'Am I pretty or ugly?' videos discouraged by parents, doctors and peers
It's an age-old question that teenage girls have asked for generations - am I ugly or am I pretty?
Instead of asking their friends, though, girls are now turning to the Internet - specifically YouTube in most cases - and leaving that question to be answered by the masses for an online verdict.
However, as responses pour in, some of them are nasty and extremely hurtful.
The videos are getting thousands and, in some cases, millions of hits, and it's something child psychologists say parents need to be aware of. Many say it needs to stop because the damage to a young girl's psyche can be extensive and lasting.
"Nobody should be doing this," Dr. Eleanor Mackey says. "Even if a child gets majority positive feedback, one or two hurtful comments...are probably the ones that will stand out to them."
Not every young girl is partaking in the trend as the nasty comments pour in.
"It's messed up because it might hurt some of the girls' feelings," 12-year-old Victoria Dos Santos said.
Mackey, who works out of Children's National Medical Center, agrees with that sentiment, saying that the "Am I pretty?" videos open the girls up to global bullying and criticism. However, she also recognizes that girls of that age are apt to care about what others think of them.
"They really rely on other people's assessment of themselves to decide how they feel about themselves as part of development," Dr. Mackey said.
She especially cautions that girls may obsess about a certain part of themselves that might be critiqued.
"It may end up being something they fixate on for a very long time" she said.
In response to the videos, many girls are speaking out against the trend, taking to YouTube themselves to ask girls to stop making the videos. Professionally, though, Mackey stresses that it's important for parents to talk to their daughters about the dangers of posting videos like these.
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