test. AND MY VOICE SURVIVED. Yes it was strained but so was everyone else’s voices! By the end of a long weekend talking constantly, meeting people and partying I could still speak.

You might be wondering why I’m telling you this but you have no idea how much this means to me. Losing my voice would make me feel really down about myself and it made me feel like I couldn’t do my job properly. So yeah, that’s my big news from Playlist Live. Obviously lots of other cool stuff happened too so I’m just going to list them here and add some of the few pictures I took.

(side note: if you were wondering all my appointments, therapy and tubes down my throat were free on the NHS #SaveOurNHS) 

  • Four hour meet up – it was so cool meeting some of you! I was running on three hours sleep but your energy gave me energy. Also, was wearing the same outfit I wore at the party the night before and spilt beer in my hair that I hadn’t washed out. Evan said it was very “on brand”.
  • Panels! I spoke on 2 panels, ‘Crossing Over’ and ‘YouTube as a Resume’ and I moderated another that was on a big stage! (I wasn’t expecting that, I was very very nervous before hand) about ‘Growing up as a YouTuber’. I love talking on panels, it’s definitely on my favourite things about my job. Please ask me questions about my job that I love! I have so many answers!
  • Busy busy – I had a very packed out schedule at Playlist Live and it was one of the first times at a convention that I felt like I was actually working (it’s your job, Hannah, you should feel like you’re working all the time).  But I realise how privileged I am that I do this as my main source of income.
  • Disney and Universal! Before Playlist Live I went to Disney World with friends and it was amazing. I hadn’t been in 20 years and I barely remember that first time. Next year I definitely want to go back and do more days at Disney. And on the final night of Playlist Live they opened up Islands of Adventure at Universal Studios for guests. We had the whole park to ourselves and there were no queues. It was incredible. I’m spoilt now. I’ll never be able to queue for a ride ever again.

 

Thanks for an amazing weekend, Playlist Live! The next convention I’m going to is VidCon so hopefully see some of you there and *fingers crossed* my voice stays again! Let me know which conventions you’ve been to and what are your favourites.

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Girl on Girl – my new show!

HAVE YOU SEEN IT YET?! The first episode of my new webseries with Astronauts Wanted went live this week! I am so excited it’s finally here! The first episode is a chat with my dear friend, Akilah Hughes, all about dating apps!

Thank you so much to everyone who has watched it so far and loved it! And thanks to everyone spreading the message about the show – please keep doing that! Use the hashtag #girlongirlshow on Twitter and Instagram!

I just wanted to write this post to let you know the show had launched and to just explain how it came about. So I’d been working with Astronauts Wanted (AW) for a while: I’d been on their show ‘The Feels’ and I was the host of ‘#Blessed’. The producer, Lindsay Campbell, asked me what kinds of topics I would want to talk about if AW were to make another show with me and I sent her a long list that included: women, sexuality, feminism etc. They had a think about it and came up with the idea for the show ‘Girl on Girl’ and I loved it!

When I was in LA we had a meeting about themes and topics we’d want to cover, the tone of the show, the format, games and potential guests and then we got to work! Basically, lots of emailing and lots of late night calls because LA is 8 hours behind London! Finally we had our guests and themes locked for each episode, Lindsay flew all the way to London and we made the show!

Our wonderful guests (from top left going clockwise) are Athena Kugblenu, Akilah Hughes, Mae Martin, Juno Dawson Amani Al-Khatahtbeh and Luisa Omeilan! They were all such dreams to have on the show and I can’t wait for you to see the episodes. I learnt so much from talking to each of these women and I hope that comes across on the show. Also, massive shout out to Tomek, our director of photography and Silvija, our production assistant. Absolute babes.

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To keep up to date with everything ‘Girl on Girl’ you can follow us on all the social media below!

Medium: http://bit.ly/MediumGirlonGirl
TinyLetter: http://bit.ly/TinyLetterGirlonGirl
Instagram: http://bit.ly/InstagramGirlonGirl
Twitter: http://bit.ly/TwitterGirlonGirl
Tumblr http://bit.ly/TumblrGirlonGirl

Let me know your thoughts on Girl on Girl in the comments and who would you like to see as a guest?!

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Women, Feminism and Teenagers

It was International Women’s Day on Tuesday and I spent the whole day at the Southbank Centre in London for their Women of the World Festival (WOW London). And by “whole day” I mean whole day. Other than a 10 minute walk outside where I was catcalled by some guys in the skate park (you can’t make this shit up), I was surrounded by inspiring women and feminism from 10am til 11pm. What a day.

The beginning of the day was WOW’s WonderWomen event which I managed to score a press ticket to attend. One thousand secondary school girls between the ages of 11-18 spent the day hearing incredible women talk about their heroines; learning dance routines of Beyoncé songs; learning to sing Beyoncé songs and coming up with their own feminist playlist. I sat at the back and watched it all unfold (although I was totally dancing and singing along). It was such an overwhelming experience seeing these teenage girls celebrating women – I almost cried several times. Their enthusiasm and unfiltered screaming and clapping when hearing a slam poem about how women have power and can change the world; their insightful comments about the portrayal of women in music videos and how it affects them; the support they showed each other and the women who spoke on stage, was just incredible. It gave me so much hope.

One of my favourite speakers of the day was 17 year old Jessy McCabe (@jessy_mccabe), who noticed that there were no female composers on the Edexcel Music A Level syllabus and petitioned to get that changed. And guess what?! She won. Just goes to show that it doesn’t matter who you are, what your age – just one woman can make a difference. It made me feel so excited imagining what the impact of hearing her speak would have on the 11-18 year old girls in the audience.

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WonderWomen was just the start of WOW London, the festival is still going on until Sunday 13th March. I would definitely recommend heading down to the Southbank Centre. Even though a lot of the events are sold out there’s still loads of free stuff happening, especially Saturday and Sunday! My friend, Darcy Cole, just happened to also be hanging out at the Southbank Centre and so we met up and watched some talks and Gemma Cairney DJ and interview Sister Sledge! (WE ARE FAMILY!). It’s just such a great vibe in that space.

In the evening I saw Caitlin Moran! You may already know how much I love Caitlin Moran – we filmed a video together last year when she was on her paperback tour of How To Build A Girl and now she’s written a new book Moranifesto about politics. Jude Kelly (the founder of WOW London) chatted with Caitlin on stage about her book, politics and feminism and Caitlin also read out some excerpts from the book which were brilliant and I can’t wait to read the whole thing!

I had such an incredible International Women’s Day – I couldn’t think of a better way to spend it! I will most definitely be attending various events at WOW London this weekend so if you also happen to be there please say hello! Would love to hear all your thoughts on women, feminism and teenagers in the comments!

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An Evening with Gloria Steinem and Emma Watson

Last night I was in the same room as Hermione Granger. This is going to be an intelligent blog post about feminism (I hope) but first I just need to “fan girl” a little. I breathed the same air as Emma frickin’ Watson! Completely surreal. And before you ask or assume, this wasn’t an opportunity I got because I’m a YouTuber – it was an open event to the public and I just bought a ticket.

I’m going to be honest, I didn’t know who Gloria Steinem was before I found out about this event but oh my has that woman done so many incredible things in her life. She has done a lot of living. There was a really great atmosphere at the event and even though I went on my own I made friends with a lovely woman, Nicole, from Austin who sat next to me. It was a pleasant evening and I think ‘pleasant’ is the right word to use here because even though it was a lovely experience it didn’t especially make me feel really angry and inspired to go out and change the world. And I think that’s due to the limitations of the feminism that Gloria and Emma were presenting.

First of all, Gloria Steinem is 81 years old – she fought through all of second wave feminism, broke off an engagement, had an abortion before it was legal, and she’s continued fighting. I am 24 years old and other than the sexism I’ve encountered because I’m a woman, life has been pretty great so far. I definitely felt that in a lot of her ideas and between her feminism and mine there was a generational gap, which is to be expected. I disagreed with her stance on porn, on the idea of being a “humanist” and there was not one mention of intersectionality.

If you don’t know, intersectionality is about how different parts of your identity interact which create a unique form of oppression. I experience oppression as a woman but I’m also white, straight, cis, middle class, Western, thin and able-bodied. A black transwoman will have entirely different experiences than me because of the other forms of oppression and intersectional feminism is about recognising that and including the voices of all women. Emma and Gloria did speak about the bigger picture of gender inequality such as the global economic impact and the effect it has on climate change which slightly touched on how the experiences of women around the world are different but there was no explicit talk about it or recognition of their own privilege. Not only as white women, but rich white women. Emma Watson recently announced that she is taking a break from acting to learn more about feminism and focus on her activism – I think this is awesome but if only we could all just quit our jobs to learn about feminism!

A lot of people give Emma Watson a hard time for being a “white feminist” and if we’re just using adjectives yes she’s white and yes she’s a feminist but from seeing her discuss feminism with Gloria last night I can really see that she is trying and learning. Being a feminist doesn’t mean you have all the answers, it’s a process and that definitely came across from Emma. Gloria, probably because of all her experience and age, seemed very stuck in her way about what feminism means to her but Emma seemed a lot more open to make mistakes, recognised that she didn’t know everything and was still learning because she’s only 25! That’s only a bit older than me and I saw a lot myself in her when she was stumbling over her words, losing her point half way through a sentence and asking questions when she didn’t understand something.

One thing that really irked me though was during the Q&A the only man who got hold of the mic started by saying “I think feminism would be solved if…” and started to mansplain to a room of feminists and turns out he wasn’t even asking a question – it was just a statement. Also, Emma and Gloria briefly talked about HeForShe and mentioned that there was a lot of men in the audience and then people started applauding. Not sure if they were applauding Emma and the HeForShe campaign or applauding the men. I really hope they weren’t applauding the men. Thank you very much to those men who showed up but it doesn’t deserve an applause.

Even though the event didn’t make me feel raring to go start a revolution, I’m definitely glad I went because I still learned a lot, Emma Watson was wonderful and Gloria Steinem signed my book.

I would love to hear your thoughts on intersectional feminism, generational differences between feminists and your own personal feminist journey – remembering that we don’t all have the answers now.

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Buffer Festival 2015

A few weeks ago in October I went to Buffer Festival. This was its third year running but it as my first attending. First of all, thanks so much to Buffer Festival and Corey for inviting me! Buffer was in Toronto and I’d never even been to Canada before so this was something to check off my list! Toronto is frickin beautiful!

Exploring Toronto 🍂

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I didn’t have that much time outside the festival to explore the city so I really hope to go back soon and really get to know the place and also visit other Canadian cities! My list is currently: Montreal, Quebec, Vancouver and Winnipeg (because it will make Alayna very happy). Speaking of Alayna, I spent the entire time with her (to the extent that Corey thought we were a couple!) and it was wonderful. She is one of my best internet friends and I only see her once or twice a year at events. If you don’t know who she is, you should really go subscribe to her YouTube channel – she’s brilliant!

Reunited with my Canadian lover! 🍁 @missfenderr

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So Buffer works a bit differently to other YouTube events because it focuses on screenings and premiers of content. I premiered two videos at Buffer Festival. One of them, The History of Lesbianism, is now live on my channel and you can watch it. The other one you’re going to have to wait a bit longer for!

It was so surreal and so amazing to see my videos up on the big screen. I definitely upped my game in terms of the quality of my content because I knew that it would be shown in this capacity and watching everyone else’s videos and coming away feeling completely inspired has made me want to up my game even more for Buffer Festival next year. I feel like it will be an interesting marker in my year to see how much I’ve improved in 12 months.

The Red Carpet and Gala were so much fun! I had my make up done and walked the Red Carpet with people interviewing me and asking me questions about myself. One of the most bizarre but awesome experiences. I was wearing the exact same outfit I wore to my friend’s wedding a couple months ago but ssshhhh!

Nathan & I trying to be sexy

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The meet ups were also so much fun! It was so lovely meeting you guys – I had no idea how many viewers I have in Canada! Hello Canadian viewers! It was great to have time to properly talk about the content I made and what it means to you, thank you guys so much for supporting me in this. You mean the world to me. However, I did choose to do two screenings/meet ups in a row which left me a broken woman.

Current mood

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Of course it wouldn’t be a YouTube event without parties. And oh boy were there parties. And then after-parties. Alayna and I decided to change out of our fancy dresses for the after parties and so showed up looking like this. We occupied one of the rooms and called it ‘Yoga and Chill’ where 3am yoga sessions occurred.

We know how to party at the after-party #bufferfestival #YogaAndChill

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All in all, Buffer Festival was incredible. I met some amazing creators that I had never heard of before, made new friends, met you guys and felt inspired by everything. Also, the day after Buffer a group of us went to Niagara Falls and holy shit. Breathtaking. What a weekend!

Flying over Niagara Falls in a helicopter yesterday. Absolutely incredible! Regram from @therealjulievu

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Were any of you guys at Buffer Festival? Do you want to go next year? What’s your favourite YouTube convention/event?

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TOUGH MUDDER 2015!

On Sunday 27th September 2015 I joined the Mudder Legion. On Thursday 1st October 2015 I’ve finally stopped aching everywhere, I feel ill and I’m thinking “WHY HANNAH WHY!?”. But of course I don’t regret it, I had an amazing time and I want to tell you about it.

I’ve always wanted to do a mud race, they just seem like so much fun so when my friend, Charly Lester, posted on Facebook asking if anyone wanted to do Tough Mudder with her I was like, ‘pick me pick me!’ and so we booked it. To be honest, I was not 100% sure what I was getting myself in to. It was only after I paid the ridiculous amount of money it costs that people started saying to me, ‘you know there’s ice water and tear gas and electric shocks?’. On the inside I was legit freaking out.

So far living in London has made me incredibly unfit and for some reason I didn’t think to train for Tough Mudder until a week before. I ran everyday for a week for a maximum of 40 minutes. I thought I’d be fine, surely it’s only a 10km run? They can’t expect us to run a really long distance and do all the obstacles, right? Wrong. When we arrived there was a massive sign informing me that it was a 12 mile course. TWELVE MILES. TWELVE FUCKING MILES. I did a half marathon a few years ago with a lot more training, no obstacles, no mud and that nearly killed me! I was not ready. But still smiling! This is Charly & me at the start line.

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LOOK HOW CLEAN AND DRY WE ARE!

That didn’t last long though. Here we are right after being dunked in freezing cold ice water. This face I’m pulling represents an on-going feeling throughout the whole thing.

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And then things started to get muddy! The organisers were very sneaky in that they got you wet before they got you muddy instead of the other way around so you couldn’t wash off all the mud.

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This was still pretty early on. Look how happy we are! Also, from all the water and mud my top became a dress. I’m hoping a hot wash will shrink it back to normal size.

Our wonderful photographer, Amy, unfortunately couldn’t get any photos of us climbing over massive fences which to me was the scariest part. It was that moment suspended on the top, I’ve managed to get my boobs over to the other side and now I just need to fling over my legs. Terrifying. Luckily, the whole vibe of Tough Mudder is that everyone helps everyone out so there’s a lot of pulling/pushing and touching various body parts. Everyone gets very close.

I am 5ft small and at some points this worked to my advantage and at other points I was left stranded thinking, ‘this obstacle is definitely built for a 6ft man!’. Anything that involved crawling on the ground in tubes or under barbed wire – nailed it. There’s no way I’m getting scratched. However, there was one fence where the foot holes were so far apart my leg just could not reach. Someone over the other side had to grab my hand and drag me up. Fun times!

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I have to say I was very impressed with my monkey bar skills. I used to be really good at monkey bars as a kid but I assumed I’d be crap at it now because I have no upper body strength but no! I don’t weigh much so I didn’t have that much to keep up and once I got swinging and got a momentum going I was off! Unfortunately, at one point I stupidly decided to look down. I realised how high up I was, screamed and then dropped into the water. Well done me!

Charly and I skipped the tear gas obstacle because fuck that. But we did the electric shock one and I managed to run through and avoid getting shocked! Yay thank you tiny body!

They were handing out cider on the finish line which resulted in this epic photo happening. What a great feeling of triumph!

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What a day! I ran just short of a half marathon, got soaked, drenched in mud and used many muscles I didn’t even know existed! Thanks Charly for being my partner in crime and thanks Amy for taking these photos! I had so much fun and would definitely recommend doing a Tough Mudder if you’re into that kind of thing!

Have you ever done one? How did you find it? Would you ever do one? Let me know in the comments!

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Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2015

I just got back from the Fringe and oh. my. god. So last year I went to Edinburgh Fringe Festival for the first time ever and had such an incredible time that I knew I had to go back again next year. As I write this I am on day one of my post-Edinburgh detox. I have spent the last week drinking every day and even though I felt fine I know it is probably very bad for my body.

Double fisting at Edinburgh

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If you are unaware of what the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is, it is a month long arts festival. Every theatre, pub, school, church turns into a venue for showcasing comedy and theatre. But mostly comedy. There is a lot of comedy.

I was there for a week just as a fan of comedy and watched on average 4 shows a day. It’s exhausting. I have no idea how the people who are actually performing every day for a whole month do it!

Here are some of my highlights:

The Wrestling!
My first night in Edinburgh got kicked off with a bang! The Wrestling is a one-off, once every two years event where pro wrestlers and comedians FIGHT. Created by comedy duo Max & Ivan (Max used to be a professional wrestler), the event is absolutely hilarious with commentary and some pretty amazing take downs and falls. Also Milton Jones & Katherine Ryan were there! What?! Great start to Edinburgh.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Family
This is my friend Ben Norris‘ show. Totally not biased. It’s about his relationship with his dad and how last summer he hitchhiked around the UK to all the different places he dad lived to try and better understand him. It’s poetic and funny and beautifully performed. Well done, Ben! So proud of you!

Portrait
This one woman show by Rachael Ofori was so moving. She plays several different characters each taking a unique view of what it’s like to be a young black woman. Very funny and very real.

In Cahoots
In Cahoots is made of up Luke & Paul and they are a sketch comedy duo. Okay, they are also friends of mine but they are so so so funny! Their sketches are so slick and well rehearsed, clever writing and they are both amazing performers. They like to play around a lot with subverting your expectations and the finale may be my favourite finale to a sketch show I’ve ever seen.

Mae Martin
Mae is a Canadian comedian who I first discovered when she was a guest on Russell Howard’s Good News and she was doing the Free Fringe! Whoop! Mae was definitely my favourite stand up I saw this week and it was especially enjoyable because she spoke a lot about her parents and I was sitting there in the audience with my parents! Her set is a lot about sexual fluidity and I just think her politics is so on point. Would recommend!

Kitten Killers
Another sketch comedy group but this time women! Yay! Fran, Cat and Perdita are a force to be reckoned with. Their show was less of a show and more of a party with glow sticks, fake semen, songs about dick pics and George Osborne and One Direction fan fiction. It was 5pm when we came out of that show but it just put me in the mood to go out dancing!

Apparently this is the #edfringe aesthetic

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If you are still in Edinburgh for the last week of the Fringe I would highly recommend you seeing any of these shows. If not, follow them on Twitter because no doubt some of them will tour! My final thoughts when leaving Edinburgh was would I ever do a show myself? It looks like ridiculous hard work but so much fun. Maybe that’ll be my next project. Actually figure out if I’m funny enough for the Fringe. Thanks for an incredible and inspiring week Edinburgh!

Let me know in the comments some of your favourite shows you saw or your favourite comedians in general!

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Summer in the City 2015

This year was my fourth year going to Summer in the City and boy oh boy have the organisers upped their game. The Excel is bloody huge, I had no idea where I was most of the time. This was probably my favourite SitC to date and I wanted to share with you what went down and some of my favourite moments.

Panels

Friday was ‘Creator Day’ and I was speaking on a panel called ‘The business of being a YouTuber’ which was all about working with brands, MCNs (networks), agents and management. Lots of really interesting stuff came up that I could talk about for days but unfortunately we didn’t have enough time for questions. I was thinking if you are curious about any of these topics, please don’t hesitate to ask me any questions and I’ll try to answer them in a future blog post.

On Saturday I chaired the ‘Relationships Online’ panel. I’m still baffled as to why they asked a forever single person to ask YouTube couples about their lives and work. But I loved this panel! Bry and Candice, Vinny and Luke, and Tom and Jaime Jo are all wonderful people and said some really grounded things about sharing their relationship with their viewers. And then I professionally made a joke about my water bottle being full of vodka. I think I’m hilarious. Seriously though, if you ever see me on a panel I try to make jokes that in my head are super funny but then no-one in the room laughs and it’s really embarrassing. Remind me to never try stand up comedy.

Sunday was the day of two back to back panels! ‘Let’s Talk About Sex’ and ‘Education on YouTube’. You may have seen on Twitter that the sex panel was not the best and not exactly what the panellists were expecting. But a lot of you told me you enjoyed it so thank you very much for the support. Education was a wonderful panel. I want Jazza to moderate all the panels I’m on because he is brilliant and really puts you at ease.

Merch

This year was my first time selling merchandise at Summer in the City and I was so surprised at how well it was received. I sold ‘Do I Look Like A Slut?’ posters and the Drunk Advice tote bags and it made me so happy when I was wondering around the expo hall and could see some of you wearing the bags! SUCH A COOL THING TO SEE. A few of you said to me at the event and some of you have said this to me online too, and it’s that your parents wouldn’t be cool with you having a poster with the word ‘slut’ on it. I totally understand. So when I’m coming up with my next piece of merch I will make it super PG so that anyone can openly have it displayed on their bedroom wall. How does that sound?

You

You. Oh you, yes you. Thank you so much for coming to meet me this weekend and saying hello. I had such great conversations with you and I felt so so truly loved. This year was a real game changer for me. I know that my subscriber base has grown over the last 12 months but this was the first time that I was physically presented with evidence of it. Usually, at conventions I can walk around get stopped by one or two people and move on. This year was definitely different. There was just a lot more of you. Which was so overwhelming but also so amazing! I hope you enjoyed meeting me as much as I enjoyed meeting you.

Dodie’s set

This deserves a special mention because…well it was just so special. Dodie and I have known each other about 3 years but only in the last 12 months have we hung out so much more and I would now call her one of my best friends. Myself and a bunch of our other friends were watching from backstage and basically all tearing up. The whole set just felt so emotionally charged and like a massive F YOU to her past abusive relationship. A lyric from the last song she played, ‘One for the Road’ goes “leave me alone, because I’m not alone” – and that felt like the theme of the set. This year she had a band, her sister and friends sang songs with her and we all came up on stage at the end to sing the final chorus with her. This woman is going to be a superstar and I am so proud of her!

Laci Green

Speaking of friends, Laci Green was at Summer in the City this year! I know Laci because we both make videos about sex! Yay! We’ve met at every VidCon I’ve been to but VidCon is a crazy place so it’s usually a hi – brief catch up – bye and then you don’t see them again for a whole year. But at SitC we hung out LOADS. I showed Laci around some of my favourite bars and food places in Soho, we went across the Thames in a cable car (which I didn’t know existed and you can use your Oyster on it!), partied, had multiple DMCs and then finally crashed and burned at the end. I wish I lived closer to this lady!

YouTube Awards

Okay, so this was insane. Niki and Sammy called out my name and I went up on stage with everyone screaming to be presented with my Silver Play Button for reaching 100,000 subscribers on YouTube. And then loads of creators got up on stage to talk a huge picture with everyone and there was a confetti explosion, more screaming, lots of selfies and just wow wow wow. There was so much love up on that stage, for each other and for everyone watching. I know YouTube is bigger than all of us now but Summer in the City was founded by and is still run by YouTubers and members of the community and you can tell. The emphasis on the community shines through and I LOVE the UK YouTube community. I’m all about it. It feels like a slightly dysfunctional but extremely happy family.

And on that note I leave you. This has been quite a long post so I hope you’ve enjoyed it. Did you go to SitC? What did you think?

Let me know in the comments!

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The Election: My Reaction

What a night/morning. I still haven’t slept yet! Even though as a person of the left-wing persuasion I am completely devastated at the result, it was a very eventful election I want to share with you some of my highlights.

Actually voting!
I know it doesn’t take long and going to a polling station to put an X in a box seems really boring but I really love it. My polling station was just a temporary cabin in the road with a porter loo!

Party cocktails!
I went to a party to celebrate 5 years of Bite the Ballot, a charity aiming to get young people engaged in politics. There were political party cocktails!

All-nighter!
After the party, there was an after-party! Of course. We went back to Bite the Ballot’s offices in central London to watch the results come in. We had alcohol, snacks and later in the evening we got pizza! I even brought my pyjama bottoms with me for added comfort!

Exit Poll
This is where it started to go down hill. All the opinion polls said it was too close to call between Labour and Conservatives but the exit poll told a different story… At first we were shocked and confused but then the fear set in.

Paddy Ashdown’s Hat
When the exit poll was announced the ex-leader of the Liberal Democrats, Paddy Ashdown, said on the BBC, “if this exit poll is right I will publicly eat my hat”. The the internet did what the internet does best and this happened:

When it was clear that the exit poll was right Ashdown was given a hat but he refused to eat it. Shame.

Jazza sleeping
Political enthusiast and Bite the Ballot employee, Jazza John, found the whole thing so exciting he had to take a nap… THROUGH THE WHOLE THING!

Seeing the BBC Election Map
Seeing TV things IRL is always exciting. The election map looked really cool and we were a 15 minute walk away so at 5:30am Rosianna and I decided to head over and check it out. Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed anywhere near it but it was still cool.

Scottish turnout
The average turnout in Scotland was 71.1% which was much higher than the UK average and it was above 80% in two constituencies. This is amazing and makes me extremely excited. Scotland are engaged. Agree or disagree with the outcome and the politics of the SNP but look how much Scottish people care! They’ve shown that if you turnout you can dramatically change the outcome of an election. The SNP have 56 seats in Parliament, that’s 50 more than they had in 2010!

Caroline Lucas winning
The only Green MP kept her seat! Go Brighton! By the time this result was announced a Tory majority was pretty certain, I was home in my onesie and I was an emotional wreck.

Nigel Farage losing
Again, despite a Tory majority being clear at this point I was extremely happy to hear that Nigel Farage, leader of UKIP (although not anymore) did not win a seat.

Ed Miliband thanking the ‘Milifandom’ in his speech
The result of this election was a complete shock and the poor results for Labour and the Lib Dems saw the resignation of Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg as their respective party leaders. Nigel Farage also resigned from UKIP leadership. Three party leaders in one afternoon!? Crazy! Anyway, internet culture won once again when Ed said this in his speech.

Women in politics
And despite the devastating result we have seen some progression. More women in Parliament than ever! Granted it’s still only 30% but it’s an improvement from 2010’s 23%. I like to think that this has something do with having three female party leaders on the national televised debates and absolutely killing it. More women in politics please! 50/50!

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Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-32601280

And that’s it! Let me know in the comments what your election highlights are. Did you stay up all night? Are you not from the UK and have no idea what’s going on? Are you happy with the result or devastated like me? Here’s to the next 5 years! Just because the election is over doesn’t mean we stop fighting for what we believe in!

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My First Meet Up – The Institute of Sexology #UndressYourMind

A week ago I hosted my first ever meet up and it was amazing. If I do say so myself.

 

First of all, thank you so much to everyone who came. You were all so lovely and fun and I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to spend my evening with! Seriously, you were all so nice. One girl, Lou, turned up without a place to stay that night but made friends with someone at the event who offered to host her. You guys are amazing people! I really hope that a beautiful friendship has blossomed now because of this.

The event took place at Wellcome Collection’s exhibition called The Institute of Sexology. If you know anything about me you’ll know that my dissertation for my history degree was about the history of sexology and I also talk about sex a lot on my YouTube channel so this venue seemed like the perfect fit. I’d actually been in talks with some people from Wellcome for a while about ways that I could be involved in the exhibition and that is where the idea of this meet up was born!

Wellcome Collection allowed me and my wonderful viewers to explore the space after hours and there were a few ‘busking’ sessions where staff gave talks and showed us different objects from the exhibition. Everyone sat around and listened and asked questions and I couldn’t help but feel so proud and happy (that might have been the wine though). Did I mention they also provided us with drinks and nibbles? Wellcome Collection, you are the best. Thank you.

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In this photo we’re being shown a tiny model of a penis that used to be carried in a pouch around your neck for good luck. 

I had so much adrenaline running through me that evening and I had a such a great time. I hope everyone who came enjoyed themselves as much as me! And it was an absolute pleasure to meet you all! This has definitely given me a lot of ideas for the types of events I want to host in the future. Personally, I am not a fan of the ‘meet and greet’ style events. Obviously, there was an element of that at my meet up but most of our time was spent looking around the exhibition, listening to talks and eating and drinking. I would love to hear your feedback on the event and even if you weren’t there, what kind of events would you like to see me host in the future? And depending on what it is, would you pay for it? The event at the Institute of Sexology was free but that definitely contributed to people who had booked tickets not showing up on the day. Lots to think about, lots to learn!

Thank you again for being such a wonderful audience!

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