Standing Up For Rebecca Black

Health & Wellness on 03.18.11
Contributor bio

Image Credit: George Coppock/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

Do you know who Rebecca Black is? Until a week ago, I didn't either. But now, she's everywhere: TV, print, and all over the Internet. She's an aspiring singer, who made a music video and posted it to YouTube. And she struck viewing gold; it's been seen 16.5 million times. But what should be an exciting time in her life, has turned into a horror story, complete with cyberbullying and labels that she has "the worst song ever."

Her song "Friday" is fun and upbeat with lyrics that are not only appropriate for her age, but relevant to her life. Yes, her voice is auto tuned, but so what? So many artists -- the Black Eyed Peas, Eminem, Faith Hill, Madonna, Justin Timberlake, and Usher, to name a few -- use auto tune to deliver a different type of sound. It doesn't make them bad singers. And it doesn't mean Rebecca Black can't carry a tune, either. Ark Music Factory in Hollywood produced the video and told Good Morning America that Black was a good singer and didn't need auto-tune to fix voice problems. So, what's the problem?

Rebecca Black is young, pretty, and brave. She had fun, took a chance, and threw herself out there. And now, people are telling her to cut herself and develop an eating disorder. Magazines are reviewing the song and taking shots at her voice, her choice of song, and her style of music. And Twitter is all abuzz with horrible insults and personal attacks. Did I mention that Rebecca Black is only 13 years old?

I'm confused not only by the backlash, but also by the reaction to the backlash. Instead of trying to find the cyberbullies who are telling her to die or at least removing their nasty comments, Ark Music gave her the option to remove the song from site. And I'm not really sure when publications like Time Magazine started writing articles about children in YouTube videos, but they should be ashamed of themselves.

Instead of shrinking into obscurity and letting the haters get the best of her, Black is fighting back. She admits that she did have a cry about it, but now it's time to move on. She plans to record an acoustic version of the song, so people can hear her talent. Of course, she'll have to make a trip to the bank first. As of this writing, Black's single is No. 31 on the iTunes chart, two spots above Justin Bieber's single "Never Say Never." I say never underestimate the power of a tenacious kid and of the Internet. Take that haters!

More on Bullying
TLC: Dealing with Bullying
TLC: Shalom in the Home: Being Afraid
Discovery News: Is Cyberbullying Illegal?