Saying Goodbye To SUGARSCAPE.COM | Emily Bashforth

Saying Goodbye To SUGARSCAPE.COM


If you're a teen obsessed with all things music, fashion, celebrity, beauty and social media, you've probably heard of Sugarscape, well, you will have definitely heard of Sugarscape. For those who haven't it's basically a news website targeted towards young people interested in the latest celebrity gossip, music news and latest trends.

Sugarscape.com has been running for five years now and has built itself up to be one of the most popular, well-known and well loved websites with young people. They started like any other site after the closure of their actual magazine in 2011 but worked hard to become the place where every teenager goes for their daily celebrity news fix. The site have particularly been popular with fanbases of some of the world's biggest stars, such as fans of One Direction and Little Mix. The site's content creators have established healthy friendships with members of the band themselves after meeting up with them many times for chats and interviews. They started at the bottom of the pile, a baby been sprout in a large patch of website beanstalks, but, over the last half a decade, Sugarscape have become, personally, one of my favourite online brands across all social media. They're quick with their updates and upload content which people trust and can relate to. It has never been possible to find a fault with Sugarscape.com or it's writers.

However, it has been announced that, at the end of 2016, Sugarscape shall be closing down and will no longer be providing avid social media users or boyband lovers with their daily dosages of hilarious articles and relatable posts. The reason why has not been disclosed by the site themselves, I think it may have something to do with big cuts being made by the big cheeses, but I'm no spokesperson for them and, personally, I have no idea of the ins and outs of it all so I'm not going to comment on that. What I am going to comment on, however, is the fact that my heart broke when I learnt the news that Sugarscape will be no more in 2017.
I know it's probably just a website and that there are thousands of them out there but, to me, the closure of Sugarscape marks more than just saying goodbye to another group of celebrity news journalists.

I have been a devout Sugarscape reader for years now, I discovered them through my love (or shall we say obsession) of One Direction, which I'm sure is how many found the site. I have spent countless nights rewatching Sugarscape interviews in bed over and over until the early hours of the morning, I have spent hours doing their quizzes when I ought to be writing essays and I have spent hours reading their articles to ensure I am as clued up as can be on all the latest celeb goss. I know that my experiences as a 1D fan in particular would not have been the same if it wasn't for Sugarscape and I'm sure most 1D fans from back in the fetus days will agree with me there. A lot of inside jokes have derived from Sugarscape interviews and the boys have always had a huge amount of love for the Sugarscape team. The site have also always been there during pivotal moments during the band's career, such as movie premieres, album releases and shocking announcements and were at the top of the hierarchy in the One Direction fandom. Likewise with Little Mix, the girls themselves are now on very good terms with the Sugarscape members who they have been interviewed by. The people at Sugarscape are almost like the big brothers and sisters that fandoms never had, I say 'never had' because, personally, I have never known a group of people who just GET youngsters the way the people at Sugarscape do. I have never known a group of people who so are so brilliant at portraying the views of young people the way they do and I have never come across a website who genuinely cares about the health and happiness of their readers in the way that Sugarscape always have.

Sugarscape isn't just a celebrity news website. It is, and it reports brilliantly to keep it's readers in the know, but it's also more than that. Sugarscape produces some of the best quality content available online in this day and age. I'll be the first to tell you that there is some terrible celebrity journalism out there, I'm sure names came into your mind instantly. There are sites out there which will stop at nothing to get a juicy headline and who show no remorse when their lies ruin the lives of celebrities who are just normal people like the rest of us. Sugarscape, on the other hand, only reports honest, confirmed stories and, if they do upload articles on rumours, it's always made clear that they are not preaching the truth and everything is written in a light-hearted way. They don't want to lie to their readers because Sugarscape are aware of who their audience are. They are well aware that people as young as ten could be reading their content and so are conscious not to indoctrinate them with lies and give them false perceptions of people in the public eye. They are keen to present celebrities as the normal, everyday human beings that they are, unlike many news outlets which paint celebrities as royalty who can't breathe without thinking about how much they're going to get paid for it. Sugarscape brilliantly writes about today's biggest stars without making up rumours or spreading hate. They are one of the most refreshing news platforms of this generation in the sense that they give teenagers exactly what they want. Teens, after all, are the future, they are the people who shall be running the country some day, and so we need to give them the best possible start. Teenagers don't want to be reading crappy gossip magazines, they want to be reading genuine, GOOD journalism. As a seventeen year old aspiring journalist myself, I have taken a great deal of inspiration from the writers at  Sugarscape, a GREAT deal. I have always looked at them as people who I feel empowered and inspired by because they are the type of writer that I want to be. I don't want to be putting food on the table that I have bought with a paycheck which I was given because I made up rumours that a footballer was having an affair, I want my money to be hard earned, honest cash which I feel proud to have earned and Sugarscape have shown me that not all journalists are absolute so and sos.

However, producing fantastic news articles does not take the fun out of Sugarscape, oh no. Not only do they keep us all up to date with the lives of the rich and famous but they also provide us with a LOL every single day without fail via their quirky content. Sugarscape aren't just a site who stay silent when there's nothing to talk about, if there's no celebrity news, they make their own stuff...and it's genius. Whether you wanna know how to make a piece of rainbow toast or fancy finding out what Harry Style's Tweets would look like as lockscreens, they've got you covered. Their quizzes in particular are what they're famous for and are bound to keep anyone entertained during a lunch hour, although, be warned, once you do one, you click on another...and then another...and then another...Sugarscape quizzes are like a blackhole, they SUCK YOU IN. Their quizzes aren't average though, they're no pub quizzes or quizzes on capital cities, they're shall we say...unique. Ever wanted to know whether you're more like Blue Ivy or North West? Ever wanted to know if you can tell a boyband member just by looking at his eyebrows? Ever wanted to know which Netflix show you should be in? Or if you're Disney princess material? Sugarscape has the answers to all of those questions and more because they are not just a news source, they're an entertainment source which a know thousands get pleasure from.

As well as being entertaining though, on a more serious note, Sugarscape provides a safe space for young people. There is so much violence in the world today and hatred is so prevalent in today's generation but Sugarscape is somewhere anyone can go to block out any form of negativity as they only focus on the good and, if there is bad, they make it good. Ask any young person in the streets and, chances are, they will tell you that they don't feel accepted in society. There is always something about them which makes them feel isolated, different, unwanted, but Sugarscape encourages everyone to embrace their uniqueness by being so accepting. Sugarscape don't discriminate, they aren't racist, they aren't bullies, they aren't abusive, they aren't homophobic, they aren't straight up idiots. When you go onto the Sugarscape website or visit one of their social media pages, you feel accepted there, regardless of of your weight, skin colour, religion, nationality, sexuality, physical appearance, whether you fit into society's perfect little mould or not, you know that Sugarscape will accept you and it will remind you that there are actually people out there who are just like you. They offer out a hand to anyone feeling marginalised and each article they write is just a little token of "Hey, its okay, you're doing good." Teenagers today go through a lot. They are on the receiving end of masses of abuse for their interests and hobbies, music tastes, fashion, people they idolise and the language they use but Sugarscape embraces change and, instead of criticising teens, they stand by teens and bring them forwards with them. They know that not everything is black and white and have put smiles on many a face simply through their words. Additionally, teenagers today are not taken seriously. We are the voice of tomorrow yet are laughed at whenever we even try to have an opinion, so, Sugarscape provides us with a voice. You've got millions of celebrity fan accounts on Twitter who have really refreshing, important views on topical subjects yet they aren't heard. No one wants to know when you've got Niall Horan's face as your profile picture, or Taylor Swift's hair as your header, therefore, we rely on people like the writers at Sugarscape to put our views across and represent us. People are much more likely to listen to a verified Twitter account with 500,000 followers and Sugarscape have always used their followers for good, speaking out about serious subjects, spreading positivity to those who need it and supporting people who are struggling.

Speaking of offering support for young people, Sugarscape do a great job at that through their articles. Many news outlets shy away from the things teens really want to know about. I mean, YES we are interested in where Ariana Grande went for dinner last night but we would also very much like answers to questions which we don't feel able to ask out loud. Sugarscape frequently upload helpful articles on anything and everything a teenager could possibly experience. They're right there with the advice on acne, periods, sex, STIs, sexualities, mental health, whatever it is that you're suffering with, Sugarscape is there. They don't have all the answers and they don't claim to, but they do the best that they can just to ease the stress and to offer young people a little bit of reassurance that they're not doing as terribly at this whole life thing as they think they are.

Whether myself, or any young person for that matter, feels lonely, depressed or is just having a bad day, Sugarscape is there to take them away from that negative bubble. The site has always acted as an escape. As soon as you click onto it. you're in a world filled with people who actually understand you. They are there for anyone seeking a community who just appreciates and accepts who they are and what they like and they also allow you to feel as though you have a friend, they actually even help you make friends as, through their social media accounts, you can discover people with whom you have common interests. That's pretty magical if you ask me.

Sugarscape have injected so much light and joy into many fanbases and friendship groups over the years and it saddens me deeply that they're going. I feel so passionate when it comes to the well being and happiness of young people and the fact that such a positive, harmless platform is being taken away from youngsters who are suffering more than youngsters have in the past frustrates me. Why is something as good as Sugarscape allowed to die when you have crappy newspapers like The Sun still very much up and running? (OOH YEAH SHE REALLY DID JUST SAY THAT!)
Sugarscape produce the kind of content this world needs and it is extremely sad that it will be down for good by next year. How is it fair? is a question I wish I could answer.

I know a lot of journalists work very hard and I'm not trying to discredit anyone else's work but I do want to address the fact that the writers at Sugarscape have always put their all into each piece they write to make it the best it can be. They have a unique, entertaining style of writing which is exactly what people like myself want to read. The writers at Sugarscape really do have a talent for compiling articles and they just GET teenagers, despite not all being teens themselves. I sincerely hope that all of their futures are bright and that their witty ways with words (ooh that was a nice bit of alliteration, wasn't it?) aren't just pushed to one side. These people are losing their jobs and they deserve to have something good at the end of it. I would like to thank all the people at Sugarscape who have done nothing but radiate positive energy and good vibes from the start and for all that they have done as a team to create something really exciting and refreshing in the world of celebrity journalism.
Sugarscape always has been and always will be a truly genius concept and the fact that something so brilliant has to be taken away is just cruel. This is not what anyone wants. Why should such a happy platform for teens, which is so necessary, be gotten rid of? Unless those responsible have a better alternative to Sugarscape then I just can't see it. The whole thing is ludicrous. I don't know if there is any chance of those in charge of the business side of things changing their mind about this whole thing but I just wanted to write this to express my sadness.

Goodbye Sugarscape. <3
(P.S: you get a cookie if you can guess how many times the word 'Sugarscape' was used in this blog post LOL).

Love, Emily :) xx

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