UK

Zoella hits out as exam board drops YouTuber from GCSE syllabus

‘It worries me they think 16-year-olds aren’t exploring their bodies’: Zoella hits out as exam board drops YouTuber from GCSE syllabus after she posts ‘best sex toy’ reviews

  • Exam board AQA said Zoe Sugg, 30, would be removed from media studies 
  • Review ‘The Best Sex Toys to Spice Up Your Life in 2021’ was put on her website
  • AQA head of curriculum said her recent content isn’t suitable for GCSE students  

Zoella today hit out at an exam board for dropping her YouTube channel from its GCSE syllabus after she posted a ‘best sex toys review’, saying: ‘It worries me they think 16-year-olds aren’t exploring their bodies’. 

UK exam board AQA said 30-year-old Zoe Sugg had been removed from its media studies curriculum after an article headlined The Best Sex Toys to Spice Up Your Life in 2021 was posted to her website.  

The Youtuber and businesswoman reacted to the news on Instagram, saying: ‘It worries me that they think 16 year olds aren’t exploring their own bodies, doing this with someone else or know what a sex toy is.

‘Some parents complained as we had posted an article listing the best sex toys for 2021 & apparently this is absolutely disgusting that 16 year olds should even be graced with such horror.’    

UK exam board AQA said 30-year-old Zoe Sugg would be removed from its media studies curriculum after an article headlined The Best Sex Toys to Spice Up Your Life in 2021 appeared on her website

The Youtuber and businesswoman reacted to the news on Instagram (pictured), saying: 'It worries me that they think 16 year olds aren¿t exploring their own bodies, doing this with someone else or know what a sex toy is'

The Youtuber and businesswoman reacted to the news on Instagram (pictured), saying: ‘It worries me that they think 16 year olds aren’t exploring their own bodies, doing this with someone else or know what a sex toy is’

On January 13, Zoella’s website reviewed a range of vibrators priced between £5 and £180. The products included a ‘Rampant Rabbit G Spot Stroking Vibrator’, a Womanizer Duo Rabbit Vibrator,’ a TENGA Egg Penis Masturbator and a device named ‘The Fireman’.

The exam board responded by removing a section on Zoella in its Close Study Products booklet because the material was not ‘suitable.’

AQA’s head of curriculum for creative arts, Sandra Allan, 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.’ 

Miss Sugg started her YouTube career in 2009 and has accrued 15million subscribers on the platform and 1.1million followers on Instagram

Miss Sugg started her YouTube career in 2009 and has accrued 15million subscribers on the platform and 1.1million followers on Instagram

Miss Sugg said she wanted to ‘talk about taboo subjects’ in order to help other women, adding: ‘We want to talk about taboo subjects, have conversations with experts, ask those less heard to use their voice & try and have a really varied range of topics to help, inspire or make people feel less alone.

‘Things I wish I’d known as a teen myself.’

She slammed AQA for not checking her website, which also features articles on topics such as revenge porn, period sex and fertility. 

A spokesman for Zoella told The Sun: ‘As a woman in her 30s who has been creating content online for over 10 years, Zoe has naturally matured and evolved in that time, as have her audience.’

They added that the article appeared on Zoella’s lifestyle website that covers topics ranging from mental health to sex and fertility which has a demographic of 25 to 34-year-old women.   

On January 13, Zoella's website reviewed a range of vibrators including a 'Rampant Rabbit G Spot Stroking Vibrator', a Womanizer Duo Rabbit Vibrator,' a TENGA Egg Penis Masturbator and a device simply named 'The Fireman'

One of the vibrators reviewed in the article

On January 13, Zoella’s website reviewed a range of vibrators including a ‘Rampant Rabbit G Spot Stroking Vibrator’, a Womanizer Duo Rabbit Vibrator,’ a TENGA Egg Penis Masturbator and a device simply named ‘The Fireman’

The exam boss reassured students who have already studied Zoella that they will not be penalised if they reference her in exams next year.

Miss Sugg started her YouTube career in 2009 and has accrued 15 million subscribers on the platform. She has 1.1million followers on Instagram.  

Zoella has also launched a twin beauty and homeware product range with reported revenues of around £3.8 million per year.

Also an author, Miss Sugg signed a three-book deal with Penguin Books. Her debut novel ‘Girl Online’ broke the record for highest first-week sales of a first-time novelist.  

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