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For a year and a half, I spent every morning attempting to pitch YouTube videos to Lindsay Campbell, my then–YouTube Nation producer. With 10 years of experience hosting and producing groundbreaking digital media series, Campbell approached everything the authenticity and passion that are key to making content thrive on YouTube. She’d direct, edit, produce an episode, and 24 hours later—clad in her armor of flowing sweaters, ankle boots, and stacked rings—she’d do it all again.
She’s a presence to be felt: athletic, organized, driven, and the epitome of a “cool mom” whose frequent weekend agendas include family surf trips and snowboarding in Mammoth Mountain. She is a woman who champions women and the first ally to my #WCW segment, which turned into this column. And now, the great Lindsay Campbell has created her most personal project yet.
In collaboration with Astronauts Wanted, Girl on Girl is a webseries focused on spotlighting the fantastic, awkward, and fantastically awkward moments of being a female. The show is hosted by sex educator and former #WCW Hannah Witton and maintains a simple structure: two girls, one conversation that extends from the couch into on-the-street interviews. Girl on Girl is bound to ruffle feathers with topics like: As a female, can I have it all? Am I not a feminist if I get breast implants? Are dating apps ruining today’s romance?
“The number one thing that inspired me to make this show is Hannah and the way that she connects with her audience on topics that are personal [or that] people have been made to feel uncomfortable [about], or women have been made to feel that are not the conversations you have in the open,” Campbell tells the Daily Dot. “Maybe we can push forward for the bigger conversation about women and progress and equality and feminism, and we can connect the dots to having these private conversations in public.”
The first episode debuted this week featuring comedian Akilah Hughes and the “dating app-pocalypse.” Within 48 hours of upload, fans took to the comments to share their love of the show and their own thoughts on “to dating app or not to dating app.”
“I think that the revealing, important truths that the guests and Hannah share … are special and priceless, and I feel really honored to give them a home.”
While it’s the show’s mission to create a safe space for authentic conversations to thrive, Witton and her guests are also encouraging viewers to not let “PC anxieties” hinder meaningful debates. Campbell is in huge support of this idea as well, explaining: “Another really big feature of the show is trying to eliminate that sense of political correctness as it relates to women speaking in public. We’re totally going to say things on the show that offend somebody, and it’s accepting and acknowledging that that is going to happen because we’re human beings but not stopping the conversations at the point where it gets a little uncomfortable. [We’re] trying to go past that to find a new understanding.”
Campbell first came up with Girl on Girl last year while filming #Blessed, a 24-episode series with Astronauts Wanted and Hannah Witton. The pair pitched the idea in December and began filming by February. Describing Witton as having “the bravery of a lion and the mouth of a sailor,” Campbell was insistent that the show be filmed in Witton’s colorful London bedroom.
“There isn’t really anything that can substitute for the real thing when you have somebody like Hannah who does so much of her work as a public person in her private space. It’s given a new layer of intimacy and truth because it is really her space,” Campbell says.
Campbell originally started out as a dancer and actress, graduating from Stanford before she began hosting and producing content in 2006. Her first show, Wallstrip, a digital media series covering the stock market, was bought by CBS in 2007; from there, Campbell went on to be an executive producer for AOL, American Express, MSN, and DreamWorks. In 2013, she opened her own digital studio, where she has worked with Conde Nast, Twitter, Mobile Day, and more to bring to life creative stories from start to finish.
But at the root of it all, Campbell is the ultimate champion for women in media. “Girl on Girl” is a show the internet has been craving because not only does it feel relatable and fun, but it makes female viewers feel empowered and understood.
“I think that the revealing, important truths that the guests and Hannah share about being a woman over the six episodes are special and priceless, and I feel really honored to give them a home,” says Campbell. “That kind of captures everything I think is powerful and important about digital media.”
A woman after my own heart.
Screengrab via Astronauts Wanted/YouTube
Carly Lanning is a journalist who covers social media. Her work has been published by Psychology Today, NBC, Thrillist, and Ms. Magazine.