‘#defycategorization’ reads the Instagram bio of Leeza Mangaldas and the hashtag pretty much sums up her multiple interests. She’s a TV presenter (currently hosting Indian Super League), writer, live events moderator and a YouTuber. And oh, she dabbles in painting too.
On her YouTube channel, Leeza tackles love, relationships, sexuality and feminism through short videos that won’t test the millennial attention span. The idea is to normalise conversations about sexuality. From tips on how to be a memorable lover to laying down sexting rules to live by, Leeza’s videos act as a handy guide for the young and confused.
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“I realised that even though all the odds are stacked in my favour, in terms of access to education and belonging to a super liberal family, there was so much I had to teach myself about female sexuality and feeling comfortable talking about it,” Leeza says. “If I was struggling, then imagine many others in the country who may not have the same freedom and access. Even educated people often have such outdated, deeply entrenched misogynistic attitudes.”
Some of Leeza’s content is aimed specifically at men — advice on how to approach a girl, biggest turn offs for women, among other videos. “Travelling around the country for the Indian Super League brings a lot of male viewers to my channel. And I’m hoping there’s a crossover where women who tune into my channel get interested in sports,” she says.
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Popular YouTubers and influencers such as Rohan Joshi (of All India Bakchod), Prajakta Koli (MostlySane) and Gurmehar Kaur (activist and author) have been guests on Leeza’s show for a series titled Inappropriate Questions. They’ve fielded questions about the colour of their undies to the the most romantic thing they’ve ever done. “There’s a sense of community among YouTubers, so they were all supportive,” Leeza says.
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The content of Leeza’s YouTube channel is still “on the tamer side of things”. In the near future, she plans to tackle slightly more adult issues, with a focus on unpacking female sexuality. “When I came of age and began dating, I realised men knew so little about how women’s bodies work,” Leeza says. Let’s hope men are listening now.Featured photo credit: Palash Verma