“It’s all so unpredictable. This time last year, I would have never imagined the success I’d be having. So I can only hope that it continues to grow and people continue to enjoy watching my videos,” 24-year-old Zoella says, in her recent interview for the April issue of ‘Company Magazine.’
The Birth of ‘Zoella’
Guinea pigs, ombré hair, fawns, and Harry Potter are a few things that can be used to think of Zoe Sugg; better known as her YouTube persona ‘Zoella,’ is a British vlogger who focuses on talking about fashion, beauty, and lifestyle; but she also focuses on other types of videos that include challenges, or baking, and often she’ll work in collaboration with other YouTubers such as Tanya Burr (Tanyaburr), Marcus Butler (MarcusButlerTV), Grace Helbig (Itsgrace/ Dailygrace), or Tyler Oakley (Tyleroakley). At the start of 2013, her channel had 500,000 subscribers—and towards the end, she had gained around three million more subscribers; earlier in March she hit four million subscribers. She was also the 91st most subscribed YouTuber of 2013, and was in the list among ‘YouTuber legends’ like Ryan Higa (nigahiga) and Jenna Marbles (Jennamarbles).
Although Zoe gained so much popularity, it took her a few years to start up. On an evening in 2009, she first created a beauty blog called ‘Zoella.’ She had a small following of people, and she enjoyed being able to write about what she was up to. Later in 2009, on December 17th to be exact, she put up her first video—it was titled “60 Things In My Bedroom,” and something she still cringes thinking about today. Even though she didn’t have a huge fan base, she kept on going by creating ‘haul videos’ (where she goes on shopping sprees and collectively presents what she purchased), ‘monthly favourites’ (she talks about her most loved items of the past month), and collaborations with up-coming YouTubers, who often weren’t too popular either. As she realized that she was gaining attention from so many people, her schedule became more consistent and she dedicated more time to YouTube; she’ll now post every Sunday, like her brother Joe Sugg (Thatcherjoe), and their followers call it #SuggSunday.
The New Celebrity
Zoe is part of a movement of being a ‘new celebrity.’ Using YouTube as a platform, she is able to rise up in stardom—but not by using any extraordinary acting or singing talents- it’s just her to talking to a camera every few days! This makes the relationship of the subscribers and the YouTubers extremely intimate, and authentic, as opposed to that of a ‘conventional’ celebrity.
Through her channel, she’s also able to communicate real life issues such as body image, rocky relationships and her own personal battle with suffering through anxiety and panic attacks. On dealing with her unease, she stated “I could continue this way, or I could start saying ‘yes’ to more things and see where they take me. The only way you can step out that horrible, little box of ‘badness’ is to push yourself… You can do it, just push yourself and just say ‘yes’”
Most Popular/ Memorable Videos
As Zoe is a role model, she gets a lot of requests from her fans through different social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, to do certain videos. Her biggest demand is usually some form of beauty videos—hair, makeup, skin routines and such.
Currently, her most viewed video, with 4,616,362 views, is the “How To: My Quick and Easy Hairstyles.” Zoe is known for her long, gorgeous, ombré locks. On June 5th of last year, she posted a ten minute video explaining simple steps on how to achieve her most notable hairstyles, including her high ponytail and fishtail braid—since then, she’s partnered up with ‘All Things Hair UK’ where every few weeks she’ll put up a new hair-related video.
Her second most viewed video, with 3,706,579 views, is a makeup tutorial with her everyday makeup routine—she does state that she feels extremely self conscious, and this is the first time the outside YouTube community has ever witnessed Zoe on screen without any makeup on. In the video she starts with “So here I am, facially naked, on the internet—something that quite honestly terrifies me. Although I know not everybody has perfect skin, I’m quite insecure about mine.” This went so viral, that in fact the eye shadow pallet she uses in her tutorial, Estee Lauder’s Raisins, heavily went up in sales over the next month, primarily due to the fact that so many people strive to be like her.
The most popular collaboration on her channel is the “My Brother Does my Makeup,” where her younger sibling Joe attempts to apply different types of makeup onto Zoe. This was also the video that prompted many viewers to ask for Joe to create a YouTube channel—which he eventually did: it’s called ‘ThatcherJoe.” Evidently, Zoe’s audience enjoyed seeing the siblings together trying to create some content. Many viewers also expressed their attraction towards him, as seen in the comments of the video.
The Future of Zoella
Zoe seems to be rising higher and higher into YouTube stardom, and her career doesn’t appear to be dulling down anytime soon. With all her given opportunities, she was able to meet and interview One Direction in August 2013, go to Dubai towards the end of December, be the cover of a magazine she’d been reading for the past four years, and win a BBC Teen Award for Best British Vlogger are among the few.
Going from blogger to vlogger, she was asked what her secret to success was, and she simply stated, “I would love to say that there is a specific thing someone could do. But I think the main thing that really makes it work is that, if you’re having fun, being yourself and filming something that you would watch yourself, it becomes contagious for other people to watch it too.”
- Blog: http://www.zoella.co.uk
- Twitter: http://twitter.com/Zozeebo
- YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/zoella280390
- How to: My Quick and Easy Hairstyles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=my3Bfd6qYrs&list=TLaQ-AOEUL616wxaIkjM_SGBg8KVnOmx2N
- Just Say Yes:
- My Everyday Makeup Routine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrOAVLICvhw&list=TLaQ-AOEUL616wxaIkjM_SGBg8KVnOmx2N
- My Brother Does My Make-up
- 60 Things In My Room