Becoming an Internet Meme
Benni Cinkle rose to Internet fame when she appeared in a YouTube music video that went viral, receiving over 200 million views. At first, Benni was ridiculed by millions around the world for her awkward dancing, often referred to as “That girl in pink that can’t dance.” They called her names, told her she should kill herself, and made gifs of her dancing, turning Benni into one of the most widely recognized Internet memes and earning her an entry into Urban Dictionary and the Internet Meme Museum.
Building a Platform for Charity
Instead of reacting defensively, Benni met their criticism with humor, honesty and understanding. Soon, anonymous bullies became fans and Benni's online reputation as an approachable, down-to-earth teen began to grow. In the months following her unexpected popularity, Benni received tens of thousands of requests for advice from teens around the world. Realizing she had been gifted a platform that offered international reach, Benni decided to use her 15 minutes of fame for something positive. So she:
- Authored That Girl in Pink’s Internet Survival Guide, offering teens strategies for handling life online.
- Organized a flashmob dance to raise donations for American Red Cross Japan Earthquake Relief.
- Organized a walk for CFF that included hundreds of kids from 14 countries walking with her, virtually.
- Recorded her single, Can You See Me Now, and donated profits to TWLOHA and GLSEN.
- Visited schools across the U.S. delivering her Don’t Just Stand There anti-bullying presentation.
Benni has been honored with the following recognition:
- Featured as a role model on www.SixBillionSecrets.com.
- Chosen as a regular blogger for The Huffington Post.
- Received the 2012 Kids Curing Kids Award from Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.