Most remember Rebecca Black for her 2011 song, Friday, which reached over 140 million hits on YouTube. What you might not know is the torment Black faced after such mixed reception of the hit song, and the bullying she received once going viral.
credit: Instagram/Rebecca Black
“There were crazy things that made it feel positive,” Black told Good Morning America in a recent interview. Yet with all the positive attention, such as being in a Katy Perry music video and winning a teen choice award, also came bullying. “Having people tell you that you don’t belong where you want to be. That you should kill yourself. Having to then, like, reflect on all that as a teenager is an unbelievable experience.”
Black, who rose to YouTube fame at only age thirteen, took to Twitter recently to discuss the nine-year anniversary of the release of Friday and some of the negative emotions accompanied with her success.
Now twenty-two years old, Black recalls struggling with depression and discussed not being able to share the truth with people out of fear. She also opened up about getting food thrown at her and her friends at school, and producers stating they’d never work with her.
“I just wish I could go back and talk to my thirteen-year-old self who was terribly ashamed of herself and afraid of the world,” Black wrote. “I’m trying to remind myself more and more that every day is a new opportunity to shift your reality and lift your spirit.”
Black concluded the post with, “This might be a weird thing to post but the honesty feels good if nothing else.”
The responses to her initial post on Twitter about her mental health and the backlash she faced after releasing her song, especially at such a young age, resulted in many tweeting back with words of encouragement and sharing their own stories.
“Your track is still one of the most memorable major musical moments of my youth,” one fan said in response, “and you’ve gotta be proud that such a phenomenon had such an impact <3 that moment was so culturally iconic and I wish u such a hopeful future.”
Someone less enthusiastic about her song, yet still supportive of Black’s mental wellbeing, wrote, “You know, back when that song came out, even though it was bad, I thought the reactions to it were just like crazy over the top, the hateful and spiteful things people were saying was just incredible, we saw something real similar with Justin Bieber as well. I’ve never understood.”
“I remember the song legitimately putting people in a great mood at that time,” another fan wrote. “It was fun. Good on you for growing past the haters.” To which another person responded, “Still puts me in a good mood!”
Black’s been active on Twitter, clearly reading through what many people have said in response to her candid tweet. She reacted by tweeting her responses and recognizing all the people reaching out in support.
“Thank you for meeting me with honesty about your own stories,” Black wrote in a follow-up post. “You can find hope and peace within yourself. I’m 100% still working on it for me, but I’ve come a long way from where I was. There’s never really an end point to get to on this kind of journey and that’s okay. Be kind.”
Black has a new song officially releasing on—naturally—a Friday. Look for Anyway already available on Spotify! If you’d like to see more of her music, be sure to check out some of her other work, including the song Sweetheart, released back in October of 2019, and another song dedicated to her fans, Heart Full of Scars, released two years ago.
About The Author:
Rachel Goodman is a Los Angeles based actress, host, and writer originally from a suburb of Philadelphia, PA. In college, Rachel wrote for the Penn State Abington Literary Review and was an editorialist for The Lion’s Roar and The Montgomery County Ticket.
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