Vitamin Stree is trying to reshape the narrative of young women in India
Breaking barriers and talking about subjects normally considered taboo, that’s what Vitamin Stree aims to do. The wittily named YouTube channel, through their videos, covers topics such as periods, sexism in language, intersectionality and colourism. We speak to Padmini Vaidyanathan, the editor and creative head for the channel about their videos, goals and the response of the viewers so far.
What was the idea behind starting Vitamin Stree?
Designed for the young, urban Indian woman, who are curious and seeking information relevant to them, Vitamin Stree is trying to reshape the narrative of young women in India. The channel was envisioned as a disruptive channel for urban, Indian women, to talk about issues that are ignored or not talked about enough. To start a safe space online, for women to find information and have conversations, on everything from female sexual pleasure and beauty standards to birth control and laws for women in India. Vitamin Stree focusses on presenting thoroughly researched, well designed and balanced stories for its viewers i.e. women, something that has been missing in the Indian media landscape.
Tell us about some of your videos.
Our flagship property is called Scratching the Surface, where we take a topic that is not usually talked and the present the issue in a well-researched, objective, funny and thought-provoking manner. So far, we have covered a range of topics - from pubes, menstrual cups, language and feminism, to travelling solo as women, colourism, burnout and millennials and intersectionality in feminism. These are short videos, usually under three minutes and released every two weeks.
Apart from that we have other properties such as Pill the Beans, which is our attempt to understand a topic or an issue through someone’s own personal story. So far, we have had people talking about a range of issues, such as body positivity, surviving cancer, gender fluidity and self-love.
We also do quarterly, deep-dive surveys to understand where millennial Indian women stand on various issues, through our property called Streesearch. The first one we did was called Censex and was all about Sex, Pleasure and Consent. We are currently in the process of producing our second survey, The Red Report, which is all about periods.
How has the response been?
The response has been phenomenal. We have a very loyal set of audience, who engage with our content and start much needed conversations. And this has been one of the main purposes Vitamin Stree has been designed to serve. That young women feel safe enough to come to our channel, watch a video and give their views on an issue that matters to them, is what drives us to keep making this content. We have grown steadily, with a loyal base of viewers and subscribers across platforms, that now stand at 100,000+ and growing.
What are you working on next?
2019 is super exciting for us. We are mixing up our old formats and experimenting with new ones, all at the same time. We are going to be releasing our findings from the period survey very soon. We are also looking to expand slowly into other languages, starting with Hindi and finally, we will be collaborating with a lot of influencers to work on new formats.