From Youtube to MTV Grace Victory is changing the face of sex education
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As the face of MTV’s new show Sex Squad, Grace Victory is changing the face of sex education. After five years of making award-winning Youtube videos about sex, body confidence, and mental health to over 200,000 people she is taking her message to a wider audience. She cites her background at a performing arts school as what drew her to making videos, but it was teaching dance at a women’s refuge and working in a children’s care home that led her towards body positivity and sex education. She puts her sudden success down to her uniqueness in this conversation – “I was one of the first with curly hair, I was curvy and spoke openly about mental health and sex.” She was drawn to YouTube as a platform for helping young girls come to terms with their body and sex because “it can reach a wider audience. I didn’t have my foot in the door for documentaries with the BBC, so YouTube was the easiest option. I sort of fell into it, and I didn’t expect it to go how it’s gone.” But Grace’s channel hasn’t always focused on sex education. “At first it was beauty and fashion but with so many people doing that it became saturated and boring. I wanted to speak about what mattered, as I would have needed someone like that when I was younger.” The culture for speaking openly about sex is growing on YouTube, but unlike others who separate the education from their personal lives, Grace isn’t scared of talking about her own body and sex life. “I never talk about my current sex life,” she clarified, as it wouldn’t be fair on her partner. “I tend to talk about my past experiences. There’s no point in me preaching openness unless I’m doing it myself, as that would be hypocritical.” But it’s not just Youtube that has opened up worthwhile discussion outside of the traditional education outlets, sex talk is a now provided a multi-channel platform for discussion, especially when it comes body image. “Instagram is nice because it’s more visual and you can create imagery to get people talking. The media controls everything, so we’re bombarded with images of slim, white women. On Instagram there can be more people of colour, and things like stretch marks, saggy boobs – what women actually have. We can create a generation who understand what bodies really look like.” The internet has not just been a way for Grace to help others; it has also helped her personal journey. She explained that “creative people and people with a traumatic childhood such as myself can find it hard to connect on an intellectual level,” so the internet has been a great way for her “to connect with people who I wouldn’t have in everyday life. My best friends are from the internet, as it’s a way to find people with the same thought processes and interests as you.”
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