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 recognized internet memes.
Instead of reacting defensively, Benni met their criticism with humor, honesty and understanding. Soon, anonymous bullies became fans and Benni's reputation as an approachable, down-to-earth teen began to grow. In the months that followed, 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:
Wrote a short ebook offering teens five simple, yet effective, strategies for handling life online. It's available as a free download on her website.
Organized a worldwide walk for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation where kids
from 14 different countries walked with her, virtually.
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.
Can You See Me Now - In Sept 2011, Benni released her first single and music video. Inspired by stories she read on www.SixBillionSecrets.com, Benni wrote the song for teens dealing with abuse, depression, and self-harm. Proceeds go to TWLOHA and GLSEN.
Gotta Get Out - In Summer 2012, Benni will release her second single and music video. Benni loves this song because of its powerful message of hope.
Today, Benni has her own non-profit organization (501c3), affectionately named That Girl in Pink Foundation. TGIPF is dedicated to the prevention of teen suicide, an issue that has affected Benni personally.
Learn more about Benni at www.ThatGirlinPink.org