Let me start by saying I watched the Rebecca Black video for the first time this morning and I didn’t think it was terrible. I wouldn’t pay a nickel to own the song on iTunes nor would I put it on my play list if I were paid a nickel, but I also haven’t bought anything for my iPod in about a year other than episodes of Caillou and Dora the Explorer.
The girl is 13 years old and seems earnest about becoming a superstar, and I think that’s fantastic. At age 13 I was doing little more than trying to become friends with the mean girls who didn’t want to be friends with me. I’m guessing she’s having more fun and will have much more success than I did. Good for Rebecca Black for trying to make her dream of pop legend status come true.
I’ve glanced at the headlines over the past several days about how awful she is, how she has no talent, how she’s Auto-Tuned, how she doesn’t wear a seatbelt in the car in the video, and how she’s in a car with underage kids and felt bad for her — without ever having seen the video or heard the song. And it turns out, the criticism has made her feel bad, too. Like, really bad.
I’ll criticize a lot of people for a lot of things, whether they deserve it or not. I’m kind of bitchy (snarky? insecure?) like that. But I leave kids alone, even if they’ve chosen to be in the spotlight (except for a few of those awful Teen Moms — because they’ve chosen to drag even more kids into their messy spotlight). Like, you won’t hear me saying I think the hoopla over Willow Smith and her “music” career is beyond undeserved (although even if I did say it, I’m sure the 10-year-old gazillionaire would laugh at me all the way to the bank).
“Those hurtful comments really shocked me,” Black said to the Daily Beast in her first interview. “At times, it feels like I’m being cyberbullied.”
Black made the video for $2,000 through a company that assists aspiring teen singers. She’s racked up over 16 million views on YouTube since it was posted. The cyber-comments have been vicious and aren’t worth repeating in detail, but it’s safe to say they’re nothing a 13-year-old should have to read about herself when she’s just trying to showcase her personality.
When was the last time the anonymous commenters racked up 16 million anything for something they’ve achieved? Jealous much? Why not leave the 13-year-old alone and look within yourself to see what would possibly motivate you to criticize a teen for putting herself out there like you would never have the guts to do. After all, she’s just a kid.
Do you think the criticism of Rebecca Black is undeserved or unnecessarily cruel, or should she just take what she gets because she put herself out there, no matter her age?