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Zoe Sugg Responds To Zoella Content Being Pulled From GCSE Syllabus

Zoe Sugg Responds To Zoella Content Being Pulled From GCSE Syllabus

She's made it clear her demographic is 25 to 35-year-old women, not 16-year-olds

Jake Massey

Jake Massey

YouTuber Zoe Sugg, better known as Zoella, has responded to being dropped from the AQA GCSE syllabus.

Sugg, 30, has been on the AQA Media Studies GCSE syllabus since 2017 but has now been removed, with the exam board explaining that some of her content is no longer 'appropriate' for GCSE students after her site featured an article about vibrators.

Taking to Instagram, the vlogger and author criticised the exam board for its lack of research and approach to sexuality.

Sugg has responded to the move from the AQA.
Instagram/Zoe Sugg

She said: "For those who aren't aware, the Zoella website is not just me reviewing things. It's a passionate team of women (WOMEN) writing about things women are interested in and we've worked hard to include more women's health, conversational articles and basically just more grown up content as our main demographic is 25-35 year old females. NOT 16 year olds.

"However, if the curriculum had done their research before just going 'Oh Zoella, her audience are teens right?' They probably would have discovered countless posts about periods, masturbation, sex, fertility alongside the new post they're referring to.

"Alongside this. I actually disagree that teens shouldn't be learning about this stuff. Maybe not in their bloody curriculum exam, but how else are teenage girls going to find out more about being a woman? I WISH I had a website like Zoella growing up. Instead I had Mizz magazine problem page!"

"Are you trying to tell me your 16 year old daughter doesn't know what a sex toy is or that she's not explored her body AT ALL? Oh plzzzz."

Explaining the decision to remove Zoella content from the syllabus, Sandra Allan, AQA's head of curriculum for creative arts, said it was no longer 'suitable' for GCSE students.

Sugg thinks we need to tackle some of the taboos surrounding sexuality.

She said: "GCSE Media Studies includes the analysis of online and social media and we added Zoella in 2017.

"At the time, all her content was appropriate for teaching, but some of Zoella's recent content is aimed specifically at an adult audience and isn't suitable for GCSE students.

"As a result, we've removed the section on Zoella from the course, and we've contacted our schools and colleges to let them know."

Speaking to Business Insider, Allan said that students who have already been studying using the AQA Close Study Products booklet, which contains reference to Zoella, will not be penalised if they mention her during the exams next year.

She added: "We recognise that students may already have studied Zoella for 2021 or 2022.

"As you know, there won't be exams this summer - and we won't penalise any students who make references to her in their exam responses in 2022."

Since the news broke that Zoella had been removed from the curriculum, Sugg said she had been inundated with messages of support.

She said: "My messages are going WILD! Thank you so much for your support and lovely long and considered messages on the topic!

"Reading through all my dms it's so clear you're also very passionate about normalising this and removing the taboo too!"

Sugg was one of the UK's first major YouTube success stories after she started uploading videos in 2009.

She's since racked up more than nine million followers on Instagram and 11 million on YouTube.

Sugg is also the author of four books and has launched her own brand of make up and beauty products.

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/Zoe Sugg

Topics: UK News