posted by Ella Wells

Will the tabloids ever leave Zoe alone?

As we all already know, a certain Zoe Sugg launched her very own Book Club at the beginning of last month, featuring eight limited edition YA novels that the YouTuber had hand-picked especially for us. Since then, her millions of fans have taken to Twitter to show the Internet idol their very own copies – and this has in turn propelled these YA authors to the top of the book charts. But of course, the Book Club announcement hasn’t been received so positively by all and as usual, the mainstream media has taken to dragging Zoella‘s newest project in the national press.

zoe face palm

Only a few weeks after we reported on the Guardian’s article entitled “Zoella’s book club: cute, glittery- but all a bit vanilla”, another tabloid has taken on the job of tearing all of Zoe’s hard work to shreds. On Friday 1st July, the Telegraph, who never usually get involved with YouTube news, published an article with a headline bound to get any Zoella fan’s blood boiling.

This recent account of the press generally not understanding Zoe’s internet fame comes from the article entitled: “Sluts, prudes and ‘perfect’ sex – why Zoella’s book club is bad for teenage girls”. Naturally, Zoe was not happy and our YouTube fave, that has recently been enjoying some much needed time away with Alfie and his family,  took to Twitter to tell us what she thought about the Telegraph’s views.

Unlike the Guardian’s Amelia Tate, the Telegraph journalist, Rebecca Reid, recognises Zoe’s efforts to get young teens reading. She doesn’t seem to have a problem with the fluffy nature of the vlogger’s book choices and she in fact applauds Zoe, stating: “There’s nothing wrong with fluffy, joyful escapism – especially if it gets girls used to reading.” However, it turns out it’s the sexual nature of some of Zoe’s book recommendations that doesn’t sit well with her.

Rebecca goes on to explain that Zoella should have taken on her role with more responsibility, claiming that some of today’s issues with sex and slut shaming have been encouraged by the literature that Zoe has chosen. She slams Zoe by stating: “But the truth is, literature is more powerful than lipgloss, and if she’s not ready for the responsibility of shaping these young women’s minds, then perhaps she should skip the books and stick to moisturisers. ” Ouch.

Of course, we did nothing but shake our heads reading that last sentence and it seems as though Zoe did too. The YouTuber took to Twitter again to explain how “these young women’s” minds don’t need shaping and that they’re informed enough to make their own decisions.

Of course, we know the powerful impact that the Internet star can have, but Zoe is right in saying that these young individuals have their own minds, and if they don’t agree with something they’ve read/heard/watched they will say so. They’re also not naive, they know that the relationships and characters in these books are not real – and is that not the point of a good YA novel? It’s not like we grew up to believe Hogwarts exists or that we’re going to compete in the Hunger Games any day now – it’s all make-believe and sometimes that is all we need to escape a bad day, whether that be at school or work.

Of course, this isn’t the first time that Zoe has been dragged by the press, and we doubt that it’ll be the last. We just hope that the mainstream media get to grips with this new idea of online fame pretty soon, as these Internet stars are not going anywhere. As always, make sure to let us know what you think in the comments.