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The “Pretty or Ugly” Video Phenomenon

Dr. Meg Meeker

Dr. Meg Meeker

A disturbing activity has surfaced from our tween daughters. If your daughter’s involved, you need to know. Many young girls are posting videos on YouTube asking complete strangers to pass judgment on them. You heard me: complete strangers. Old men, teen boys, teachers, pimps, maybe perverted grandfathers.

Girls are asking these strangers: “Am I Pretty or Am I Ugly?”  (the video below has been viewed over 4 million times)

Some may argue that this is simply young girls playing games. Maybe. But I don’t think so. I think that this activity tells us two very disturbing things about our girls. First, they feel so needy for approval that they rally strangers to find it. We need to change this Moms and Dads because the most important boost to any girl’s self esteem needs to come from home. Dads, hug your daughters and tell them they are beautiful. Moms, encourage your daughters to feel good about their character and intellect.

Second, this activity puts are young girls in harm’s way. Seriously. They post their lovely, innocent faces for all sorts of ne’er-do-wells to critique. Some will say cruel things and potentially wound them emotionally and some may like what they see and track these girls down.

So let’s engage the battle parents. We can’t afford to let any of our young girls avail themselves to such profound vulnerability. They can’t stop themselves because they’re just kids. But we can because, after all, we’re the grown-ups.


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