Thanks to their awkward and tuneless YouTube video "Hot Girl Problems," two 17-year-old girls from Los Angeles have the dubious distinction of being dubbed "the next Rebecca Black."
Why? It's not that we need a new version of the adolescent girl behind "Friday," the Auto-Tuned masterpiece of mediocrity which became 2011's cool thing to hate. It's just that … well … when you work in the media, adjectives can be hard (apparently). It's just easier to call pretty much anything "the next blah blah blah."
And while "anti-bullying" is all the rage, it's still cool on the Internet to hate on teenage girls … especially if they're acting like … um … teenage girls. What's more, you don't need to be a troll in a chat room to do it, you can work in the media as well.
Thanks to main stream media coverage, "Hot Girl Problems" -- performed by "Double Take" (Drew Garrett and Lauren Willy) has more than than 2 million views and 71,000 "dislikes."
Here's a sample of how it's been covered:
"'Hot Problems' might just be the worst song of 2012 -- if not of all time" is the headline ABC News went with.
"These "hot" girls' problems are now everyone's problems," reads the first sentence in a snark-filled story on the girls from the Huffington Post.
"The Video That Destroyed my Faith in Humanity," headline's The Next Web's post.
True enough, it's an awful video. The girls speak/sing in that annoying nasal tone of ... well ... teenage girls. Meanwhile the lyrics -- tongue-in-cheek or no -- aren't much better. For example: "Boys call me stuck up; girls say I'm conceited, on behalf of all hot girls, those comments aren't needed."
I know, right? It sounds like something ... um ... teenage girls would say.
Which is my point exactly.
Yes, yes, you’re very astute. I am, indeed, a member of the media whose actual job it is to make fun of stuff on the Internet and as such, the last person in cyberspace who can safely throw stones. But I bagged on this story when it first went “viral,” because, as I told my boss, comedy ain’t funny when it mocks those without power. These girls may or may not enjoy more privileges than others their age, but they’re still teenage girls, and that’s a comparatively powerless thing to be, especially on the Internet.
If we've learned anything from the deadly combination of Twitter and Justin Bieber, it's that teenage girls can be annoying and obnoxious, and especially to each other. True, Garrett and Willy have aged out of the True Belieber crowd, nearly aged out of high school, and if they're even remotely familiar with the hate fest that is YouTube comments, they can't be surprised to see themselves slammed. But -- and this can't be stressed enough -- they are teenagers. And yet, with "Hot Girl Problems," Internet girl hate goes mainstream.
Before Rebecca Black -- who was harassed by 4chan's infamous /b/board -- we had Jessi Slaughter. You may remember Jessi from her now-deceased father gave us the meme quote, "consequences will never be the same." Jessi's obnoxious quest for Internet fame resulted in death threats and worse.
Then there's Angie Varona, who at 14, became a star of Reddit's underage girl-oogling forums when her photos were scraped from her Facebook profile and other online accounts. As Gawker's Adrian Chen noted, "Young girls who try to be famous are cut down in a rage of vicious comments and death threats. And young girls like Angie Varona who aren't trying to be famous? That's just a turn on, whether they like it or not."
Those girls gained their uneasy Internet fame thanks to forums such as 4chan and Reddit. Now that "viral" equals "news," capricious gals don't need Internet trolls to make them famous in the worst possible way. Mainstream media is happy to take the helm.
Helen A.S. Popkin goes blah blah blah about the Internet. Tell her to get a real job on Twitter and/or Facebook. Also, Google+. Because that's how she rolls.