An influencer has been removed from the UK’s school curriculum after sharing an article to her website titled ‘Best Sex Toys to Spice Up your Sex Life’.
Zoella, whose real name is Zoe Sugg, has featured as part of the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) media studies curriculum, but was removed from the course for posting the ‘adult’ content, after complaints were made by concerned parents.
Zoella first started her YouTube channel in 2009, and is now one of the biggest influencers in the UK, with her channel growing to 15M subscribers. She also has over 9M followers on Instagram and runs the lifestyle website, zoella.co.uk.
Sandra Allan, the Exam board AQA’s head of curriculum for creative arts, said Zoella’s content was first added to the course, which includes analysis of online and social media, 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,” she told The Sun.
“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.”
In response to being dropped, Zoe revealed in an Instagram post she had not been aware her content was part of the course, however maintained her website had always been targeted to adults.
“We’ve worked hard to include more women’s health, conversational articles, & basically just more grown up content as our main demographic is 25 to 35-year-old females. NOT 16 year olds,” she said.
“However, if the curriculum had done their research before just going ‘Oh Zoella, her audience are just teens, right?’, they probably would have discovered countless posts about periods, masturbation, sex, fertility alongside the newer post they’re referring to!”
She however said she believed teenagers should be learning about masturbation.
“I actually disagree that teens shouldn’t be learning about this stuff. Maybe not in their bloody (school curriculum) but how else are teenage girls going to find out more about being a woman? I WISH I had a website like @Zoella when I was growing up,” she wrote.
“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.”
Many of her followers were also quick to take to social media to express their support and outrage that her content had been removed.
““For heaven sakes! Your article was a great read and very important. It should be very normalised for women to explore their bodies and what gives them pleasure,” one person wrote.
While another wrote: “It’s crazy how it’s parents that have the problem and not the students.”
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