I Wanna Be Rebecca Black

By Elizabeth C. Bloom

Poor Rebecca Black has received too much flack. Black, a 13 year-old aspiring (or perhaps already made!) pop star, has been universally sacked after releasing her notorious single, “Friday.” But Black does not deserve to wear the scarlet letter. Harvard students have participated in this undeserved bashing, myself guiltily included, but maybe it merits a reevaluation. I, as well as other Harvard students, ought not pan Ms. Black. In fact, this backlash may result from our own jealousy of her social life, which—if it is embodied in the lyrics of her best-selling single on iTunes—is quite impressive indeed.

Perhaps I should speak for myself. While just three letters separate Black’s last name from my own, our social lives could not be more different. Her weekends are unparalleled in my experience at Harvard, or even in my life. The only time I have come close to her level of social butterfly-hood was during the seventh grade, when the Bar and Bat Mitzvah circuit was at its most active.

Let’s do a close analysis—one thing I have learned at Harvard—to compare my Fridays with Black’s. Black Fridays involve many sexy activities. She wakes up, her eyes jolting open in a fashion reminiscent of a horror film trailer that features pale, emaciated children (Think “Hide and Seek”). Having opened her eyes in this disturbing manner, Black consequently starts her day at 7 a.m. 7 a.m.! Just imagine all the things I could do if I woke up that early. Did somebody say Annenberg hot breakfast? Hot. HUHDS’ breakfast sandwiches could surpass even Black’s attractive-sounding “cereal.”

Next, Black has “gotta catch the bus.” I, too, opt for a shuttle bus on Fridays, and I proudly share this experience with her. According to her lyrics, Black has her choice from among the various seats available in the convertible driven by her unlicensed friends (“Which seat can I take?”). However, the video shows that Black has, in fact, only one seating option—and the middle seat at that! I am usually able to select from myriad seats on the Friday shuttles. Then again, she does get to brag to everybody about being driven by under-aged drivers. She’s such a bad girl! ... and yet, so cool.

Black claims that she has “gotta get down on Friday.” This compulsion reveals her deep commitment to exciting Fridays. Mine simply pale in comparison. Sometimes, I gotta do my homework on Friday, or I gotta see a movie on Friday, but Black clearly senses a deeper obligation to partyin’, partyin’, than I do. Black passionately exclaims: “fun, fun, fun, fun.” I’m really jealous. My orchestra’s parties are my favorite at Harvard, but would I ever describe them as Fun 4x?

While Black’s friend, who appears to be not much older than Tommy Pickles, drives her down the highway, Black sings about the days preceding and following Friday—as well as Friday itself. Rebby belts: “Yesterday was Thursday, Thursday/Today it is Friday, Friday,” later claiming, “Tomorrow is Saturday/And Sunday comes after ... wards.” Is she so intoxicated that she must remind herself of the days of the week? Black even neglects to include verbs in some of her sentences, again proclaiming in reference to Friday, “We we we so excited.” Harvard students know, however, that due to Harvard’s firm and consistently implemented alcohol policy, no one ever gets drunk here. But Rebecca’s parents, unlike the Harvard administration, are chill enough not to care about their daughter’s potential alcohol consumption. They are, of course, cool enough to fund this music video in the first place.

But Black’s parents are not the only old people who are making a significant impact on her musical career. Patrice Wilson—one of the song’s Nobel Prize-winning writers (just kidding! There is no Nobel Prize in music)—also has a cameo rap appearance in the music video. Again, Black’s social capital trumps mine, and, I imagine, that of many of my fellow Harvard students. Someone who follows your every move, and even your school bus? How on earth did you pull off a posse at age 13? Rebecca, you sly gal, you.

I guess that’s the end of the close analysis, since none of the lyrics change, well, ever.

As a reader of Fifteen Minutes, you are probably a deliberate socialite, somebody who’s looking for fun things to do at Harvard this upcoming Friday. After you are rejected at the door of a party or prevented from participating in your House’s canceled “golf” event, do not watch Rebecca Black’s video to fill your free time. You may be seeking fun in taunting her, but I fear that you are projecting your own insecurities. For RB, Rebecca Black, has a much better social life than the average Harvard student.

In that sense, I suppose, her soulful lyrics are in fact proved wrong. At least at Harvard, not everybody is lookin’ forward to the weekend. Weekend.

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