Beware! Zoella is Making Teens Illiterate Apparently

Now I’m no huge Zoella fan, I never really watched her videos, I’ve never used any of her cosmetics and I haven’t read any of her books, but now I’m going to grab myself a paperback. Listen old media, nobody puts baby in the corner.

After going through pieces of what I would rather prefer not to call journalism, because all of her words seem to be soaked in bile before she puts them to paper, I can only assume Ms Williams genuinely hates the mere fact that Zoella exists. Perhaps it’s because the share the same forename, perhaps it’s the simple case of professional jealousy or maybe I’m wrong and this Guardian journalist is secretly a huge Zoella fan and she uses her position to blatantly demean the young entrepreneur, in order to drum up even more publicity. However I don’t think I’m wrong.

Every word that this woman has written about Zoella is dripping with disdain, in the rare occurrence that a compliment does manage to make it to the page, it’s always in a backhanded manner. I don’t like generalisations, but this seems to be yet another case of old media attacking a predominant figure in new media.

Zoella had a hobby that became a career because she worked at it. The thing about new media is that it is in constant flux. You have to work hard, stay on trend, create, edit and produce content that the audience wants to see. This young woman dared to make a career for herself in an economy that had left her in a precarious situation. However this tends to be overlooked by the baby-boomers and generation X-ers who caused the recession in the first place, but never mind that.

Zoe Sugg is to old media as Richard Branson was to W.H. Smith

See if you think about Zoella, a girl with an idea, who worked to get where she is, in the same manner as Richard Branson, you might think twice. Branson had a record store, then a label, then many fingers in many pies. Both of these figures have been looked down upon by the conventional establishments at one point or another. So maybe think twice before you start throwing mud guys.

One point that seems to come up about her books is that they are ghost-written. Which, SPOILER ALERT, they’re not. Okay, I was directed to one of Zoella’s Vlogs by Melanie Murphy a few years back, when this whole ghostwriting scandal first reared its head. In said vlog, she mentions that someone was coming over to help with her book. Clear as day. The thing is, having a writing assistant isn’t the same as having a ghostwriter. I should know, I used to ghostwrite for a living. She never lied to her fans, she never hid Thatcher had an assistant or editor, or whatever. This is a non-issue.

The point that I really want to get to, that took me so long to get to, I know, I know, is this concept that Zoella by having a book club or daring to write a book, is making teenagers stupid. Bitch please. 

Zoella’s book club, which I have seen referred to as “glittery” and”vanilla” also comes under fire, because she’s choosing literature that is a bit more Boy Meets Girl than say some Trotsky or whatever they expect people to read these days. Shockingly they managed to glaze over the fact that many of the stories dealt with important underlying themes like mental health, but yeah, whatever.

Storytime-I hate Twilight, the whole saga, I think it’s sexist, demeaning and poorly written. My little cousin, who was like 16 at the time, was devouring these books like they were bottles of water and she’d been trapped in the desert. Me being the hip-happening feminist icon I am today, started badgering my aunt about how she shouldn’t let her daughter read such drivel. My aunt responded calmly, “but she’s reading.”

Now for a bit of context. My cousin is dyslexic and until Twilight, nothing could get her into books. Reading was a struggle, a stress, even with tinted glasses or acetate, it wasn’t worth the hassle. Then here she was, on the third installment, engrossed in the pages. She reads now, fluffy books, heavy books, classics, romance, thriller. She reads.

After trudging through a slew of articles about how terrible Zoe Sugg is and how she’s making teenagers stupid, I have every intention of buying each one of Zoella’s books. In solidarity if nothing else.

I want her books to be good, hell, I’d settle for enjoyable. 

Humans are evolutionary by nature. SHOCK SHOCK HORROR! People read less when the radio was invented, when TV was a staple in every home, when computers became smaller. So don’t you dare blame one girl for encouraging the youth of today to actually pick up a book.

The fact of the matter is Zoella is not the cause of teenage illiteracy, she’s the solution. 



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