ANAHEIM HILLS, Calif., March 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- She only had four seconds of screen time, but ever since 13-year-old Benni Cinkle from Orange County, California appeared in Rebecca Black's video "Friday" two weeks ago, life as Benni and her family knew it has changed.
The video, which has earned over 64 million views on YouTube and currently stands as the most-viewed video on YouTube, featured Benni as one of Rebecca's friends along for the ride on a Friday night. Such a brief appearance would not normally garner attention, but it was Benni's dancing that drew immediate and, at times, vicious fire from the Internet. Overnight, she went from Benni Cinkle to "That Girl in Pink Who Dances Awkwardly" — and one who became the center of some not too kind discussions. "I didn't expect to get any attention from appearing in the video," Benni noted recently, "but when it happened, I had a choice to make: Let criticism from total strangers get me down, or use it for something bigger than me, and bigger than the video."
That something is now a free ebook available on Benni's website (http://thatgirlinpink.com). Entitled "That Girl in Pink's Internet Survival Guide: For Kids Who Live their Lives Online (and the Moms and Dads Who Love Them)," the ebook shares how Benni was able to use her sense of humor and quick wit to turn critics into fans and win the hearts and minds of hundreds of thousands of followers.
EXCERPT FROM THE EBOOK:
"This is my guide for every kid out there who spends time on the Internet (and the moms and dads who love them). Take it or leave it — it's up to you. But I hope you find something in here that helps if you ever find yourself being ridiculed online for who you are and what you do. At the very least, maybe you'll feel less alone just knowing that some other kid out there, someone who's probably a lot like you, has experienced the same kinds of things, and found a way to deal with them."
The ebook outlines Benni's five simple steps for dealing with negative commenters, which include remembering to not take things personally and keeping parents in the loop with what's going on. "Just like in the real world, kids shouldn't have to live life online alone," wrote Benni. "Because let's face it: Problems that are bottled up inside will only get worse. And things do get better when you ask for help."
Sage advice from a young adult who continues to be the buzz online. To date, Benni has garnered:
* Nearly 100,000 "likes" on her Facebook page
* Over 7,000 friend requests.
* Over 400,000 views of her FAQ "Fireside Chat" on YouTube with a 95% thumbs up.
* A fan-suggested Tumblr account that attracted more than 40,000 followers within 48 hours.
UPDATE: To view a flash-mob performance of "The Benni," performed by Benni and her friends last week at the request of her followers as a fundraiser for Japan at the Main Place Mall in Santa Ana, California, visit http://www.youtube.com/user/imthatgirlinpink.
Benni's easy-going approach continues to attract a fan base from across the country and around the world — with thousands making requests by the hour. As fans comment on her posts:
"You could have been the laughing stock of America but instead you just ended up being awesome :)"
"you're nice, and you take all the bad things about your dance so well, you, ma'am, are absolutely AWESOME"
"Man, gotta love this girl, she's so darn sweet, cute and nice! She deserves her own video :P"
To download a free copy of Benni Cinkle's ebook, please visit her website at http://thatgirlinpink.com.
SOURCE Benni Cinkle's Family