Tag Archives: Twitter

My thoughts on the Zoella ghostwriter controversy

As a lot of you know, YouTuber Zoella has recently released her first book, entitled “Girl Online. Since the release of her book it has become a best seller. Selling 78,000 copies in seven days, controversially beating the first week sales figures of any author on record, including J. K. Rowling!

You have to admit, that is pretty impressive to begin with. For me, it is awe inspiring to see a fellow YouTuber achieve such a huge success. To me, J.K Rowling is a goddess. She is pretty much one of my all time favorite writers. So, to see Zoella achieve something on par, if not a little more extraordinary than J.K Rowling, in regards to the sales of her first book, is eye opening.

Zoella has since been under fire for hiring a ghostwriter to help her with her first publication. The ghost writer’s name is Siobhan Curham. Siobhan has written a blog post explaining that for legal reasons, she is not able to disclose any specific details about her involvement with Zoella’s book.

A representative from Penguin publishing stated “To be factually accurate you would need to say Zoe Sugg did not write the book Girl Online on her own. Girl Online was very much a collaboration between Zoe and her editorial team.” After receiving backlash online about hiring a ghost writer, Zoe Sugg (Zoella’s real name) tweeted the a status saying “taking a few days out and off the internet because it’s clouding up my brain. Thanks for understanding.” 

Since all of this information has been published, there has been a lot of opinions posted online questioning Zoella’s integrity. As a fellow YouTuber and child of the 21st century, I don’t think that Zoella should be sent to the gallows for hiring help while publishing her first book. Think about it, do you really think that Zoella would have the knowledge and resources to publish her own book without any outside help? I sure wouldn’t expect her to.

Zoella is a YouTuber first and foremost, not an author/writer. It’s very common for celebrities, from the online variety or otherwise, to hire ghostwriters.

Let’s be rational about this for a second, do you really think that Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Lady Gaga or any other world famous person with a best selling fragrance made it themselves or had the knowledge to do so before the fragrance was made a reality? No. They obviously hired outside help, shared their vision with people who could make that fragrance  a reality, to become a product that they could sell to their fans. That is just a simple example but there are many, many other examples like celebrity clothing lines, makeup lines etc. I can guarantee you that most of the people who set up these lines or companies, are not chemists or trained fashion designers.

They are a brand, who want to expand, just like Zoella.

I think what some people fail to realize, is that Zoella is no longer a girl in her bedroom,  recording videos just for fun, she is a brand. There are a lot of YouTubers out there who are trying to establish a brand from their YouTube channels and Zoella is no different. I do think that Zoella could have been more clear about her involvement with the book, especially for younger viewers, who may not understand the in’s and out’s of the publishing world. In my own personal opinion, it was rather obvious that she had a lot of help to create it and I don’t believe that to be a crime.

I think that being an internet celebrity can be just as intense as being “proper” celebrity. I say that in inverted comma’s just to distinguish how people see a difference in online celebrities, to say, singers or actors. I think that internet celebrities can sometimes have even more of a burden on them to be seen as perfect, because they are considered to be “normal people” and have more of a responsibility to stay grounded and respected by their viewers and fans alike.

Zoella apparently thanked Siobhan Curham in the acknowledgments section of her book. Curham stated “Whilst I was very grateful for the acknowledgement, I didn’t know that my full name would be in the book. I did not invite any of this attention upon myself.

I think there is a lot of transparency in celebrity publishing and we need to take it with a pinch of salt. Zoella obviously worked with an editorial team to produce her first book. Her book hit number three on the Amazon bestsellers list before the book was even released, I think the girl knows what she is doing and shes’s doing it well.

Should she be berated for hiring a ghostwriter? I don’t think so. I do think that any celebrity who does use a ghostwriter should be more forward about it, there is nothing to be ashamed of by getting help, in order to publish a first novel. There is also no need to hide the fact that you hired help to create something of worthy quality in order to publish it.

Anyways, that’s just my opinion!

 

Social Media Envy & Online Anxiety

This year I have been going through a mindful change, I decide to do my best to become more aware of life and what is going on around me and inside my head. As some of you may know I have suffered a bit this year with anxiety and it has been difficult to deal with, especially around stressful times and emotional times. I really wanted to write a honest blog about my feelings towards social media and I have forced myself to really take a look at what is going on inside my head and my heart and I discovered something that I am sure a lot of people can relate to. Loneliness and online envy.

You might be thinking “what? online envy?” let me explain.

Imagine you have been having what you assume to be a good day, maybe not even a good day, maybe just a decent day with no major hiccups. Then you log into your favorite social networking account to see that everyone is having the best damn time of their lives, travelling to exotic countries, hanging out with armies of friends, swinging from the ceilings of the hottest night club in town and having the best damn time ever it seems. All of a sudden your day seems like a total pile of shit, a sad existence, you feel like billy no mates and you may as well have not even bothered to get out of bed at all seems. You feel terrible and start to analyze your entire life and all of a sudden you don’t feel so good.  In reality, it only takes one beautifully filtered picture of a gorgeous friend to make you feel like quasimodo.

It can be really depressing, not to mention a super sonic hit to the ego. I don’t know about you but this happens to me a lot and as a self admitted over thinker, it can be really disheartening to log into a social networking account. It can cause me some panic and dread. I was chatting to a friend recently and I said “I don’t really like logging into facebook, it makes me feel anxious.” My friend replied with a raised eyebrow “Why!?” I explained and it didn’t seem to register with my friend the same as it did with me and I thought to myself, am I the only one who feels this way? Maybe my friend is just more secure then I am or, maybe they don’t follow enough beautiful internet celeb’s online!

Either way, I understood that this is something that needs to be discussed. Is online envy something that effects everyone at some point? And is it effecting how we live our lives?

I have a very close friend who doesn’t use facebook for this very reason and I admire her for that. Not having a facebook account these days is regarded as big a crime as not watching Breaking Bad is. IT IS INTERNET BLASPHEMY ALMOST! We live in the age of information technology, people can develop addictions to technology as easily as an addiction to cigarettes or drugs. There are technology addiction disorders such as Nomophobia, which is mobile phone addiction and Problematic Internet Use. It’s kinda scary and it makes me wonder what we are putting our poor psyche’s through on a daily basis when using the internet.

If you meet some one on a night out or at a social occasion, instead of asking for your mobile number now day’s most people will ask “Do you have facebook?” and what I have been thinking about is WHY? And I think I know the answer, we are an age obsessed with knowledge, we are more educated today than we ever where and we must know what is going on at all times and if we don’t we feel left out. Don’t get me wrong I am no stranger to this myself, I rather enjoy social networking, blogging and receiving information as fast as it is put out there. I usually know major news stories before my parents do because I check twitter constantly.

But there is a major down side, the thing that get’s me about social networking is that our lives are edited into the best fractions of their existence. The “best of” if you will. Honestly, I think social networking as made me paranoid and vain in some regards, if some one takes a picture of me and I don’t like it, a massive feeling of anxiety comes over me like a hurricane ready to hit, I don’t feel at ease until they delete it so I know that picture won’t pop up on social media to be seen by all online. What’s funny is, I should be used to it by now! I have been uploading online since the days of Myspace (yeah i’m old) and really, it should be just dirt off my shoulder. When you really think about it, there are companies out there that have taken advantage of these types of insecurities we have in today’s beauty obsessed world and have made apps based on them, photo editing apps where you can photo shop your blemishes while you sit on the bus, filters that make everything look more dream like, basically we give ourselves digital face lifts on our smartphones almost daily! Heck the word selfie has even made it into the dictionary!

The burning question on my mind is why do I care? Hell, why does anyone care! Why do we even feel the NEED to share our information with people and edit it before we release it into cyber space. I honestly think it is just a sign of the changing times. My Grandmother for example can not even fathom the idea of facebook and why people are so eager to share information about their daily lives so willingly. When it comes down to it, I really believe that seeing perfectly cropped and edited instagram pictures and epic statuses about the night before can cause us to feel a little envious at times, and naturally so. It is not strange or unusual to feel this way and I sometimes have to remind myself that not everyone’s lives are so amazingly awesome 100% of the time and that the internet is full of optical illusions of illustrious lives and perfected camera phone photography!

Social networking usually only shares the half truth version of our lives, which really isn’t so bad in a sense, it might mean we still have some modesty left in us I guess! But it can instill the idea that everything is all sunshine in rainbows in everyone’s lives but your own, but at the end of the day that is no where near the full truth at all. I think we should take the time to tune out the outside world for at least a short while every day, I know we can not really avoid technology living in this era but we can at least take a few moments to get back to basics and take care of ourselves, chill out and relax our brains and let our egos go and enjoy the simple things in life.

Remember that as humans we are flawed but isn’t it our unique attributes that make us who we are? If only we could see life through a valencia filter but for now I am just happy when there is actually sunshine in Ireland!

Ellie xox

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