I am floored by a new trend on YouTube wherein young girls are asking the world to tell them if they are pretty or ugly.
I watched one of these videos this week after reading about this new wave of videos. A young girl asks her audience (which is now up to more than 4 million) whether she is pretty or ugly. She narrates a series of pictures of herself showing her to be a perfectly sweet, young girl.
The comments are anything but sweet, however. They range from calling her horrible names to telling her she doesn’t deserve to live. Others, though, tell the girl she is beautiful that she should take down her videos and talk to her parents.
Yes. Yes. Please little girl: Go talk to your parents instead of 4 million strangers on the Internet.
This breaks my heart. Being a teenage girl is hard enough without having millions of people confirm your worst insecurities about yourself. I don’t know why girls are doing this to themselves. Maybe it’s for attention, maybe it’s to validate themselves or maybe it’s to validate their bad feelings about themselves. To me, it seems like it’s almost like these girls want to hear the hateful comments. Otherwise, why would you post this online?
And why as a parent would you not insist your child remove such videos?
As a mother of two daughters, I hope I never see their beautiful faces on the Internet one day asking strangers “Am I pretty?” I hope by the time they know how to upload to YouTube, they know they are gorgeous inside and out and won’t seek the approval (or disapproval) of millions of anonymous screen names.
How do you build the self-esteem of your daughters? What can parents do to keep their children from using social media to their detriment?