'Overly Attached Girlfriend' star shares her success with charity




Posted on November 28, 2012 at 1:27 PM

DENTON, Texas - Never underestimate the power of a webcam and the public's pursuit of entertainment.

"It blew up overnight, really," said Laina, the star of the video, who asked us not to share her last name.

Originally from Keller, she is better known as the "Overly Attached Girlfriend;" a crazy-eyed, creepy face spoof she made of a Justin Bieber song that went viral on YouTube.

"The day after I posted it, it hit a million views," she added. "Justin Bieber's manager sent a Tweet out with a link to the video. I just thought I'm going to make a creepy face for this creepy song. When I posted it everyone was freaking out. That's when I realized how weird it really was."

Since it posted on YouTube in June, 13 million people have seen it. A second parody she produced of a Carly Rae Jepsen song got 17 million views on YouTube. And another viral video got her a free lease for twelve months on a new Kia Soul.

The new-found fame has changed her life.

"I make money on the advertisements off the videos," Laina said.

It's enough of an income she was able to quit a part-time job at a packing and mailing store.

In the last five months, 228,000 people have liked her Facebook page, and 135,000 fans follow her on Twitter.

But the 21 year old is using her newly-found platform to help others.

"I had no idea the scope of social media -- what it can do, and the reach it's got," said Peggy Ashley, an organizer with Surf Camp, a non-profit that helps children with Autism and their families.

For five weeks, Laina asked her fans to donate if she performed dares.

Tuesday night in Denton, she gave a big check, valued at $22,286, to Ashley's small charity.

"To think that the crazy weird videos I've done is resulting in something like this," Laina said tearing up, "it makes it worth it and makes me feel like I'm using it for the right thing."

She generated the thousands of dollars from nothing more than a cheap webcam, raw talent and a desire to share her success.

E-mail jwhitely@wfaa.com