“Have courage and be kind”

Can we just take a moment to discuss the “article” written about Zoe Sugg in the Guardian? 

Firstly, for those who don’t know, Zoe is also known as Zoella. A hugely successful entrepreneur who has made herself known by having courage and being kind. Courage because it takes a huge amount of overcoming insecurities to put yourself in front of the camera and then pressing ‘upload’. Something I just cannot seem to find the confidence for. Kindness because not once have I ever read or watched any of Zoe’s material and witnessed bullying, nastiness or comments made for the sole purpose of putting someone else down to build herself up. I cannot however, say the same for the article in the Guardian.

The article itself has the title “Zoe Sugg: The vlogger blamed for declining teenage literacy”. It then doesn’t actually go on to back that title up with anything. What it fails to mention is that Zoe has not only contributed to the rise of teenage literacy with her own successful books, the Girl Online series but also her Book Club that she has done with WHSmith to actively encourage people to pick up a book! 

“I was always a bookworm growing up, and still today, despite spending so much time online and staring at a screen, nothing is quite as special as picking up a new book and getting lost in it. ” 

Zoe Sugg March 2016

Taken from her website www.zoella.co.uk

My concern with the article is mainly that it’s sole purpose was to mock Zoe’s career. It reads as patronising and condescending. What had Zoe done to prompt this article? Oh yes, I forgot, nothing. There are so many things the author of the article could have focussed on that praised Zoe for making her way in a world where your presence online can actually be pretty scary. 

For lots of young girls, boys and actually older viewers, like myself, the 20 minutes where she chats to the camera about her trip to M&S or watching her amazing relationship with her friends and family makes me feel less alone on days where I feel isolated. Sometimes it just makes the bus journey home from work that much more enjoyable.

She is a real woman who embraces her flaws and celebrates her successes and if that’s the example we are setting to the teens watching then, to me, that’s a good thing.

But I guess everyone is entitled to their opinion and they are only a keyboard away from letting you know it.




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