♫ Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday ♫
"Friday" singer Rebecca Black turns 18 today! It's almost hard to believe that her debut song -- which single-handedly united the world in loathing -- came out all the way back in 2011.
So much has happened since then, but as Rebecca enters her adult life, it's important to reflect on three very important lessons her autotuned list of the days of the week set to music taught us. If "Friday" meant anything to the world, it served as a much needed reminder that...
1. Growing up is weird and hard.
Anyone young enough to have "grown up on social media" likely knows how horrifying Timehop can be, an app that shows you all of your old Facebook and Instagram posts on this day in history. Try it out if you want to descend into a portal of personal shame.
Point is we are all embarrassing at some point in our lives (possibly even the point we currently occupy) and that's OK. Even Taylor Swift had an (adorable) awkward phase.
So if a shady record producing company wrote and produced a terrible, awful song for us when we were innocent thirteen year olds, it probably would have ended somewhere between poorly and nightmarishly horrible. Face it, we can't all be Justin Bieber!
Who we can all agree turned out great.
The difference with Rebecca Black is that her hilariously awful but ultimately harmless music video wound up being viewed (to date) over 80 million times.
Yeah. That's a lot. Which would just be a "fun" phenomenon if we hadn't also learned...
2. We're capable of being completely horrible people sometimes.
Dealing with embarrassment is part of growing up. It just is.
What doesn't really add up is the response Rebecca got after her embarrassing video took off. She received death threats and was bullied so badly that she ended up being home schooled.
Obviously, no one wants to be a buzzkill. It's not wrong to poke fun at a silly video of a child singing to cringe-worthy autotune, but if the target of your ridicule becomes that same child, then you're just gross. And if that ridicule turns to actual outrage, then maybe you're the one who is being embarrassing.
Whosealittle awful puppy?? You are! Yesyouare!
Thankfully, the vast majority of functional humans appear to understand this, and it's not really new information. Which makes sense when you look into the aftermath of the Rebecca Black phenomenon to find out that...
3. Kids can be strong as hell anyway.
Today, Rebecca is 18 years old. Despite having been bullied, threatened and amassing over a million dislikes on YouTube, she seems to be doing really well.
She's decidedly more self-aware (as you are after the whole world makes fun of you for six weeks), has a YouTube channel where she offers advice to young people who have been bullied and even still sings (without the nauseating autotune)!
She also just graduated high school...
...and is just as embarrassed by "Friday" as you'd expect her to be.
Basically, Rebecca lived down maybe one of the more embarrassing things to happen this decade and is actually doing great! That's a good thing.
Rebecca Black's "Friday" is something we all laugh about now, and the aftermath of what happened is completely minor compared to some of the terrible things many people have to endure, but bullying is a serious issue with very real consequences. Anytime you see people take a stand against it, rise above it or even just be cool to their fellow human being/peers about it, it should give you a little bit more hope for us all.
So let's all remember that no matter how weird and awkward we all are, it's important to really, really, really, really, really, really like each other. Oh yeah! Need a reminder? Watch the video below.