You may have seen the drama on twitter recently surrounding the infamous £50 Zoella advent calander and the Hello World Live event, which has prompted me to throw my two cents in and have a little rant about bigger YouTubers and their explotation of younger viewers.
I’ve been a huge fan of YouTube since 2012 and looked up to Zoe for the majority of my teenage years. As a thirteen year old, I literally took everything she said as gospel; if she was wearing a foundation I’d go to town and pick up the exact same one straight away. This wasn’t a bad thing, I genuinely valued her opinion and felt she took time to help her audience in deciding what to buy through monthly favourites and boots hauls. Fast forward four years and she now has her own, horrifically overpriced, products in boots which she tries very hard to plug in said favourites videos. I’m not trying to say she isn’t deserving of her success, I understand she’s worked for years to build her brand and, admittedly, if I had my own products I’d be mentioning them in videos too, but my issue is her ignorance towards her audience. Charging £50 for half an advent calendar that contains glitter and stickers is absolutely unacceptable. Just to put it into context for you, you could buy a concert ticket, six months of Netflix or a return flight to Poland for the same price as the calendar. You could literally fly to a different country and back for the same amount she has the audacity to charge for Poundland junk. If I were to buy the calendar, I’d have to put six and a half hours in at work. Glitter and stickers are NOT worth six and a half hours of my life nor are they worth a days wage for all the parents who will buy one to make their children happy. Why should parents spend a whole day working to line a millionaires pocket when they don’t even get a quality product in return? After years of seeming genuine, Zoe has well and truly proven herself to be WAY too money hungry, and yes, I know she may not have had a huge say in the price, but she chose to put her name on something that is very obviously exploiting children, which is inexcusable. The fact that she’s chosen to completely ignore the issue isn’t helping her case either.
My outrage doesn’t stop there, I’m appalled by the majority of bigger YouTubers, especially those who attended Hello World Live, who allowed children (or their parents) to pay upwards of £100 to stand in queues all day. From what I can gather, the whole day was unorganised and just another way to sell over priced merch that had absolutely NO effort put into it (I’m looking at you with your PB logos Alfie). I no longer watch a lot of the YouTubers who attended and had stopped watching Alfie and Zoe long before then, simply because I was sick of them dropping in lines like ‘I got a FREE Mulberry bag in my PO Box’, and ‘I have to have VIP insurance on my Range Rover’ just to let everyone know how privileged and luxurious their life is. Its great that they have nice things, but if child exploitation is their only way to go about getting them then they really need to rethink their strategy.
To be honest, I’m very disappointed with the state of YouTube at the minute. Don’t get me wrong, there are SO many great channels out there that I watch daily, but theres a select few people who are bleeding their status dry to buy bigger houses and better cars, and I’m SO glad people are starting to take notice.
I’d love to know your thoughts on the advent calendar drama and bigger YouTubers in general, feel free to leave a comment letting me know what you think! Megan x
Thumbnail credits go to Zoella’s video