On Nov. 17, 2008, Laci Green uploaded her first YouTube video, titled "Birth Control: NuvaRing Review." By 2012, her videos started reaching millions of views, and by October 2014, her channel garnered over one million subscribers.
"I think my first huge viral hit was this video called 'You Can't POP Your Cherry!'" Green told BuzzFeed. "It's basically about the hymen and this huge belief that it breaks and bleeds and pops and that there's this violent process that needs to happen in order to have sex. It's factually wrong. And the fact that we grew up learning this I think really shocked people when they actually looked at an anatomy textbook and saw what's actually going on down there."
The 25-year-old San Franciscan initially started making sex-positive videos as a hobby. "My interest in sex education advocacy started from me not having very good sex ed, not having anywhere to get answers," said Green. "But feminism comes into the picture because I really believe that we cannot have a really solid, empowering sex education model without incorporating issues of gender inequality, sexism, homophobia — all of those things."
After graduating from the University of California, Berkeley, Green had casually mentioned that she was looking for employment on her blog. Due to the popularity of her videos, she was flooded with job offers and ended up taking one for Planned Parenthood as an educator, using her talents on screen and in college lectures. She then moved on to work at DNews (owned by Discovery), which was her first time working with a real film crew instead of using a webcam.
Now, the YouTube celeb is the star of MTV's first-ever original web channel, Braless, which has a 12-episode engagement and debuted about a month ago. Her most recent episode, "Sex at Hogwarts?!" is a pretty good representation of the show, examining pop culture through the lens of sex-positivity and questioning the lack of sex in the Harry Potter universe.
"When I was younger, Harry Potter was my life. And now my life is about advocating and educating about sexuality, so I put my past and present together to do sort of a thinkpiece on sexuality in the series."
When asked if she thinks that a huge cultural shift is happening around the word "feminism" (with celebrities like Beyoncé and Taylor Swift now freely using the term), Green enthusiastically said yes. "Let me impress on you how scary it was to even contemplate the idea of admitting to being a feminist online. I went out of my way to hide that I was a feminist. It was just a well-known fact that you would be harassed and that there would be tons of negative backlash. There still is backlash, but I feel like it's much less hostile. And I think a lot of celebrities have been educating themselves to some degree and siding with a movement that's always been fighting for them."
"I think a big sign of it in my own life is MTV wanted me to do a show about feminism. Not in my wildest dreams would I imagine this happening for me."