Am I Ugly? Girls Ask YouTube
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. People say I’m ugly. So … tell me — am I?
The video was posted in December and has gotten over 3.4 million views and 92,000 comments. Many “tweens” (ages 11-13) have followed suit.
The girls repeatedly challenge the viewer to, “Go ahead, judge me, I don’t care what you think.” Of course, they wouldn’t have gone to the trouble if they didn’t care.
Why do they care? Because how others see us shapes how we see ourselves. Our solitary “subjective” notions about who we are morph into “objective” fact when others agree that, “That’s who you are.” And so we trumpet our successes and squelch nasty rumors because both are made more real by others’ seeing. Doesn’t have to be this way, but often is.
Come early adolescence, girls begin to grapple with who they are – looks becoming a primary source of identity, worth and status. Unfortunately, many of the “Am I Ugly?” girls seem depressed and lacking self-esteem.
Some YouTube commenters declare the girls “beautiful.” A few offer advice: “Get bangs.” Others tell them to get off the internet and do their homework.
But YouTube is not the place to gain affirmation. Too many insecure cowards anonymously hurl insults: “My vote: UGLIER THAN A DEMON” or “F*ck off whore wannabe” or “Just the fact that u did this video makes u ugly. But u were ugly already.” Twelve-year-olds aren’t mature enough to deal with misogynistic trolls who put them down in hopes of lifting their own sorry selves.
But the whole focus on looks faces the matter wrongly. As one commenter put it, “You’re not ugly, society is.”
Another summed it up nicely:
We place too much value on the way we look and too little on who we are. I could be the least attractive person on earth but I’m a good person and I have a good heart and I think that those things matter a million times more than being pretty or ugly. While I know that I’m not Ugly, I still believe that I have more to offer the world than just how I look. I wish that this was the message that young girls were getting. They need better role models, they need people to reinforce how smart they are and how talented they are vs. how pretty they look.
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Posted on February 27, 2012, in body image, feminism, gender, psychology, sexism and tagged Am I Ugly?, body image, culture, feminism, gender, girls and women, pop culture, psychology, sexism. Bookmark the permalink. 46 Comments.