Thursday, 23 October 2014

Zoella/Independent Article - My Thoughts

“Too much of her inane chatter reinforces the age-old premise that women must be beautiful if they are to lead happy lives, and that what we care about, above all else, is how to do a flawless festival-ready top knot” – this is a quote from “Sure, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella” which appeared on The Independent online. Not only has this article infuriated me due to the fact that the author seems to know very little about Zoella, the fashion and beauty blogging community, the fashion and beauty industry as a whole or even teenage culture in today’s society. And let’s not even go into modern feminism.

Her main issue with Zoella seems to be with how she “instructs young girls how to paint on the perfect smoky eye or red lip”. Yes, Zoella is first and foremost a beauty blogger and has numerous hair and makeup tutorials (along with numerous other videos which discuss her issues with anxiety). Zoella’s personality, which the author quite rightly describes as “very Disney”, makes her very popular amongst the pre to early teen group – i.e. the age that young girls are going to look at celebrities on TV and in magazines and ask themselves why they don’t look like X, Y or Z. The same group who have been used to worshipping Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber and One Direction (great role models right there…). Zoella’s approachable and simple take on makeup using a mixture of luxury and drug store products once again makes her a good option for the younger fashion and beauty consumer who obviously don’t have the disposable income to buy high end products but might look to save up for that special lipstick.

So my question – what’s the issue? Surely the author’s problem is more with gender identity - why do young girls feel the need to look to fashion and beauty? The way I see it is that young girls are going to be interested in makeup. From a young age we’ve watched our mothers, aunts and grandmothers put their makeup on. Young girls enjoy playing with colour and I don’t see why that’s a problem. From the business side of things it’s a multi-billion pound industry which puts a hell of a lot of money into the British economy. It’s not about painting your face or trying to look pretty for that cute boy - it’s about empowerment.

Or is her issue with today’s culture which is heavily based on consumerism? Marketers make potential customers feel that they need the latest iPhone, the latest designer handbag or the latest wonder product which is going to make you look 10 years younger. Unfortunately, this is what our economy is built on. Blogs and YouTubers do have a lot of influence when it comes to making or breaking products, particularly in the world of fashion and beauty. This in itself does bring to question the full ethical issue surrounding sponsored content/PR samples but this is an issue for the full blogging community not just Zoella.

Both of these are big sociological issues and hardly seem like something a 24 year old, who until recently blogged in the bedroom of her parent’s house, should worry about. Zoella is not openly smoking, drinking and doing god knows what like Miley Cyrus or Justin Bieber. She’s not going through relationship after relationship like Harry Styles. She’s a normal girl who starting videoing herself talking about something she is passionate about. She’s worked hard and has managed to make a living out of doing something she loves not to mention the fact that she’s working with mental health charity mind, so once again, what’s the issue? Surely this normal girl is the type of person you’d want as a role model for young girls.

You go Zoella! You take over the world! 


  1. Hear hear, Nikki! Me and some of the other blogger girls were discussing this article recently, and everyone pretty much agreed 100% with what you're saying x

  2. This article was a complete and utter waste of time. I haven't yet read anyone that actually agreed with her.. I personally think she wrote it for a reaction (a lot like Katie Hopkins 'opinions'!) and it worked!!

    xxx | daisydaisyxxo
    enter my Christmas giveaway!

  3. Really agree with everything that you are saying PLUS the fact that when Zoe started her videos and blog she probably never imagined that she would end up becoming such a huge role model for young girls. Her hobby and passion turned into her career and now that she is well known people are criticizing her for everything she does. It isn't fair at all !


  4. I thought the article was so ignorant, having an interest in beauty does not mean that you're a bad role model and you aren't a feminist. Like you say, there are far worse role models out there than Zoe! I'm not sure the writer did her research properly xx


    1. Sorry, I didn't mean to leave my link twice! xx

  5. Love this! Chloe's article was just idiotic. From he tweets, it seems like she enjoyed the reaction though. She needs to get a grip and write about things that actually matter!

    Corinne x