Disturbing YouTube Trend: Teens Ask The World ‘Am I Ugly Or Pretty?’

By Megan O'Neill 

Have you ever wondered what other people think of the way you look?  I mean what they really think of the way you look?  According to Amy Graff of the San Francisco Chronicle blog, a rising number of teens are posting videos on YouTube to find out.

If you head over to YouTube and do a search for “Am I ugly?” or “Am I pretty?” you’ll find yourself face to face with a surprisingly large number of videos of tweens and teens (mostly girls) asking the YouTube community for an honest assessment of their appearance.  Some of these videos have view counts in the millions.

In one example, a video called ‘Am I Pretty Or Ugly?’ that is perhaps the most-viewed video in this strange trend with over 3.4 million views, a cute girl that doesn’t appear to be much older than 12 or 13 says, “I just wanted to make a random video seeing if I was, like, ugly or not because a lot of people call me ugly and I think I am ugly and fat.”  She shows a slideshow of photographs of herself and ends with, “So yeah, tell me what you think.”

As you can imagine, there are a ton of supportive comments and video responses from people telling the posters that they are beautiful and that they shouldn’t worry about what other people think—all that is important is how they feel about themselves.  But these videos also attract a huge number of perverts and trolls that think it’s funny to anonymously leave sexually harassing or mean comments.

Many of the tweens and teens that are jumping on the bandwagon and posting videos asking whether or not people think they are ugly also talk about how they’ve been picked on a lot or that people have called them ugly.  Many seem down in their videos and appear to lack self-esteem and the fact that they are putting these videos up in an audience that is ripe with trolls and anonymous bullies is just plain scary, if you ask me.

Amy Graff writes, “YouTube is the last place these kids should be going to for a confidence boost; the site is bound to make them only feel worse…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.”  I couldn’t agree more.

What’s your take on this disturbing trend?  We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Image credit: Aleshyn_Andrei via Shutterstock.com

Megan O’Neill is the resident web video enthusiast here at Social Times.  Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.