Perched on the end of her bed, recording YouTube videos on matters ranging from skincare advice and make-up products reviews, to dealing with anxiety and baking tutorials, it may seem difficult to understand where the overwhelming appeal for ‘Zoella’ (aka Zoe Sugg) stems from. Well, Sugg is light-hearted, fun and entertaining, as well as informative on matters her viewers are eager to learn about. She offers intelligent advice and has a peculiar ability to make those watching her feel like they’ve known her for years. She is somewhat addictive, and I have to admit that I have fallen prey to this quality of hers.
The Wiltshire-born 24-year-old who now resides in Brighton with her boyfriend and fellow YouTube star, Alfie Deyes (you may know him as PointlessBlog), has a total of 9 million subscribers on her two YouTube channels. She has over 2.5 followers on Twitter, nearly another 2 million on Facebook and is one of the most influential web personalities around today.
But what do all these figures really equate to? Well, for one, they mean that Zoe has garnered enough fan attention to launch her very own Zoella Beauty range consisting of bath bombs and perfume amongst many other products. Perhaps even more impressively, however, is the recent release of her debut novel, Girl Online, which is tipped to be the Christmas number one bestseller. It must be a rather nice feeling knowing that you’ve single handily encouraged reading amongst an age group whose interest in literature is increasingly waning. Regardless of how superior a title may be, any reading is good reading in my book (pun very much intended).
And why is it that you’ve probably never heard of her? Well, she occupies a space on YouTube along with a handful of other British YouTubers (Tanya Burr, Jim Chapman and Marcus Butler, to name just a few) that has become unprecedentedly popular with teenagers across the world, but seemingly not yet the mass media. Sugg, along with the aforementioned, is represented by a London-based talent agency; her face is plastered across London buses; she has been invited to speak on countless television and radio talk shows; and without you realising, has probably made a few appearances on your television screens in recent months as one of the faces of YouTube, yet she could still walk down the street without a single person recognising her – except for her teenage viewers, of course.
Sugg’s ever increasing internet fame suggests that she will soon become a household name. Despite her handful of critics, it seems difficult to find fault with Zoella. Whether Zoe predicted it or not (and judging by the simple beginnings of her YouTube channel and blog, I’m certain that she didn’t), she has become a role model for her millions of viewers, and a pretty good one at that. I wish her well on her inevitable journey to greater success.