Dark Trend Emerges as Teens Post ‘Am I Pretty or Ugly?’ Videos to YouTube

It's too soon to completely understand how today's youth will be affected in the longrun because of the impact and prevalence of the Internet. But they are inarguably affected. because of the impact and prevalence of the Internet. But they are inarguably affected.

There are obvious benefits to computers, smartphones, and social media sites. Some of the dangers and drawbacks are well-publicized, too, while others are only slowly emerging.

Type "Am I Pretty?" or "Am I Ugly" into YouTube's search box and see what comes up.

Related: A Dad Asks - How do you raise pretty girls?

Teen and tween girls pose for the camera, share their insecurities, and then ask people to weigh in through the YouTube comment section as to whether they're ugly, pretty, fat or thin.

The videos started a few years ago, but the frequency of them has picked up steam in the past few months, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

You can imagine how commenters are having a field day. And, as you can imagine, it's not in a nice way.

Related: What I wish I was told about beauty as a kid

Comments like, "You're pretty ugly," and "Pretty ugly - - your really pathetic for uploading this video, you knew you would get hate :/" and "A piece of crap is prettier than you - you are as ugly as hell" are the norm.

So are thousands and thousands of page views. One girl's video has received over 3 million hits.

Despite the fact that uploaders to YouTube are supposed to be at least 13, girls as young as 11 have shared videos.

Related: Size 6 is the new 16?! Provocative photos of pin-thin vs. "plus-size" models

It's hard to imagine what would drive someone to post such mean-spirited comments about impressionable and clearly insecure girls. But it's also not hard to imagine that there are plenty of self-conscious girls looking for attention who have found a way to get it using the technology available at their fingertips.

Here's hoping YouTube figures out a way to block submission from girls so young, and that the girls so young find another outlet to receive attention - and the right kind of attention - of which they are clearly and desperately in need.

- By Meredith Carroll

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