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At the peak of "Friday"-mania, however, a frenzied few weeks in the spring of 2011, Black was almost surprisingly good-humored and cheerful about her notoriety in interviews.In a GMA segment, she smiled while recounting death threats and gamely sang the national anthem in support of a modest claim that, sans Auto-Tune, she did actually have “talent on some level.” If she was a laughingstock, she seemed in on the joke, later filming a Funny or Die video in which she explained that “Friday” was really a veiled critique of America’s foreign and economic policies.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.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.
For a girl like her — a dancer and singer from the time she was 3 years old, a ham in the local youth choir and school plays who could sit in front of the TV watching Hannah Montana and American Idol for hours — “Friday” had all the markers of a godsend.“Their whole attitude will change, or they’ll get really shy. To have people say, 'I hate this song, but I'm still singing it.’” The successful result sounds like someone having a really fun stroke.I think it’s really intimidating for a lot of people, but I don’t know why. Black and her mother, Georgina Marquez, say the video for “Friday” was never supposed to be made public, and instead was meant for sharing among friends and family, like glamour shots or a wedding video.Rebecca Black just turned 18 and she’s forgotten how to flirt. She might be at a party in a circle of friends, all of them egging her on, with an attractive and available-seeming (but not too available) guy standing just across the room, almost within earshot, occasionally stealing glances at her between sips from a perspiring Solo cup.But if Black actually tries to talk to this guy, even if he’s perfectly nice and funny, even if he compliments her wavy brown mermaid hair and natural California-king smile, she will inevitably freeze or, worse, say something that will make her want to bury her head in her hands and vanish into a pillowy wisp of smoke, Harry Potter-style.