On Wednesday, Zoella was trending on Twitter after an article published on the Independent’s website criticised the Youtube star.

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Chloe Hamilton, a writer for the Independent rather viciously picked Zoe (pictured above) apart from the size of her eyes, to her hair, which honestly surprised and shocked me all in one go. Among the onslaught of insults, Hamilton’s point (when you eventually got to it) questioned how on earth Zoella could be regarded as a role model for young girls when her YouTube videos were mainly focused on beauty, hair and prettifying oneself. It seemed a bit ironic to her that Zoe, who once said she would advise young girls not to fret about their appearance, has built a fan base by posting make up and hair tutorials, which essentially places a strong focus on your appearance.

Now, like many other bloggers who have posted in response to Hamilton’s article, I too am not particularly familiar with Zoella. I haven’t subscribed to her YouTube page and I don’t religiously watch her videos. Even though I’m not a raging fan, I agree with many that the 24-year-old vlogger didn’t deserve to be burned in such a public way.

Hamilton crossed lines that made me shake my head in utter disbelief. However, when you rummage through all the unnecessary bitterness she displays throughout the article, you do miraculously find that Hamilton does pose a valid observation.

It is somewhat ironic for Zoe to advise young, impressionable girls not to worry about their appearance when she has built her following on posts and tutorials relating to hair and beauty. However it’s unfair for Hamilton to point the finger only at Zoe, when there are hundreds if not thousands of people who demonstrate that same irony everyday. Is it fair to single her out? Absolutely not.

Hamilton talks about her not being a suitable role model because of her inconsistencies, but what kind of “role model” or authoritative voice is Hamilton shaping up to be having attacked a 24 year old girl who has simply achieved success in a non-traditional way?

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Like her or not, you can’t deny that Zoe has worked pretty hard to get to where she is. Blogging is not an easy feat and realistically, not all of us will attain the same success she has. It takes time, dedication, being at the right place at the right time and a great deal of commitment to make a blog or digital channel work.

But she’s done this because it’s clearly her passion. Just because she hasn’t used the traditional route of going to university and working at established newspapers, doesn’t make her less worthy of the achievements she’s attained after five years of constantly posting engaging content to a massive community. If anything, she should be a role model for her fierce focus.

Yes, she vlogs about beauty, but she really isn’t that bad considering the number of scantily clad celebrities that get snapped everyday. YouTubers are fast becoming a new wave of celebrities, but if it means that youngsters are encouraged and inspired to write, exert creative thinking, be bold enough to carve out their own identity, learn the intricacies of video production and editing, blog design, HTML, SEO, branding, marketing and so much more, then we should really be thankful that not all hope is lost for the next generation.

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