Millions watching Napier teen on net

By Stephanie Arthur-worsop

Napier's Facebook teen sensation Jamie Curry, who has millions of followers online, continues to win the hearts of young and old.

The Facebook page ''Jamie's World'', created just over a year ago by the 17-year-old, has more than three million fans, ranging from 13 to 30 years old.

Marc Wilson, a professor in psychology at Victoria University, said some of Jamie's success on social network sites is due to her selection of broad, everyday topics that show the realities of life.

''Both my son, who's 9, and my wife, really like Jamie's videos. She is genuinely funny and the things she touches on are often easy to relate to as part of our own lives.''

Hastings resident Hamish Carruthers said Jamie's uniqueness guaranteed there was nobody else like her.

''She hardly tries in her videos. It all just comes naturally to her and it never looks contrived or forced.''

Hamish attributed her wide audience to her clean, universal humour that ''everyone can enjoy''.

Since her videos went viral on the social network site, Jamie has also created accounts on Tumblr, YouTube and Twitter which each have several thousand followers.

''Another part of the success Jamie has experienced is allowed by the manner of dissemination - YouTube and Facebook mean that people can watch at their leisure and they're encouraged to by word of mouth,'' Dr Wilson said.

An Auckland social media psychologist who did not wish to be named said: '' Jamie has the ability to take a situation that people think they are alone in doing, and turn it into a video or funny picture.''

Karamu High School student Brittney Brown, 14, said Jamie's success boiled down to her relatability to teenagers and young adults.

''Jamie's humour is natural and she doesn't need to wear make-up and short dresses to get noticed.''

For her latest skit, Jamie was asked by Auckland muso Massad Barakat-Devine to star in his video clip for the upcoming single Girl Next Door.

The clip was to debut yesterday and ''sneak peak'' previews show Jamie dressed in crazy outfits and partaking in comedic gym sessions.

Tasia Pishief, 15, of Hastings, said that by publicly embarrassing herself, Jamie had attracted a wide audience.

''She [Jamie] takes everyday bad, embarrassing situations and makes us laugh about them.

''Her dancing videos are the funniest because she moves her body in such weird ways and it's so out there.

''She's not afraid to be herself,'' Tasia said.

Dr Wilson said it is important for teenagers and young adults to have such positive role models on social networking sites.

''I think there is a lot to be said for not taking yourself seriously, and that is what this young woman manages very well indeed.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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