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Jamie's World teen 'not afraid to act weird'

Published: 11:08AM Friday April 26, 2013 Source: Fairfax

  • Schoolgirl Jamie Curry and her popular Facebook page. (Source: Fairfax)
    Schoolgirl Jamie Curry and her popular Facebook page. - Source: Fairfax

With a worldwide audience of more than 7 million people a week, Jamie Curry may be the most famous teenager in New Zealand.

The 16-year-old from Hawke's Bay started the Facebook page Jamie's World in July last year, and with more than 500,000 likes already, the page received 24,000 more last weekend.

"I was not expecting this. I was expecting like a hundred likes, or not even that," said Jamie, who aspires to become an actor in the United States.

Seven million people a week see videos, photos and status updates from Jamie's World on their Facebook newsfeed.

Jamie also has a YouTube account with 60,000 subscribers and a newly-launched Twitter account with 13,000 followers.

The Sacred Heart College year-12 pupil started the page after she was encouraged by her friends at soccer one afternoon.

Jamie attributes her popularity to the funny photos and videos she posts, saying they're "relatable" to other teenagers which is why she thinks she has such a huge fan base.

She was not afraid to act weird or make a fool of herself, she said.

All her videos receive tens of thousands of likes within hours.

Her latest videos include a tour of what's in her room and a humorous depiction of her typical school day. Her favourite video is of her crying about a guy she was seeing and how he was cheating on her - Hollywood hunk Channing Tatum, whom she often refers to on her page as her boyfriend.

She is most popular among teenage girls, particularly in Australia, Italy and New Zealand. Like many celebrities she struggles to keep up with fan mail - Jamie currently has 11,000 unread messages. She spends two hours every night replying to fans.

"I kinda feel like I have to give it back to them for following me."

Like many teenagers Jamie used to be self-conscious, something the page had helped her overcome, she said. She often appears without make-up and in geeky looking outfits complete with suspenders. Her braces also feature as a standing joke in many of the videos.

Part of the success of the page was down to timing, she said.

"I think I've really got in on the right time of when [the internet] is peaking, so I was a bit lucky really."

Teenagers spent more time watching videos on the internet than watching television, Jamie said.

But despite her internet fame, time spent on the worldwide web is still closely monitored at home.

Jamie lives in rural Taradale with her mum Bronwyn, dad Lance and 14-year-old sister Tayla.

The internet was turned off when Jamie spent too much time online instead of doing her homework, her mum said.

"There's constant negotiations going on."

Jamie said her fame had taken the family by surprise.

"I think they [her family] thought I was just messing around," she said.

It was not until Jamie was recognised on a street in Auckland by fans that her mother realised how popular her daughter had become.

Although Jamie may be famous, she is still a regular teenager in many ways. In her spare time she likes to hang out with her friends or play soccer for her local club, Marist.

Her favourite subject in school is design.

She planned to use profits from ads on her YouTube videos to decorate her room, she said.

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