For this post I thought I'd talk a little bit about why I think mainstream media should stop scrutinising and hating on Zoella.
Taken from Zoe's Instagram: @Zoella
In some ways, I think that a lot of mainstream media struggle to understand both the concept of YouTube and 'YouTubers' but also the success they bring. Many are accused of being not very successful or have people questioning their success when in actual fact, this new wave of culture should be celebrated. Media personalities and journalists need to face facts in my opinion, that YouTube is becoming a huge phenomenon and understand that it's a huge new factor of media. For a lot of the younger generation, this is what they are interested in and how they spend their spare time.
For me personally, Zoella has impacted on my life in many ways. I first began watching her videos in late 2012, after discovering her 'Dealing With Anxiety and Panic Attacks' video which at the time was very relevant to me and my life. I was at a stage where I was a bit confused and in denial about what was happening to me, but watching Zoe's video and her experiences made me realise they were similar in some cases to mine. I therefore had a lot of respect for her and began watching more of her videos and saw her grow into one of the UK's biggest vloggers. When I began watching her, the YouTube culture was still growing and the mainstream media hadn't quite got as involved with it as they have today. The community was a lot smaller and arguably 'tight-knit'.
Due to this, I do in some ways feel protective of her as YouTube has changed and grown so much since she first began posting videos and nobody really knew it would grow to what it is now and I can't imagine how that must be especially from an anxiety sufferer's point of view. She has had to adapt to so much change so quickly. And there's also obviously been setbacks and media making things harder for her, for example when her address became published online by a newspaper and she had people coming to her house. It's almost like respect is lost if you're a YouTuber just because some parts of your life is online, which I personally don't think is fair to any YouTuber, but in Zoe's case it must be hugely difficult to balance your anxiety out alongside that.
I conducted a survey to find out more opinions to see if I was the only person who thought this way and to discover what others think of Zoella.
Following the results from the survey, 30% of people who saw themselves as Zoella fans felt that she had been treated too harshly by the media, while another 30% also added that this was sometimes the case.
70% of people felt like Zoe is scrutinised by mainstream media because she is a successful and well established YouTuber and interestingly enough, 90% of people believe that mainstream media doesn't recognise that Zoe's target audience isn't just pre-teens.
Another question I felt to be very interested by the answers was 50% considered Zoella to be good role model, while 50% were not sure.
I have to say I agree that because Zoe has become successful from YouTube, that mainstream media scrutinise her because she is successful and established and I'd also add that they maybe use her as an example when talking about YouTubers when she does not reflect the entire community. I would also say that I do believe she is a good role model, obviously nobody is perfect and we all make mistakes and we all have past things we aren't happy with, but there's much worse influences that people could be looking up to than her, especially on the YouTube spectrum.
I do think this happens to be the case as a lot of the older generation are out of touch with modern forms of media and they can sometimes be close-minded on learning and understanding of how YouTubers make their success and why they are so popular.
I hope this post has maybe made you think twice about both mainstream media and Zoe and other YouTubers of course too. I'd also like to thank everybody who took part in my survey for this post!
It is very appreciated!