Black midget with cri du chat
For most of us, these fears are as vague as they are persistent, a concern filed somewhere in the back of the brain near jury duty and gum disease. And, as luck would have it, her overexposure came just moments too soon in the history of the viral video industrial complex to translate into anything resembling a sustainable career.When it comes to making traumatic first impressions on the internet, Black is patient zero.It’s not that she’s not used to attention from guys — she is. More than four years ago, when she was 13 and zealously Auto-Tuned, beaming directly into the camera and sing-talking a diabolically mindless and improbably innocent ode to the weekend, she was inescapable.They come up to her at the flea market or sometimes on the street, decent and smiling in a way that makes her daydream. The video for her song “Friday,” which was written and produced for Black by the now-defunct vanity production company ARK Music Factory as a gift from her mother, became the fastest-spreading amateur viral video of all time when it was released in 2011, drawing more than 100 million views in just over 30 days. Girl wakes up in bed with comically out-of-control frizz, girl has manic craving for cereal, girl faces an unexpectedly crippling dilemma over “kickin’ in the front seat” or “sittin’ in the backseat,” girl climactically lists the days of the week.
Black’s life revolves around the platform — her entire friend group, amassed online and at annual gatherings like Vid Con, consists of fellow You Tube stars, including That So Jack (1.2 million subscribers) and Jennx Penn (2 million subscribers, a book deal, and a new movie) — where she’s regarded as something of a grizzled veteran.
When requests for appearances and interviews started to overwhelm her schedule and sink her grades, she pulled out of school entirely and switched to online courses at home, just weeks before the end of the school year.“All of a sudden, I had to grow up really fast.” Part of the reason Black was able to smile on camera through the “Friday” debacle was because she had learned previously how cruel people could be, and how that cruelty always said more about the afflicters than the afflicted. “When I get nervous, or uncomfortable or sad, I just try and make light out of it and laugh.” Even more intractable than haters online were the machinations of the popular music industry.
Near her 12th birthday, two years before she would become the butt of a million jokes on the internet, she had been forced to change schools due to what her mom describes as severe bullying from “mean girls.”When she first saw the callous tenor of the response to “Friday” online (sample comment: “I hope you cut yourself and die”), Black’s mom, understandably, asked Black if she wanted to take the video down and withdraw from the unsparing scrutiny of the web. Black’s mother paid ,000 in two installments to ARK Music Factory to produce “Friday” (she says claims in the media about her family’s wealth are overblown), hoping the experience would give her only daughter a sampling of what it would be like to pursue her dreams of pop stardom.
With olive skin, long dark hair, and the kind of lips that start flame wars on celebrity gossip blogs, she could be a Kardashian who failed to inherit the vamp gene.
In a week, Black will move out of her mother’s house in Orange County and into her first apartment in Brentwood, most known as the affluent neighborhood where O. used to live, but now, thanks in part to its adjacency to the multichannel network Awesomeness TV, is earning a reputation as home to a growing number of You Tube stars too young to remember the Bronco.Baum immediately set out to capitalize on the momentum of “Friday,” fielding press and business inquiries and pursuing a deal to record an album.On the latter front, meeting Perry proved instrumental: The pop superstar introduced Black to key industry contacts after they worked together on the set of “Last Friday Night.” In the spring and summer of 2011, Black says she entered into serious discussions with several major labels.But Black surprised her by protesting the suggestion, calling it insulting.“She said, ‘No, it's my right to have my video up there. When, incredibly, that sampling turned into a gorge, Black and her family reoriented themselves to try to make the most out of the opportunity.