am i ugly videos
am i ugly videos, People say I’m ugly, so tell me, am I?” is a daring question to ask online, but dozens of teenagers, mostly girls, are unhesitatingly putting out the question on YouTube. Some of these teens are even younger than the required age to use YouTube, according to site’s terms of service – a user must be older than 13 to upload a video. It’s a disturbing trend: some of the videos are garnering thousands, if not millions, of hits.“I have a pretty basic question,” one girl begins, after revealing that her friends tell her she’s pretty but she’s not sure because she doesn’t have a boyfriend.
There, they face the wrath of YouTube commenters, some of who aren’t very shy or downright cruel about their opinions. “Just the fact that u did this video makes u ugly. But u were ugly already,” a viewer commented on one video.
The fact that some of the teens can be young as 11 years old signifies something is definitely amiss. Does YouTube need to monitor these videos more closely, or is it part of the need for greater parent vigilance when it comes to their children’s online activities? When every action is anonymous, commenters playing on the insecurities of young tweens is exactly the last thing the Internet needs.
The worrying trend has mushroomed of late, though the videos first starting appearing two to three years ago.
One video, uploaded by sgal901, sees a pretty young blonde asking whether she is ugly and posing in a selection of photographs.
Her film has been watched an astonishing 3,432,137 times since being uploaded in December 2010. 'A lot of people tell me I'm ugly. I think I'm ugly and fat,' she says to the camera.
Laying herself open to the dark anonymity of the internet, comments are a mixed bag. Some fall into extremes - either over-the-top compliments, suggesting sex, or reflecting a level of animosity that is stunningly harsh.
'This is such a stupid video......What stupid person would record a video like this one and then upload on YouTube don't they notice that they are just embarrassing their self by the way you are ugly the only thing I see in this video is ugliness I see no beauty' writes one watcher.
Others are, thankfully, more protective. 'Ignore those who comment "ugly". My opinion; You're super pretty (:' writes one, while another adds: 'most of those cruel people don't have pics of themselves...you are unique u are your own person so that makes u beautiful.'
There are scores of others similar videos, their subjects wide-eyed and naive.
Beautifulandproud posted a clip on December 2, 2011. She seems distraught and the video is heartbreakingly sad. She asks the question simply and gives no background or details.
As befits the world on online comments, hidden behind anonymity and known as 'trolls', answers are, again, vicious and often lewd.
Faye, going by the YouTube name of Smilelovebeauty8, seems unaware of her childish beauty.
She explains that at school she is often told she is ugly, but her friends tell she her she is pretty. Her confusion has driven her to bare all for strangers.
But while the majority of videos are made by girls, they are not alone. Boys are asking the same question and comments are just as vicious and snide.
The Mommy Files blogger Amy Graff writes on the San Francisco Chronicle site: 'Adolescence is dark and savage and when teenagers put themselves up on the Internet it only magnifies the experience.'
The trend is sure to concern those who campaign for self-esteem among children and vulnerable individuals.
As Ms Graff puts it: 'I only wish the online movie site more closely monitored kids’ use. The site says it doesn’t allow kids under age 13 to upload videos so then why is there a video of an 11-year-old girl asking the world if she’s ugly? Where are this girl’s parents? Something is wrong with this picture.'
Now this might be a "better" reason to shoot your child's computer. (Not really.) It's horrifying that teens are doing this, but I can't help but regress right back to my own teen years when I see these girls, full of insecurity, wondering what other people think about them. I get it. I've been there. But when I was there, the Internet didn't exist as it does today so all of the teen pressure to fit in and be thought of as pretty happened on a smaller scale -- in the neighborhood or in school. That's what makes this even more dangerous. These videos not only open a child up for ridicule from their peers, but total strangers. Some who may even be predators. Watch one very pretty young lady's video ....
I watched a few of these and got so upset. One very thin and beautiful young girl said: “A lot of people call me ugly and I think I am ugly and fat. But all of my friends that are girls are like, ‘Oh, you’re so beautiful,’ and I’m just like, ‘Shut up, because I’m not beautiful.’”
Yes, it's masochistic -- completely self-destructive -- to post these and actually welcome critique, but this is a young girl. A sensitive young person at a tender age filled with a yearning for acceptance, who measures her worth by how pretty others think she is. This is very common for many teens and tweens.
Sometimes I find the not-so-nice comments on my writings hurtful -- and I'm a big girl ... I can take it. But kids ... what other people think of them means everything. Posting an "Am I Ugly" video exposes their insecurity to potential predators, who know just what to say to an emotionally fragile child. It also opens them up to bullying.
Nothing good can come of it. So what can we do as parents?
We have to see it as a cry for help. This is the very reason it's good to keep tabs on our kids, see where they are posting online, being involved without being overly intrusive. So many of these kids are in need of self-esteem and confidence. But that isn't something that always magically happens. Sometimes professional help is needed.
Parry Aftab, a cyberbully prevention expert, told HLN:
Kids since forever have looked for ways to show that they are as good as others. Now you are able to quantify it. They really, honest to God, have no measure of how pretty they are, unless it’s ranked, unless it’s starred. Kids now function with numerical measures of how popular they are -- so how many people viewed your page, how many people friended you, how many people liked your page -- it’s all quantifiable now. Over the course of development and with repeated exposure to these messages, many girls internalize these values and the result can be shame, anxiety, poor body image, low self-esteem, depression, and/or sexualized expectations of their roles and their future.
I think we need to start a dialogue early with our kids ... make sure they know they can come to us or another family member to talk about things, even their insecurities. I think we need to remind our kids of their worth, and how it isn't about being the prettiest. Though that is an uphill battle considering the perfect images we see airbrushed and PhotoShopped on magazine covers and the stick-figure model look far too often being the ideal for young women. We, as parents, have a lot of work to do. And we can do it. We need to realize that they may even be a time that we need to ask for help -- because we aren't always perfect or able to solve everything either. And that's okay. We can't blame ourselves for everything our children do or think of ourselves as a failure -- there is no time for that. We just need to be there for our kids in whatever way they need us.