Calling time on Zoella, the 27-year-old woman-child who needs to let go
People are actually calling her Scamella
Zoe Sugg, the British YouTuber with 12 million subscribers, has become the face of the young British generation.
But has anyone ever stopped to wonder that she's actually a grown woman, constantly infantilising herself and vlogging her "perfect" life, all to capitalise on her young viewers by selling them shitty products with her name on it? There. I said it.
This week, Zoella has been dragged for Twitter and charging £50 for her 12-day Zoella advent calendar, which people think is actually worth about half the price. Yet this isn't the first time her fans have been disappointed with her and after a lot of digging, it's clear to see she's had a controversial rise to fame. But no one ever questions her because she's protected by her super-fans, and thus she has become untouchable.
As a businesswoman? She's a genius. But as a human being? I'm not so sure. And I think it's about time someone called her out for her bullshit.
Firstly, she's 27
Yeah, I know. I'm as shocked as you are. But her average viewer is so young, they've probably just come out of the womb. Isn't that a bit… weird?
Imagine your child staring at their computer screens daily, watching the life of a 27-year old woman in which she's stuck making Primark hauls, monthly favourites and every-day make up looks, on repeat. It's a dystopian nightmare.
She tweets something mundane like "good morning" and it gets 17,000 likes on Twitter
Good Morning ?
— Zoella (@Zoella) October 10, 2017
I guess that's what it means to be a celebrity. But her fans will literally worship anything she says or does, which is why it's not surprising they have blindly followed all of her ventures, such as:
That £50 advent calendar and every other overpriced product with her name on it
After someone discovered the stuff inside it was worth around £21 and similar products could be bought in Amazon and Primark separately, people were outraged that she expected them to pay more money for her name on the box, than the actual products inside the calendar. Also, the calendar has 12 doors?!
Yes it could be seen as entrepreneurial but it's also wrong. It's the young, easily impressionable girls, who make up her main audience, who will be the ones either saving up money or begging their parents to buy them the calendar. And it isn't just Zoella, the entire YouTube community tries sell things to their viewers by "being their friend." The ethics are so blurred, adults can barely pick up on the fact the whole YouTube experience has become commodified, never mind teenagers.
Can you believe the actual nerve of that Zoella trying to sell a 12 day advent calendar filled with shite like a cookie cutter,star shaped confetti and stickers to her 10 year old fans for £50
— don (@lolzdonz) November 13, 2017
It doesn't stop there. She has more lifestyle products that are seemingly overpriced. Like this "Toasty Mug" retailing for £18, with a hat alongside it. According to some negative reviews, it leaks and the lid doesn't close properly.
After looking at those comments, you could quite reasonably reach the conclusion some of her products are utter trash.
HelloWorld – the disastrous Youtube "meet and greet" she furiously promoted
Last month Zoella was part of an event called HelloWorld Live, which was advertised as "an epic, four hour immersive live show like nothing on earth." Her fans had the chance to mingle with her and other YouTube celebrities like her boyfriend Alfie Deyes and brother Joe Sugg.
The VIP tickets cost £99 and promised a chance to "hang out" with the stars. It was meant to be an experience which wasn't like a normal meet and greet. Zoella's fans were promised to have a chance to "chill" with her.
But of course, this idealistic vision wasn't realised. Instead, children queued for hours to meet their stars and when some of them asked for selfies or signatures, they were refused. Zoella's main contribution to the day was her on stage appearance, which was only a few minutes long. She later replied to a disappointed fan:
Hi Jayne! There are some people who feel really comfortable being on a stage in front of thousands of people, however I am not one of them & was never scheduled to be on the main stage for a “segment” on my own!
— Zoella (@Zoella) October 28, 2017
Don't get me wrong, anxiety is a serious condition, but surely if you're aware you struggle talking in front of hundreds of people, you wouldn't promote an event, in which you are advertised to interact with hundreds of people?
But the parents of the disheartened children did not forget. Darren Day, the father of a 12-year old Zoella fan told the New Statesman he spent "short of a week's wages" on the mini-festival. He said: “I feel like I’ve actively been ripped off, I really do."
Those there, claimed that the event was a total failure. According to some parents it became apparent that after five minutes of entering the venue there was "absolutely nothing to do." And the YouTubers weren't mingling with their fans as advertised.
Sure, it's not entirely Zoella's fault – but the YouTubers supposedly have shares in the company that staged the event, and so it's in their best interests that as many people came and paid their hard earned cash to line their pockets.
Girl Online – the book she "wrote" and then went into hiding when everyone found out it was ghostwritten
In 2014, Zoella conquered new heights. She became the fastest-selling debut author when Girl Online sold over 78,000 copies in the first week of release. Though after many suspicions, Penguin (the book's publisher) admitted "Zoe Sugg did not write the book."
The problem wasn't in her using ghost-writers to write her books: most celebrities do. It was her making it out as though she wrote every single word in the novel, through endless, sleepless nights. Watch this video and tell me that's not what she made it out to be like.
Now, let's delve into her awful Twitter past:
She's successfully managed to rebrand herself as a sweet, innocent woman who would never hurt a fly or say a bad word about anyone, but what about the times she:
Was horribly classist in the past:
Was transphobic and homophobic on Twitter:
And most surprisingly, she was fatphobic:
"Oh but it was seven years ago", her fans exclaim. Understandably, we all made mistakes when we first for Twitter and Facebook. But that was when we were 13, Zoella was 20 years old. I repeat, 20 years old. An adult. Not a teen anymore, she was a full on grown woman.
But the worst thing of all is that her and her boyfriend are shocked at their fans who obsess over every aspect of their lives
Zoella and her boyfriend Alfie have actively put themselves in the public eye, but are outraged when their fans start exhibiting extreme fan-like behaviour.
The moment they first moved in together, someone took pictures of their door number and posted it online. Yes, it's borderline stalking and yes, it's a safety concern. So you'd think the logical thing to do is to try and remove yourself from the public eye.
But no, the couple responded to this by saying "people need to get a hobby." It's as though they don't understand that THEY are now people's hobbies. And it's because they are people's hobbies, they could buy their house in the first place.
Here's an idea. No one is forcing you to do YouTube and until you figure out a safe way of doing it, without putting your lives at risk, maybe just, don't?
Understandably, Zoella didn't know just how famous she'd become when first creating her channel. She's part of the YouTube phenomenon no one saw coming and not many people can understand. But if her career is causing problems for her or her fans, it's probably time for Zoella to do the adult thing and drop the woman-child act. Then again, how would she make any money?