“Why you gotta be so mean?”

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A couple of days ago I read this article online that was a major critique, but it also had some really mean bits. It was about a popular person that I happen to be following on the social media platforms that she is using. Mostly she is popular for her Youtube channel where she is called Zoella. Her real name is Zoe Sugg and she is a British vlogger who makes beauty and lifestyle oriented content. She also has been a strong voice on the subject of anxiety as she suffers from it and has made her experience public, receiving a great feedback from her viewers.

Now, I get that mean comments come as part of being popular. You cannot be liked by all and occasionally people will feel like talking mean stuff about you and everyone expects you to just go on and get over it. It is considered as part of the job.

I also get that criticism should be perceived as constructive and should be used in order to make your work better and evolve. People can critique that Zoe does beauty and fashion videos when on the other hand she advises young girls that what really matters is what’s inside. But meanness is unnecessary. Saying about Zoe, so easily, that she is a hypocrite is just mean.

What Zoe does is offer her audience what the audience asks. Make-up and pretty clothes is about having fun and not about denying your value as a person or denying your true self. Also, what few people can deny is that make-up and pretty clothes make you feel good about yourself. By making the statement that Zoe is a hypocrite you obviously leave out the more important things she did online for the 6 million people that she has as an audience. But also you leave out one major thing.

It is something that a lot of us find it hard to do even with people who are close to us. And that is being vulnerable. I still remember a vlog where she was just talking to the camera about what upset her and she was crying. I can barely cry with someone beside me let alone in front of a camera. I get that being vulnerable is mostly judged because people perceive it as being weak. By revealing herself in one of her toughest moments to her audience, Zoe was being very strong. And this is a thing we must learn from her and put it first when feeling tempted to judge her.  Maybe she does not see herself as being strong, given that she is fighting anxiety in her life, but given the fact that she’s handling a lot of the stress that comes with being popular in front of such a big audience proves how strong she can really be.

Obviously, I don’t know her personally, I am only one of the millions that are watching her videos, but I felt like I needed to say all of the above because that nasty article stuck with me. I really hope that after all the support she received all the past mean comments won’t stick with her and neither will the next ones.

Do you watch Zoe’s videos on Youtube?

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