Am I Ugly? Girls Ask YouTube

"Am I ugly?" young girl asks You Tube

“Am I ugly?” young girl asks You Tube

A girl, age twelve or thirteen, posts a video on YouTube, asking:

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 received over three million views and 92,000 comments within a couple of months of posting. Many “tweens” (ages 11-13) followed suit.

The girls repeatedly challenge viewers to, “Go ahead, judge me, I don’t care what you think.” But of course, they wouldn’t take the trouble to ask if they didn’t care.

It’s pretty sad that so many young girls have made these pleas. Perhaps hoping to be proven wrong. So it’s heart wrenching to see some of the comments made.

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.

Still, some commenters declare the girls “beautiful.” A few offer advice: “Get bangs.” Others tell them to get off the internet and do their homework.

Why do the girls care? Because how others see us shapes how we see ourselves as our “subjective” notions (subjective: it’s just me who thinks so) morph into “objective” fact (many think “x” so it must be true). 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 in self-esteem.

But of course, 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.

A rerun — I’m on vacation.

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on July 6, 2016, in body image, feminism, psychology, sexism, women and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 23 Comments.

  1. Why would a twelve year old girl make video and upload it on Youtube? She is still a kid who needs to be watched by parents. If her parents knew about this video they should have taken it down. Parents needs to keep an close eye on their children especially of that age. A twelve year should not worry about her looks and definitely not ask people how she looks. They should be supervised by their parents and parents should know what their kids are doing on internet. Kids should not be making videos about their looks but should be concentrating on their school work.They will grow up and their looks will change so they shouldn’t care what people say about their looks. No one is ugly in this world everyone is beautiful for someone in some way and people should not call any one ugly maybe they have way better personality than the person calling them ugly.

  2. I feel bad for how society sets up an hierarchy like you said where kids and people can put each other above others. And either people who don’t measure up or kids can bully or neglect or not always show compassion and then you have other kids who are either bullied or left out. Well I try to find the rainbow in the rain sometimes and saw this earlier in the week and thought I’d share. Something to warm the heart.

    The site shows the picture of the good hearted FSU footbally player and I’m going to quote the autistic boy’s mother.

    “Several times lately I have tried to remember my time in middle school, did I like all my teachers, do I even remember them? Did I have many friends? Did I sit with anyone at lunch? Just how mean were kids really? I remember one kid on the bus called me “Tammy Fay Baker” bc I started awkwardly wearing eye liner in the sixth grade, I remember being tough and calling him a silly name back, but when he couldn’t see me anymore I cried. I do remember middle school being scary, and hard. Now that I have a child starting middle school, I have feelings of anxiety for him, and they can be overwhelming if I let them. Sometimes I’m grateful for his autism. That may sound like a terrible thing to say, but in some ways I think, I hope, it shields him. He doesn’t seem to notice when people stare at him when he flaps his hands. He doesn’t seem to notice that he doesn’t get invited to birthday parties anymore. And he doesn’t seem to mind if he eats lunch alone. It’s one of my daily questions for him. Was there a time today you felt sad? Who did you eat lunch with today? Sometimes the answer is a classmate, but most days it’s nobody. Those are the days I feel sad for him, but he doesn’t seem to mind. He is a super sweet child, who always has a smile and hug for everyone he meets. A friend of mine sent this beautiful picture to me today and when I saw it with the caption “Travis Rudolph is eating lunch with your son” I replied “who is that?” He said “FSU football player”, then I had tears streaming down my face. Travis Rudolph, a wide receiver at Florida State, and several other FSU players visited my sons school today. I’m not sure what exactly made this incredibly kind man share a lunch table with my son, but I’m happy to say that it will not soon be forgotten. This is one day I didn’t have to worry if my sweet boy ate lunch alone, because he sat across from someone who is a hero in many eyes. Travis Rudolph thank you so much, you made this momma exceedingly happy, and have made us fans for life! #travisrudolph #gonoles #autismmom #fansforlife”


  3. I actually cannot stand this. It is heartbreaking in every way. I have an eight year old daughter and it hurts me to see young girls so worried and self conscious. And then taking their concerns to YouTube!

  4. Looks have constantly been the centre of attraction and have always attracted people. The moment we start realising their significance, we devote more time to our grooming and this undoubtedly proves that adolescence being an impressionable and sensitive age, is the beginning of such an awakening.
    Since digital devices and social media are most sought after, immature girls turn to them for endorsements of their beauty!
    Looks enhance self-esteem, infuse confidence and build relationships!

    • Luckily research has found that the more we get to know someone the more attractive they occur to us. And beauty ideals very from place to place — it’s not like there is just one standard of beauty. Even traits that are most commonly appreciated around the world are not universal. And we would all benefit by better appreciating the person inside, wouldn’t we?

  5. Such a sad state of affair! Where are we heading to? We’ve started giving so much importance to looks, shapes, and sizes that the value of a woman as a human being with all other qualities is tending to zero!

  6. This is, in fact, a pretty sad comment on our society. I’m sure it would be heartbreaking to see some of these posts and you can only imagine the 12-year-old tears that result.

    • It’s too bad we live in a society that has such a narrow notions of what is beautiful, and that girls and women are taught to judge their worth so much by their looks. And then girls at the cusp of womanhood are
      so often insecure and don’t understand the world anyway, making this sort of thing really harmful.

  7. That is so sad. How did you find this anyway? I go on youtube and usually the most viral videos just pop up. I’ve never seen this before or heard of it. Anyway, yeah that girl should not be on youtube or posting a video on the internet for social validation. Do her parents know of her low self esteem and that’s she posting a video on people’s opinions about her looks?It’s not a good idea, because youtube is one of the worst places. As you have shown, there are a lot of assholes who comment on there. Whether trolling or just being sexist, racist, homophobic bigots. The last thing she needs is to see comments from such boys, who ironically most likely don’t like themselves either for feeling the need to troll and put others down too.

    • This is from a few years ago – a rerun for the week of the 4th.

      I decided not to post the very first comment I got, so it’s ironic that yours is the second and you said this:

      “As you have shown, there are a lot of assholes who comment on there. Whether trolling or just being sexist, racist, homophobic bigots. The last thing she needs is to see comments from such boys, who ironically most likely don’t like themselves either for feeling the need to troll and put others down too.”

      So thanks for that.

      (He didn’t say that she was ugly, just suggested she was trying to make money off of it – yet I don’t know that she was running ads. He may have just been joking but it was unempathetic enough that I didn’t want it as my first comment. And he definitely wasn’t feeling her pain.)

      • Yeah but I found that clip and saw comments and there were trolls and assholes who fix call her ugly and it didn’t surprise me. Not because she is, because she is definitely not ugly but because like I said, I’ve seen how guys can be who comment on YouTube and the terrible things said, about people’s looks, race, Sex, sexuality, oh and slut shaming is big too. YouTube commenters are not much different than what I see o. Yahoo news. Luckily there are a good number of them who were trying to support her from YouTube comments to, particularly girls and women who I think can empathize what she’s feeling since it’s something many girls and women feel with societies scrutiny on girls and women’s looks and bodies

      • Women are more strongly trained to be empathetic, so I guess that’s why they seem to be so much more supportive. We need to encourage that in men more, too. (And I do know plenty of empathetic men.) Otherwise, you get people who want to build themselves up by putting someone else down. Just advertising their own insecurity.

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