Is Zoella the Kendall Jenner of Publishing? | LV In Love With

Is Zoella the Kendall Jenner of Publishing?


I had planned this post before the whole ghostwriting 'scandal' over Zoella's first book broke. Back then the tone of comments going round was more along the lines of "why does she get to publish a book when there are struggling authors out there who don't get a look in". Then rumours of a ghostwriter turned into confirmed reports that 'Zoe Sugg did not write the book Girl Online on her own' (read the article here) and the real shit storm hurricane began (on Twitter at least).

I was going to scrap the whole blog post on the subject but on reflection I thought that it might still be of interest. I still think the whole subject hinges on the idea of authenticity. Regardless of how much help Zoe may or may not have gotten, she still got the opportunity to publish a book. A book with her name on. A book with her name on that is now a best-seller. There are thousands of writers who could never imagine that level of success. But Zoe, a mere YouTuber, was given that opportunity. I completely understand why people got (and perhaps still get) a bit sniffy about the whole thing - Zoe hadn't struggled for this book, she'd gotten her book deal due to her position and fan base. 

This rang a massive bell in my head. A pretty brunette whose fame and following meant a door opened to an opportunity that she didn't 'deserve'? Sounds uncannily like Kendall Jenner. A couple of months back Arisce Wanzer wrote an open letter to Kendall bemoaning the fact that Kendall hadn't struggled like the majority of other models trying to make it big. That Kendall's 'mommy surely called a top agency' and 'got her in the door' to Vogue, Marc Jacobs and even Chanel (read the open letter here).

So here's my opinion on both Zoe and Kendall. I think both girls are extremely lucky. Their circumstances have meant that they have been given unbelievable opportunities. Did they have to work as hard in their chosen field to get there? No. And that is what puts a sour taste in people's mouths. It is unfair. But the whole world of work, especially in popular industries such as modeling and publishing, are notoriously hard to get in to and are already rife with nepotism. I would love a world that was truly a meritocracy, where people were rewarded with success only through working hard and slogging it out, but sadly I feel it will never happen. Ultimately I believe that Zoe was just at the right place, at the right time. She was given an opportunity and she took it. 

The cynic in me also believes that the people and the companies who gave both Kendall and Zoe these modelling gigs and book deals are undoubtedly chasing the money. Millions of followers on social media platforms are not to be sniffed at. The publicity and followings that come with both these girls signal major dollar and pound signs respectively. 

Before the whole ghost writer thing came out I was going to end this post with a point about how, regardless of how Kendall or Zoe got to these positions, it doesn't necessarily mean that they aren't working their butts off now they are there. The appearance of the ghostwriter in Zoe's case sort of kills that argument. However - no one really knows how much work Zoe put into her novel, I can't imagine writing a novel even with the collaboration of a ghostwriter is a walk in the park. Maybe she did indeed work her butt off. 

I'd love to know your thoughts on this subject - it seems like everyone has an opinion on this!

LV x
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