According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the third leading cause of death in kids and young adults ages 15 to 24. Suicide attempts are on the rise too, from 6.3 percent in 2009 to 7.8 percent in 2011. A recent study in the Journal of Adolescent Health showed that kids who are bullied are three to five times more likely to have suicidal thoughts or make an attempt than those who are not.
Social media is the newest aide in bullying. Kids now have more access to showcase themselves for the world to see.
In the age of cyber-bullying, a trend has gained popularity on YouTube.
If you do a simple search of “Am I Ugly Or Pretty?” on YouTube, you’ll notice thousands of videos made by young girls asking viewers to judge them based on their looks. Some of the girls point out their own flaws, such as small ears, or an odd shaped face, but they’re seeking public validation of their beauty.
Take a look at one video in particular:
Although most of the comments were positive, and reassured the young girl that she wasn’t ugly, other comments were quite disgusting and mean:
Ugly attention whore. You look like a pile of crap. Actually a pile of crap looks better than you.
Yes there is you half wit. Some people are ugly, some people are pretty. She is ugly.
OK, brace yourself, coz i WILL be honest. i do not think it’s healthy to patronize you…
i think you are too beautiful, but i hate your hair…
it’s messy and makes you look old…i would go natural, and wear a beautiful fro, or grow my hair naturally and then truly you would look your best:)) hope i helped…
It’s sad that young girls are out there seeking validation from a bunch of strangers and chances are they’re taking these comments to heart, but who’s to blame?
Most people would blame society and the fact that people are judged on their looks every day. But why put yourself out there to be judged even more? It’s bad enough you have to deal with bullies in classrooms at school, but now young girls want to subject themselves to anonymous bullying, all for the sake of having someone say if they’re pretty or not.
Most of the girls in these videos look to be anywhere from the age of 10 to their mid teens. One has to wonder where are their parents, and if they’re even aware their child is posting videos on YouTube. Chances are they have no idea what they’re child is doing.
Are the parents are to blame?
There’s the old saying “mothers love their sons and raise their daughters”. Maybe the 500,000 “Am I Ugly Or Pretty” YouTube videos are from girls that don’t receive love or attention at home. When either of those are missing from a child’s life, they will seek it elsewhere. And nowadays unfortunately, it’s from strangers on the internet.
After watching about 5 of the videos, I appreciated the fact that even though I did point out the flaws I had as a kid to certain family members, they always assured me that I was beautiful, smart and to never let anyone tell me otherwise. Even though I don’t have any daughters of my own, I still make it a point to let my son know the same thing.
If only someone could tell each of these girls on YouTube the same thing, and then remove access to their webcams and social media accounts.