Rising Internet Star from Rebecca Black's "Friday" Video Turns Ridicule into Praise

Benni Cinkle’s Family Applauds their Daughter's handling of Internet Fame

Mar 23, 2011, 17:47 ET from Benni Cinkle's Family

SANTA ANA, Calif., March 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- She's known online as "That Girl in Pink Who Dances Awkwardly," but to her friends and family, she's just Benni, a 13-year-old from Orange County whose good attitude, sense of humor and compassion is quickly making her an ambassador for the teen community.

Last week, when Rebecca Black's "Friday" video hit the Internet, Benni gained immediate attention for her awkward dancing — and it wasn't the good kind. Almost instantaneously, a Facebook Page sprang up for "That girl in pink that danced awkwardly on Rebecca Black's video." At first, the comments were mean-spirited, but Benni's good-natured character turned things around. Within a matter of hours, thousands had posted comments of a decidedly different nature. "People were asking a lot of questions about me," Benni noted, "so I decided to just start responding to their comments and questions."

Soon, the Internet was buzzing about Benni, whose online accessibility gained:

* Over 70,000 "likes" on her Facebook page

* Over 5,000 friend requests.

* A fan-suggested Tumblr account that attracted more than 40,000 followers within 48 hours.

And the story grew from there. As curiosity around Benni escalated, her followers asked her to make a YouTube video answering their questions. Dubbed "The Fireside Chat" due to the oversize chair Benni sits in while she answers all kinds of questions, Benni's YouTube FAQ has received over 300,0000 views. She also has many requests to teach people her dance, which the online community has dubbed "The Benni." Benni responded by asking the viewers to submit their own dance videos offering as a prize the chance for the to video-chat and dance with her for all of the Internet to see.

UPDATE: To view a flash-mob performance of "The Benni," performed by Benni and her friends yesterday 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.

But the story goes beyond Benni and her dancing. She's also put together an ebook to help teens and their parents deal cyber bullies — Benni Cinkle style. Entitled "That Girl In Pink's Internet Survival Guide for Kids Who Have an Online Life (and the Moms and Dads Who Love Them)" the ebook is a fun, easy-to-read instructional that shares how Benni has relied on her sense of humor (and a sense of self that's rare for a 13-year-old) to deal with the good and bad press she's gotten in the Internet limelight. The ebook will be available as a free download on Benni's website on Thursday, March 23. Advance copies are available to the media by request. See below for details.

To date, Benni's approach has only added to her fame — 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"

Media inquiries including advance-copy requests for Benni's ebook, please contact Pubicist Pamela Schott of Sirin Web Group at 818 205 3983 or through email: pamela@sirinwebgroup.com.

Benni Cinkle media:

Website: http://thatgirlinpink.com

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/imthatgirlinpink

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/That-girl-in-pink-who-danced-awkwardly-in-Rebecca-Blacks-friday/116901101721101

Twitter: http://twitter.com/awkwardinpink

Tumblr: http://girlinpinkdancing.tumblr.com/

SOURCE Benni Cinkle's Family