Clara Henry, a 21-year-old Swedish vlogger, gained YouTube fame by talking about her periods, soft drinks and feminism. After appearing on Sweden’s most well-known TV and radio shows, she’s taking it even further by releasing her first book “Yes, I’m on my period. Why are you asking?”
“Periods are used all of the time to discriminate people with uteruses,” a blonde, blue-eyed 21-year-old Swedish girl rants on on her Youtube channel. “Eeeerrh are you on your period or what? It’s almost like every time a woman has opinions she’s on her period,” she goes on jumping around in front of a white bookshelf in her room. The woman’s name? Clara Henry. Her profession? Youtuber.
The profession “youtuber” established itself within the past five to 10 years. Teenagers and young adults become celebrities and make a living from uploading three to 20-minute-long videos, with topics ranging from beauty to online games to comedy. They earn their money through collaborations with big companies and short ads which are placed just before the video starts. Henry uploads an approximately five-minute long sketch filmed in her own four walls every Monday.
She more or less talks about funny things that have happened to her in everyday life: from her periods, to hipsters, and even Tinder. Additionally, she does hauls: funny challenges where she stuffs her mouth with marshmallows and spoonfuls of cinnamon. Counting over 330,000 subscribers, Henry’s comedy channel gained her appearances on Swedish radio, the Swedish Eurovision Songcontest Melodifestivalen, as well as her own TV show Häng med Clara Henry (Hang with Clara Henry), where she follows Swedish celebs for a day.
“Yes, I’m on my period. Why are you asking?”
Back in Splay’s, her management’s office building in the centre of Stockholm, the winner of the Gold Tube 2014 and 2015, a Swedish vlogger award, tells about how much not only her life but also she has changed ever since a clip of her talking about a Swedish soft drink went viral three and a half years ago.
“I’m so much more aware of what I’m saying. I try to be including in a way that I wasn’t before,” she says calmly, while leaning forward against a white table that’s standing next to a huge glass window with a view to young entrepreneurs working on their desks. “I’m aware of my privilege of being a white woman from a middle class family. I’ve had a quite easy life in comparison to a lot of others.”
Although she wants to keep a humorous tone in her videos, the high school graduate and convinced-vegetarian from Gothenburg also decided to make use of that privilege. How? By including more and more politics in-between the lines, she says.
She does this especially through her monthly talks about her periods and menstruation: “I speak a lot about feminism. I think speaking about your period is a very feminist statement.” Henry tilts her head slightly, making her silver venus-symbol earrings sparkle.
A few months back she even signed a book deal. Her book “Yes, I’m on my period. Why are you asking?” in which the 21-year-old former journalism student is talking about periods and sexism, giving advice and also informing on historical milestones in terms of menstruation, will be released in September. For Henry, who has collaborated with famous American youtubers such as Grace Helbig on that topic, it is important to send her young audience the message that “you have to be confident in yourself and don’t let anyone tell you what to do or what to say, how to dress and what to be ashamed of.”
When hobbies turn into jobs
Henry, who comes across very natural and down-to-earth both on and off camera, still seems to be a lot different in person. She is not as excitable and sarcastic as she appears in her short clips. Wearing a white top and white Converse, offering a cup of coffee right from the very first encounter, Henry comes off a lot more calm and laid-back in contrast to her online-personality.
“That Clara that I’m showing in front of camera is all of my energy, the funniest parts of me and I just show the best parts of me. It’s still me,” she says with a smile on her lips.
The Stockholm-based vlogger does not shy away from talking about herself in all honesty. Henry considers herself to be an introvert and not as hyped and jumpy as in front of the camera. “It’s just one part of me, I don’t pretend to be someone that I’m not,” she assures.
For a TV host, author, blogger and vlogger, something like a fixed work day doesn’t exist. When she is not busy filming and editing her weekly video, doing recordings for radio or TV, giving interviews, going to meetings or checking her social media she has a Tuesday off.
“Every once in a while, I don’t know where the border is,” Henry smiles while taking a sip from her coffee. “What’s work and what’s my hobbies, because YouTube was my hobby and now it is my work.”