Rebecca Black became an icon of cringe after shooting to fame with her song “Friday” in 2011 when she was just 13-years-old. But rather than remaining the subject of a meme her whole life, she has transformed the internet’s view of her through TikTok.
Nine years ago, long before TikTok was born, “Friday” sent the world into hysterics as they watched an American teenager awkwardly perform a tribute to her favorite day of the week, complete with lyrics worse than hearing nails screeching down a blackboard.
The music video on YouTube now rests at a whopping 148 million views and has managed to overtake the shelf-life of most internet memes.
Given that it will likely remain a significant part of internet lore for years still to come, the star Rebecca Black has separated the art from the artist almost a decade later through the world’s fastest-growing platform – TikTok. The 23-year-old is almost unrecognizable with bright blue hair and bangs, and a colorful fashion sense.
The teeny-bop singer/songwriter herself has amassed almost 700,000 followers since joining TikTok in January and immediately drove engagement by making fun of her past and understanding popular trends, establishing herself as a creator rather than a former child-star.
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In her second-ever post, she made fun of how often people ask her “what day is it?”, in another video she performed a ukulele version of the iconic hit single. In one she discussed how when she was 13, an article was published falsely claiming she was pregnant with actor Nat Wolff’s child.
In a more recent TikTok, Rebecca discovered that artists on Spotify can see what playlists their songs have been added to and she found herself in hysterics after finding out “Friday” was added to playlists called “Gay Anthems,” “Songs that get white people goin’,” “meme songs,” and “worst songs to have sex to.”
Rebecca also addressed comments apologizing for what happened to her after she went viral, and how the app itself has helped to give her the courage to be herself.
In one TikTok she said, “The question that I have gotten the most of the past ten years is: Do I regret it?… and while it has not been easy in the slightest, and I have years of therapy behind me now, with that experience has taught me more than anything is that its okay to forgive yourself and be kinder to your past self.”
@msrebeccablackso i’ve seen a lot of comments apologizing for what happened to me after going viral in 2011, and i wanted to give some thoughts.♬ original sound – rebecca black
Some comments making fun of the singer still exist, such as those who spam her videos saying she can only post on Fridays, but overall Rebecca has had a positive response. Other popular creators have expressed their love and support, including Skincare influencer Hyram who said: “Your growth and strength is so inspiring! Happy to see you on TikTok,” and Liza Koshy who wrote: “Your evolution is absolutely exquisite to admire. Grow and glow on.”
Black said in one video: “Thank you to everyone who has just seriously been so cool and so nice to me on this app. I have never quite experienced something like this online and it’s not just refreshing.
“I appreciate how I feel like I can be myself and this app brings me so much serious joy and happiness and seeing all of us here together… I appreciate the kindness and that we can all be weird and strange and stupid together and somehow all get it and laugh.”
It seems that through TikTok alone, Rebecca Black has managed to transform both her image and how she feels on a personal level, writing in her bio “I finally feel seen thanks to this app,” going to show that even when the entire internet ridicules you, there’s always a way to move on.