Am I Pretty’ YouTube Phenomenon Causes Alarm

With some thing like this it’s really difficult to know where to begin…
First of all I still have no idea why children under the age of 13 are allowed to have internet access/personal accounts to social media sites unsupervised. How many times do we have to watch a 48 Hours Mystery or 20/20 or to Catch a Predator to know that even in your own home, behind closed doors, people via the Internet have access to your children and they, though tucked away in their rooms may not be safe. The worst part about the Internet and your child is that though people may not have access to them physically they can penetrate them mentally which is just as, if not more dangerous. For me it’s hard to get past the idea that these young girls had the time privacy and internet access to upload videos like these.

Question” Do We REALLY Think They are Asking the Question or…

I can’t help but think that even at the tender age of 11 these girls (and boys) know that the internet is the key to becoming successful. Adele was an Internet find and so what that Friday chick Vanessa Black. More and more the Internet plays a greater role in the creation and casting of projects, it reaches more people then television and radio combined. Becoming a Youtube or Twitter sensation can have big payoffs. I get the feeling that yes while some of these people posting these public questions about their appearance, as they peer vulnerably into their webcams seemingly seeking validation from millions of strangers I can’t help thinking that what they are really looking for is a deal; enough hits to cause a stir, to get more hits and then some press which results in them sitting across from an anchor on a major network morning show, asking them why? Which leads to a agent, a modeling agency signing them which leads to castings, and well you know the story all to well. I get this feeling because as you will read in the article koala girl’s mother, “Shocked” upon finding out what her daughter had uploaded (again parent your kids) is only considering revoking her daughter’s YouTube privileges, but stopped short of demanding that Faye take down the video.
And why would any loving mother interested in protecting her preteen child NOT demand that she take the video down?????? Well let me tell you that the comment above was from a conversation she was having with a reporter from GOOD MORNING AMERICA I rest my case.
No doubt the girl has penned a song entitled Am I Pretty or Ugly.
UGH!
(I refuse to post a pic of this girl- I am not adding any fuel to this ridiculous fire) DO YOUR HOME WORK!

Hosted by Huffington Post

NEW YORK — The young girl shows off her big, comfy koala hat and forms playful hearts with her fingers as she drops the question on YouTube: “Am I pretty or ugly?”

“A lot of people call me ugly, and I think I am ugly. I think I’m ugly, and fat,” she confesses in a tiny voice as she invites the world to decide.

And the world did.

The video, posted Dec. 17, 2010, has more than 4 million views and more than 107,000 anonymous, often hateful responses in a troubling phenomenon that has girls as young as 10 – and some boys – asking the same question on YouTube with similar results.

Some experts in child psychology and online safety wonder whether the videos, with anywhere from 300 to 1,000 posted, represent a new wave of distress rather than simple self-questioning or pleas for affirmation or attention.

How could the creators not anticipate the nasty responses, even the tender tweens uploading videos in violation of YouTube’s 13-and-over age policy? Their directness, playful but steadfast, grips even those accustomed to life’s open Internet channel, where revolutions and executions play out alongside the ramblings of anybody with digital access.

Commenters on YouTube curse and declare the young video creators “attention whores,” ask for sex and to see them naked. They wonder where their parents are and call them “fugly” and worse.

“Y do you live, and kids in africa die?” one responder tells the girl in the koala hat who uses the name Kendal and lists her age as 15 in her YouTube profile, though her demeanor suggests she was far younger at the time.

Another commenter posts: “You need a hug.. around your neck.. with a rope..”

Some offer support and beg Kendal and the other young faces to take down their “Am I Pretty?” and “Am I Ugly?” videos and feel good about themselves instead.

Much has been made of cyberbullying and pedophiles who cruise the Internet, and of low self-esteem among pre-adolescents and adolescents, especially girls, as their brains continue to develop.

There have been similar “hot or not” memes in the past, but as more young people live their lives online, they’re clearly more aware of the potential for negative consequences.

“Negative feedback that is personal is rarely easy to hear at any age, but to tweens and teens who value as well as incorporate feedback into their own sense of worth, it can be devastating,” said Elizabeth Dowdell, a nursing professor at Villanova University in suburban Philadelphia. She has researched child Internet safety and risk behavior in adolescents in partnership with the Justice Department.

In another video posted by Kendal, she offers to “do two dares” on camera, inviting her open-channel audience to come up with some as she holds a little white stuffed monkey.

In heavy eye makeup and neon orange nail polish, a girl who calls herself Faye not only asks the pretty/ugly question but tells in other videos of being bullied at school, suffering migraines that have sent her to the hospital and coping with the divorce of her parents.

“My friends tell me that I’m pretty,” she says. “It doesn’t seem like I’m pretty, though, because, I don’t know, it just doesn’t, because people at school, they’re like, `Faye you’re not pretty at all.'”

She narrates a slideshow of still close-ups of herself to make the judging easier (she’s had more than 112,000 views) and joins other girls who have posted videos on another theme, “My Perfect Imperfection,” that have them noting what they hate and love about the way they look.

“I just don’t like my body at all,” says Faye as she pulls up her sweat shirt to bare her midriff.

Faye’s profile lists her age as 13. Tracked down in suburban Denver, her mom, Naomi Gibson, told ABC’s “Good Morning America” she knew nothing of the video until reporters started to call. “I was floored,” she said.

Faye told ABC she has been called names and gossiped about behind her back.

“Deep down inside, all girls know that other people’s opinions don’t matter,” she said. “But we still go to other people for help because we don’t believe what people say.”

A third girl who uploaded one of the pretty/ugly videos in September attempts a few model poses in childlike pedal pushers and a long, multicolored T-shirt after posing the question. She takes down her ponytail and brushes her hair as she stares into the camera.

“If you guys are wondering, I am 11,” she offers. Her video has been viewed more than 6,000 times.

“COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR PARENTS AND CLEAN YOUR ROOM!!! BUT TAKE THIS TERRIBLE VIDEO DOWN YOU ARE A CHILD AND SHOULD NOT HAVE THIS KIND OF ACCESS TO THE INTERNET,” one commenter screams.

None of the three girls responded to private messages on YouTube seeking comment from The Associated Press. Gibson told ABC she was considering revoking her daughter’s YouTube privileges, but stopped short of demanding that Faye take down the video.
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