Why is Zoella so Unrelatable?

You may have clicked onto this blog post looking for some juicy tea to be spilled, but to be honest, this is more of an investigation of why many people think Zoella is so unrelatable.

I have been watching Zoella on and off for several years, and whilst I cringed at her first beauty range release she has actually gone on to release multiple successful ranges and books but also had a few controversial releases.

Zoella is one of the biggest female YouTubers and throughout her career as a vlogger she has had many ups and downs. Currently, her channel is on somewhat of a downward spiral with her subscribers decreasing each day but she is still lingering above that 12 million subscriber milestone and her channel has surpassed a billion views.

Over the past couple of years, Zoella has had to withstand negative press, hate storms, and other waves of hate directed towards her. Some of the criticism has been valid but other things are purely rooted in jealousy.

So what is it that makes Zoella so unrelatable and why do people hate her?

I took a quick look at Twitter with a simple search of “Zoella unrelatable” and while there weren’t many hits I still found some interesting Tweets. The most common reason for Twitter users to find Zoella unrelatable is the fact that she’s got money. I find this rather interesting as I have looked up to celebrities all my life because of who they are and what they do, not how much money they have.

Apparently, people have gone off Zoella because she has a lot of money in the bank. Is this a fair reason to criticise someone or is does this opinion derive from jealousy? I won’t say I’m rich in any way, I work my 8-5 job, pay rent, bills, and put away for savings. I don’t make nearly as much money a year as Zoella does in a month but still, I don’t find that it is her earnings what makes her unrelatable.

A £500 Primark haul seems to have shook fans to the core and to be honest, I don’t understand what the big deal is. She went to Primark of all places and found a tonne of things that everyone can be able to afford, you don’t have to spend as much money as she did and, to be honest, how many times haven’t you been in a London Primark and seen tourists pay hundreds of pounds in there?

So we’ve established she has money and she likes to spend it. If this makes her unrelatable then what would make her relatable? Also, what is she meant to do with her money if not spend it on things? I’m not trying to defend her but if you compare Zoella’s spending with other big YouTubers including her brother and boyfriend, then perhaps she isn’t as unrelatable and obnoxious as people make her out to be.

IMG_3947 (kopia)

Fame has got to her…

Many of the comments and opinions about the unrelatable Zoella is that she is too rich and famous and has lost touch with the real world. What many people are forgetting is that she doesn’t live in the real world anymore, she is in the world of celebrity and richness but still, people are trying to bring her down to their level. Now, I am not saying that she is almighty or living on another tier of life, but on paper, she is different to so many of us and with that comes a lot of privileges we could only dream of.

As I was writing this I tweeted out “Writing a blog post called “Why is Zoella so unrelatable?”” and have throughout the duration of the post received a lot of comments about this with people voicing their opinions. Many said she’s lost touch with the real world and others claiming she is promoting products that are too expensive for her target audience.

When she started out she was a teenager and has since then had the image of a young girl having fun with her friends and showing off what she got in Primark. Before she lived in her big Brighton mansion she was deemed as relatable but what happened to change this? She hasn’t really spent the past years travelling the world in business class, splurging on every designer bag out there, or bought a house in the Hollywood Hills.

Sure, her and Alfie have a couple of cars, live in an incredibly big house and her job title is “YouTuber”. But has she really changed that much since she was making videos in her bedroom? If we remove the money aspect – aka being able to afford the above-mentioned items – what really is different?

[READ: In Conclusion, Don’t Worry About It]

IMG_3947 (kopia)

She’s lost touch with the real world…

There’s a magazine called Empire in which they ask actors how much a pint of milk is. Nine times out of ten the actor will say a ridiculous amount. Ellen Degeneres had Bill Gates on her show and had him guess the price of normal household products. He was miles off. Reading people’s comments about how unrelatable Zoella is, makes it sound like they’re making her out to be Bill Gates or any other multi-billionaire who hasn’t stepped foot in a grocery store in decades. That is someone who I would claim to be unrelatable and who has lost touch with the real world.

Living a life of fame will definitely change you. Some people take this into the extremes by launching themselves at the press and ending up on every front cover possible whereas others take it with grace and continue living a similar life to who they used to be. If those are the two binaries then I think Zoella fits somewhere on the side of the latter.

At the beginning of her YouTube fame, she spent time with other vloggers and was travelling to places like Florida and Dubai, going to parties and events, and mingling with other famous people. Since then she has grown up and I’d liked to say embraced her rich life and fame in a way a lot of people wouldn’t have. She didn’t go into drugs or alcohol instead she bought a house and a dog.

Seeing as she vlogs most of her life we get to see what she gets up to every day. From these videos, we can see that she enjoys to sit at home, play with her dog, hang out with her boyfriend, friends, and family, shop at Waitrose, spend a lot of time in Pets At Home and the random trip to Home Sense.

She also likes to treat herself to a relaxing weekend at a luxurious spa, buy cars that are more expensive than the average Zoella fan could afford, travel far and wide to exotic places such as Mykonos, New York and Edinburgh.

When it’s written down like this it doesn’t really sound like she is as unrelatable as a lot of people say…

[READ: So, blogging has changed me…]

What makes Zoella relatable?

As you will have noticed throughout this post I have somewhat been defending Zoella and her unrelatable self because I do in fact find her relatable to a certain extent. While I agree that her advent calendar mishap of 2017 wasn’t her brightest moment and that she is continuously sent products from all different type of brands, has a lot of privileges derived from her fame and the fact that she has earned more money than I will ever earn throughout my lifetime, I still don’t find her to be that unrelatable.

Now I’m a 25-year-old girl who works a full-time job, live in Sweden, travel a lot, and consider Urban Outfitters to be reasonably priced. To my 50-year-old mother and my 18-year-old cousin, my lifestyle is completely unrelatable. My mum works full-time, has a mortgage to pay off and student debts stealing a chunk of her salary each month. My cousin is in high school, works in KFC and lives in Northern Ireland.

I don’t want to speak for them but I am guessing that what makes me relatable in their eyes are my personality and opinions, the things I like, and my interests in life.

We all relate to people differently but for some reason when it comes to Zoella her relatability factor comes down to two things – if you can or can’t afford the lifestyle she has. In other words, she has been reduced to her net-worth and not her worth as a person. Just because you are rich and famous doesn’t mean that you lose touch with the real world. I think that it is the way a person lives their life that makes them relatable and not the price tag of the things they buy.

I have throughout this post focused on Zoella being unrelatable based on her money situation and I would very much enjoy writing a follow-up post about other things that people claim make her unrelatable. The reason I focused on money in this post is that it seems that the common opinion is that she is too rich to be relatable.

While I don’t find her being rich to be the reason for me finding her unrelatable there are many other aspects which I will bring up in Part 2 of this series if I ever write one.

In the meantime, why don’t you let me know what you think the comments down below? Is the Zoella hate justifiably and is she unrelatable?

IMG_3923 (kopia)


41 thoughts on “Why is Zoella so Unrelatable?

  1. My husband showed me the Ellen interview of Bill Gates and while he was out of the touch with the real world, I guess I was too. What my point is, I still have no clue why I’m not enjoying Zoella’s videos anymore. I don’t think it’s because she’s unrelatable because she’s rich and famous, I guess she grew up and I grew up and we grew apart (if that’s something I can say about a YouTuber).

    I agree with you, she really isn’t as unrelatable as people say she is. She just lives in a different scale compared to the rest of us, which people usually forget. Her £500 Primark Haul is the same as I’d do £200 Primark Haul, but that’s obvious as she is earning gazillion times more than I am. It’s the perspective, I believe. And also, to put it this way, which do you think is easier? Telling people that someone is unrelatable because she has the money or telling everyone that you’re jealous because someone has money?
    I don’t like when people play the money card. I find it annoying af. We all get the cards we are going to play our life through when we are born, that’s up to you how you decide to play them as you grow. In most of the cases.

    You’ve got some amazing points here, Hannah. I put a lot of thought into it and I think the main reason I don’t watch her anymore isn’t that she is unrelatable to me, it’s just because I grew out of it. But yeah, I don’t think she’s unrelatable. She’s just living the kind of life which people with her income usually do. I think it’s not good to think people will stay the same as they were when they were teenagers.

    I can’t say anything about her content as I haven’t been watching it for years, so I can’t comment on whether the products she shares with her viewers are affordable to her audience.

    lots of love, Jasmin
    // littlethingswithjassy.com

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yeah, that totally makes sense that you’ve grown apart haha. And I didn’t want to say it myself but I do think a lot of people are jealous of her wealth and don’t want to say it so they just call her unrelatable instead. Because as you say £500 is no different to £200 in the end.

      I think in the end if something is affordable comes down to each individual person and just because someone thinks £500 is a lot of money doesn’t make it a lot of money for all of her viewers! I’ve seen small bloggers splurge on expensive gear and subscriptions so it’s weird to see the same people claim Zoella is promoting expensive products.

      Thanks for reading, understanding, and commenting!


  2. Been waiting for this post since you said you were going to write it, and honestly I think you touched on the points I’ve felt, but never put into words.

    It seems to me (as someone who’s just gotten into watching her vlogs a few years ago) that she as a person is relatable. However, as you mentioned, she’s in a different–more lavish– way of living than I am. Her lifestyle may not be relatable but I think she and her personal struggles are. Those struggles may be slightly more privileged at times, but I don’t think they always were.

    Perhaps that’s the part that makes her still feel like someone to relate to, because there are still traces of the person before the “fame”.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Wow. What a post. I completely agree with everything hat you described. I used to be a massive fan of zoella…but as she got bigger and more famous I found myself drifting from her because I just wasn’t enjoying the content she was cteearing anymore, such as her massive beauty hauls where she would spend hundreds of pounds on makeup…it made me feel as though I couldn’t relate to her anymore as I always had in the back on my mind that she got sent loads of free products by other brands..but that’s just me. 💜

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I never really cared for her hauls especially makeup as I’m not really into that. A lot of the comments that I received on Twitter were about how people felt she was showing off but I feel that is what everyone is doing with hauls or favourite videos.

      There’s one blogger I follow on instagram who I’ve had to mute on stories because all she posts are PR gifts and it just doesn’t interest me and feels like she’s just showing off on Instagram. But I wouldn’t call her unrelatable ya know? Maybe just a little annoying haha


  4. This was such an interesting read. I think with any content creator, blogger or YouTuber when they become different to yourself or their possessions/hauls become out of your reach, you start to find them less relatable. Perhaps at this point, they’re there for you to take inspiration from rather than them being a person to relate to? I would love to have a big house (not quite as big as Zoella’s, just a spacious 4 bed) and a dog one day but I can’t possibly justify spending £500 on makeup or in Primark in one sitting but Zoella has the money to, I don’t and that’s that 🤷🏾‍♀️ I can’t relate to her in that sense but I enjoy the content she creates, yeah she makes bad decisions (the advent calendar situation) but she can’t be a perfect human just because she’s in the lime light. She’ll continue to make mistakes and learn from them, just like every other normal human being 🤷🏾‍♀️

    Fran | http://www.franciscarockey.co.uk

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes you are totally right! But you can relate to her on your own level, life isn’t a competition and because you can afford a huge house doesn’t have to mean you want one – your version of success is different to someone else. I only mentioned it briefly in the post but I do think jealousy plays a role in how people perceive someone to be unrelatable


  5. I’ve been thinking about this since our quick conversation on Twitter and your article has really good points.

    My hypothesis is that maybe Zoella aims to be relatable to her target audience and because she isn’t a teen nor is she financially limited anymore, she has to put on a show to be relatable (hence my comment about the swimming pool with her best friend).

    I suppose older people like myself see through this and find her suspicious in a way. I’d be so much more into her if she actually lived up to her boujee standards lol But I’m not her target market so she wouldn’t have any reason to do that.

    In any case, her success as a blogger, vlogger and business woman is fascinating.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. This post is so interesting to read and honestly touches on the subject of Zoella in such a way that it’s just intriguing to work out why she’s become so unrelateable. I used to adore Zoella vlogs a few years ago and I do agree that she hasn’t become unrelateable personality wise it’s just that she has a more lavish lifestyle now that is a far cry from the girl next door who started the blog and youtube channel.

    I think because there are still traces though of the ‘original’ girl behind it all still in her content it makes it harder to accept that she’s a big successful rich star. I think though that if she had stayed the same all the way through, from teenager to now it would be even weirder. Great post, so well written!


    Liked by 2 people

  7. Loved this! Completely agree, people can sit around saying she’s unrelatable but you can garuntee they’d spend as much as her if the roles were reversed, if not more – I know I would! Especially after working hard for it 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I think it’s sad that people find Zoella unrelatatble due to the amount of money she has, she has worked hard for what she has earns and I think if anyone was offered the opportunities she has they would snap them up. From reading your article and seeing it all written down I think she has actually stayed quite grounded. I think she some times has repercussions from other people’s scandals such as the live on £5 thing and the relationship with the Inghams after the recent findings. I do feel people are slightly harsh on her as she is still young and her life has changed.
    Great post I hope you continue to follow this up as it’s very interesting.
    Kate x

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I defo agree! And I also feel people just find hit hard to be happy for someone who’s successful in a friend similar to their own, it’s fuelled by jealousy to a certain extent I believe.

      And yeah she has got a lot of hate for things that aren’t directly her doing. Which is a shame cause she doesn’t seem to be the type of person who would do the things she’s been linked to.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. You’ve made some really amazing points! I don’t find her unrelatable however, I’ve also grown up watching her. She’s trying to be relatable to teenagers as that’s her product market however with her money she just isn’t relatable to them. She’s not really grown up alongside her subscribers, she’s continued to try and be relatable for 14 year olds. I love seeing more of her business and that side of her rather than the hauls. I also don’t think it’s fair to judge her on the primark haul, she went once in a year and spent £500. I think collectively over a year most people spend that. Look at how many smaller youtubers do monthly Primark hauls! That’s certainly not relatable to me, who wants to spend £50-£70 a month in Primark!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you!! I find her relatable to a certain extent but I feel that with everyone. I think she struggles a lot with who to target with her products and content so it becomes a little jumbled.

      And I agree, just cause she spent £500 in one go makes no difference when you compare to those who spend £50 every month!

      Thanks for reading! ☺️

      Liked by 1 person

  10. This is a great post and an interesting read. I can’t really decide how I feel about her now, sometimes seeing the latest Zoella controversy makes my eyes roll and I can’t help feeling like a lot of the time she’s just looking for the next way to profit off her followers but I guess that’s business? Idk. I guess a lot has changed since she started and it’s hard to adjust your image to fit your new lifestyle whilst still appealing to the same audience xx


  11. I really enjoyed reading this post!
    I do feel that out of a lot of youtubers I’ve seen Zoe has kept it as real as she can, compared to others I’ve watched grow.
    She stil does her primark hauls and shares places that are in budget for people and never comes across full of herself! She never flashes about any designer bags either (not that I’ve seen anyway)
    In my eyes, she hasn’t changed that much expect the fact of what you’ve explained…just she has more money!


    Liked by 2 people

    1. I definitiely agree! She could be buying ridiculously exepensive things and showing them off, instead people get angry cause she went to Primark once and spent £500 instead of going there every month and spending £50…

      Thanks for commenting and reading! xx


  12. Following my comment on twitter! This was interesting to read, I’ve seen so much hate towards her, funny thing is I’ve known about her for a while but only started watching her youtube channel (the vlog, not the main one) probably two years ago. I don’t look at that type of video because I want to relate, that’s not my goal, and I think that if people are watching someone like Zoella, to relate, well they probably never will…
    She has money, she worked, and now, she’s privileged, that’s a fact. Whether she had luck to get where she is, well, it’s not my problem, she’s here and well, good for her! I’ll probably never be like her, and that’s fine, I’m looking her channel, because even though I’m aware I will probably never buy a house and expensive car like her, as a freelance, it gives me hope that one day I might be able to live properly of my job, not Zoella-live, but me-live. And I’m quite shocked that the people who grew up watching her don’t see that and seem really resentful that she grew up in a different direction, we all have friends that we grew apart from, and maybe some of them, we don’t know, are also filthy rich now, but they’re not in the public eye so we can’t insult them right? (I mean we can, that’s why social media are for :p )
    Anyway long text, but I agree with you on many points 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You are so right! And I just thought, while reading your response, that people watching and aspiring or relating to her is like any young kid aspiring to be a footballer or actor. The chances of that kid becoming the next Beckham or Angelina Jolie is incredibly slim but for some reason, they do not get the hate that Zoella gets.

      She defo got a lot of help through Gleam I believe but still she’s managed pretty well for herself!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I used to watch Zoella quite regularly but now it’s once in a blue moon (usually when something controversial happens and I’m being nosy!).

    It’s not so much to do with the money. Sure, she has shed loads more of it than me and I can’t relate to £500 hauls or Waitrose groceries but I don’t begrudge her success.

    For me, it’s about her content and her apparent target market. I stopped watching years ago when her videos seemed to be largely made up of “challenges” or “Brother does my makeup” or “Would you rather” type things because they seemed juvenile to me. That’s not to diss anyone who enjoys that sort of thing, they’re just not for me. As I reached my late twenties (now early 30s!) I found these videos totally unrelatable and uninteresting.

    I’m only three years older than Zoe but most of her videos feel like they’re made for people 10-15 years younger. I just can’t relate to a 28 year-old acting like a “cutesy” 20 year-old.

    I should note that it’s not just Zoella for me – there’s so many Youtubers that I feel I’ve “outgrown”.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I totally relate to going off her videos. I found myself unsubscribing from her main channel a few years ago as she wasn’t really appealing to me but I do still watch and enjoy her daily vlogs.

      Sometimes she does feel a bit too young for her age and it feels like she’s just playing house instead of living an adult life. But I still do enjoy her content on her vlog channel.

      Thanks for reading and commenting! xx

      Liked by 1 person

  14. This was such an interesting read, I think I have been living in a bubble as I just didn’t know that people had such a problem with so much of what she does. Thankyou for sharing! x


    Liked by 2 people

  15. I totally agree and I still really like her, if anything I find her life so motivating to push myself in my own work to be as successful as she is. I can relate to her since she is a similar age, with similar interests and views and where she shops is still accessible – you never see her brag about luxury or designer things ever! xx

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Love this article! I never got into zoella’s content she just always seemed too fake to me. Maybe it was the era that she came up in on social media but I like the vulnerability that content creators show now. It’s ok not to be perfect and show that life is hard, but as an audience member it seemed as though her life was effortlessly perfect and that’s what I couldn’t relate to. 💙

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks! Yeah that’s true but I guess not everyone wants to show their down periods it’s not very entertaining per se. It’s a shame her life seems so glossed over because it would be interesting to see more vulnerable moments.

      Thank you for reading!!


  17. Really insightful post! & I agree with the things you said. Personally I don’t find Zoella unrelateable, watching her vlogs is like a less staged version of made in Chelsea.. and I love both. I think because Zoe never used to be mega rich, people still see her as the exact person she was in that situation, however of course if she has earned that money she is going to spend it on a house etc. I think people are forgetting that she isn’t just a ‘normal’ person anymore, as a YouTuber she’s a celeb. & because YouTube is still pretty new, specially in the minds of the older generation, people don’t exactly see her as a celeb or famous. If Zoella had earned her money as a famous singer or something, and she was the exact same personality, I imagine people would think she is very relatable. Honestly I also think some of it comes down to jealousy for some people. (Not all, of course) Xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  18. I used to watch Zoella’s videos – I’m still subscribed, but I couldn’t tell you the last time I watched her. For me, I think there’s a clash in terms of her finances. She has all the money in the world, and I find it hard to believe that she would genuinely shop in Primark anymore. If she posts hauls from expensive stores, it’s unrelatable for most of her viewers. If she posts about budget stores, it appears insincere. She may well still shop in Primark, in which case it’s unfortunate that she’s tarred with that brush (like I said, I don’t watch anymore so couldn’t advise). It’s an unavoidable situation for her unfortunately as her circumstances have changed so much.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. This is a really well-thought out well written post. I personally don’t watch Zoella, and don’t agree with some of the things she’s released (although I don’t think she’s malicious) – but I really don’t understand the hate. I’ve never liked her content (I’ve never disliked it, but never been a fan) because her personality just doesn’t appeal to my sense of humour, we don’t have the same style and I’m just not really her target audience – BUT I think she’s been quite consistent with her personality (very sweet, polite, not one of those “WILL DO ANYTHING FOR DRAMA AND VIEWS”) xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! I watch her main channel sporadically but really like her weekly vlogs.

      I agree with all you said – she defo doesn’t seem like the person interested in click bait and headlines.

      Thanks for reading!! xx


  20. Loved the post, very well written and I slightly agree with what you wrote.

    Do I find Zoe Sugg unrelatable as person? no, she is the same age as me, we like smillar things such as our dogs spending time with friends, family, shopping and have the same morals and the same sort of childhood and if I knew her I think we would get on well.

    Do I find Zoe’s YouTube content unrelatable? and then my answer would be yes, mostly her main channel not so much her vlogs as there not focused on one thing and you see a more chilled relax Zoe. Her main channel vidos on the other hand are focused on one thing eg make up tutorials. how the hell am I ment to relate to her make up style when I can’t even afford one product she is using isn’t that the whole idea of a make up tutorial you copy the look. same goes for skin care routine how can I use her “tips” and remcomendations when I can’t even afford them same goes for her hauls. I find these type of videos pointless and a waste and don’t understand why people watch them to me it’s just her showing her wealth and naivety that she thinks everyone one can go out and get these things.

    When she doing funny videos with other YouTubers such as her brother or Alfie even Mark then fine as she is not recommending or giving tips to us or promoting products that her veiwers can affords. Like her baking videos for example you can relate to them as you can recreate them.

    I read this tweet from hank green the other day and it made me think he said “displays of wealth on social media doubtless make many people feel inferior because of something that is almost entirely out of their control. Why are we doing that?” And it just ring true with most if not all YouTubers in one way of another.

    Do I find the “zollea” band unrelatable yes her products are not something I want to go out and buy as I don’t relate to them or see hype over them at the end of the day to me a shower gel is a shower gel. And I would rather save a bit and buy a nice purfume than spend money on a mist.

    But these are just my opinions. I have watched Zoe a long time before she moved to Brighton. I still watch her vlogs occasionally as I enjoy them. I don’t watch her main channel as much anymore as I can’t relate to half the content on there, I might watch the odd baking video or Christmas type main channel video but that’s about it

    So it depends on what aspect that you relate to Zoe or what aspect you don’t.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I feel people are unsubscribing is because she rarely posts if she posted more often I’m sure she would get more views. I think it has nothing to do with her money as she has worked hard for it so she deserves it !!!! Ellie xx

    Liked by 2 people

  22. This was a really well written post with a lot of accurate points! I like how your point of view is not simply black and white. I don’t understand why people think you’re supposed to stay the same forever: people change, they evolve with time, and wether they have a lot of money or not.


  23. I think the point is that she is spreading the image that it is ok to be completely frivolous with what she is spending her money on and her audience is very easily persuaded that this is ok. But don’t have her money.

    In the world we live in, global warmng and poverty her vlogs seem purile, childish like a spoilt person. Encouraging her viewers to aspire to a way of life that is frankly wrecking our planet. She buys so much shallow and inconsequential products and then forces it down the viewers throat.


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