August 14, 2011
YouTube Star Rebecca Black Quits School Over Bullying
By Robert Paul Reyes
Rebecca Black experiences the black side of fame.
"Rebecca Black announced that she has left school after the bullying that followed her instant rise to fame became too much for her. The 'My Moment singer will be now be home-schooled.In 1968, before the advent of the Internet and the cable news networks, Andy Warhol said "In the future everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes."
In the Dark Ages (Before the Net) artists paid their dues playing in dives and house parties, hoping and dreaming that one day that might catch that lucky break.
Today a bored kid fooling around with his web cam, can post a video that might make him instantly famous if it goes viral. That's what happened to then 13-year-old Rebecca Black when her mother paid $4000 to a vanity production company to produce a music video for her daughter. The video "Friday" was posted on YouTube, it went viral garnering almost 200 million views and it made Rebecca the most famous 13-year-old girl in the world.
Friday, produced by the Ark Music Factory, won't win any MTV video awards. The video's cheesy production values, over-reliance on auto-tune and the asinine lyrics made Rebecca Black the laughingstock of the Internet.
Of course Rebecca didn't write the dumb lyrics, and she didn't produce the video, but the scorn was heaped on the teen girl, and not on middle-aged Patrice Wilson who was responsible for the abominable lyrics and the low-budget production values.
A 13-year-old girl isn't psychologically or emotionally prepared to be ridiculed by late night comics, acquaintances at school, and by strangers online. The bullying got so bad, that Rebecca who is now 14 was forced to quit school.
The sad saga of Rebecca Black should serve as a cautionary tale to parents who will do anything to make their children famous. Maybe Rebecca's mother should have invested the $4,000 in her daughter's college fund.
Rebecca seems to be a level-headed young girl, and I hope this adversity will only serve to make her stronger. Rebecca, when she's not being auto-tuned to death, sings like an angel, and I wish her future success in her future endeavors.
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Robert Paul Reyes was born and raised in the liberal San Francisco Bay Area, but now he writes a newspaper column from a liberal perspective for a small town in the Bible Belt.