Am I Pretty?

Some months ago, the Mom 2.0 conference presented a series of videos showing how young girls were using YouTube to ask for feedback on their looks. It was heartbreaking, not only because people’s perceptions were so important to these girls, but that they voluntarily opened themselves up to all sorts of devastating feedback from the public via online social networks. The videos made me grateful that I had a son and not daughters, because this was clearly, primarily and painfully, a “girl thing.”

I was reminded of that experience not long ago by a New York Times article on this very subject.

An example of such a video, quoted in the story: “People at my school and camp say I’m the most ugliest person they’ve ever seen, and I could be the ugliest person that could ever be living. Be honest and tell me if I am ugly or not. I can take it, but please don’t say really mean stuff.”

But of course, people did say “mean stuff” – cruel stuff – to this young girl. Some even suggested that she kill herself.

According to the Times article, a YouTube search for “Am I Pretty” turns up more than 23,000 results, and most of these videos are posted by girls between the ages of 13 and 15.  We can only hope that this is one trend that ends before even more damage is done.