Yeah, right! Today I am going to go back to the heart and soul of my website and gripe a little. I usually try to stay away from big issues of the day, but this time I feel compelled to say something because from what I can tell, no one has. There is a 36-sec video that has gone viral which features a pretty young Austrialian girl who is able to move here eyebrows in a comical way to the beat of some pop song…sounds a little Indian, but I am a loser when it comes to modern pop music so don’t take my word for it. The image and title of the clip was plastered on my Yahoo! home page for so long I finally gave in and took a look. Yes, it was cute. I’m not sure if it was viral material, but it was cute. She certainly had an amusing way of making them dance, but her ability was no more remarkable than the kind you see from a person who can wiggle their ears or bend their fingers backwards.
Now let’s be honest with ourselves, because that is not the only reason she has had nearly 10 million visits in a week. It’s because she is very pretty too. Almost stunning for her age. But there’s the problem, her age: she’s only 13. As a result of her success, she has decided to open a Facebook account for her “fans”. Can you believe it? Of course, I went from the article where I read about the video to the page to check out what was there, and the girl had some 45,000 “likes” to date. Thank God the “Friend” options had been shut down.
But there were comments, oh yeah, plenty of them. Most remarks came from men, many were adults, and you could find such endearing comments like “You are very sexy” or “I love you very long time”, etc. The vast majority were neutral compliments, but that doesn’t mean anything. So is “Would you like some candy?” Thank God, one person suggested she close the account, go outside and enjoy life in a different way. But that wasn’t the prevailing mood, I tell you.
I realize that the girl may have had only the most innocent intentions when she uploaded the video (though the Facebook account makes me suspicious, and I also get the feeling she is getting help here), but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a whole slew of issues that need to be addressed and which haven’t so far. At least they hadn’t the last time I scanned the net. So, I just had to write and possibly be the first one on the planet to publically denounce the “eyebrow girl” video for several reasons:
Search engines and media like Yahoo! and the Huffington Post give unnecessary attention to these activities (In a sense I am doing the same, but I refuse to add a video link or even give the girl’s name) and by doing so also encourage others to believe that all it takes is for a simple 30-second amusing but innane video for world fame to land at a person’s door. They champion fame at no cost and ignore the benefits of effort.
I know this is an old one…but what about all of those other 13-year-olds who are brilliant musicians, artists, writers, students, scientists, athletes, etc. and who get only limited recognition (in most cases limited to friends and family) despite years of hard work? Do you ever see a chance for them to go viral? Do these other pages feature a pinply-faced kid bringing down the hall with a prodigious rendition of Bach? Maybe sports players get their due at best, but the rest are completely ignored. And throughout the world where these achievers must number more than the visits she has received, it seems just a little unfair.
In a year when pedophilia scandals have rocked our society, and where a great deal of criticism has been placed on certain individuals for having had a moral obligation to do more to prevent such heinous acts, shouldn’t that same standard be applied to those who are trumpeting this video and even adding links to the Facebook account so that people, and I mean anyone, can have more access to this girl? Would she be getting all this attention if she were much more plain-looking? I’m going to go out on a limb and say no.
What do her parents have to say about this all?
Call me hysterical. Call me nuts. Call me what you will. But in a world where there are more than a billion internet users, it saddens me to think that no one has blown the whistle on this. I will be greatly relieved to find that I am wrong.