By GRACE JENNINGS-EDQUIST
A YouTube search for the term “Pretty or ugly video” brings up 216,000 results.
One video, published in January 2014, features a girl who looks around 15 and the caption: “People tell me I’m ugly all the time. I just want the god honest truth from you, am I ugly or am I an average girl, or am I a pretty girl?”
“What features are wrong with me and what features do I have that are good?”
In another video, a young woman in heavy eye makeup smiles hopefully at the camera, perched on the edge of her bed.
“I dunno my freinds (sic) always say i’m pretty but deep down inside I feel Like I can approve (sic) myself more!,” the caption accomanying the video reads.
“What you guys think?”
It’s a trend sure to strike fear in the heart of any young girl.
Teens and pre-teens are asking complete strangers to rate their appearance — posting videos on YouTube and asking commenters to decide if they’re ‘pretty or ugly’.
The unnerving trend has been highlighted by performance artist Louise Orwin, who recently wrote on her website that she first encountered videos of this sort in 2012, when she clicked on a YouTube video ‘with its juvenile text-speak title: “Pretty/UGLY PLZ TELL ME!”‘
“I first thought must be a joke. But a few minutes into the video, the searing honesty and anxiety of the author struck me. (The girl in the video) couldn’t have been older than 12 or 13,” she said.
The 27-year-old London-based artist and researcher told Sunrise yesterday she became curious to know why these girls were posting the videos, what the effects were and what the trend meant for feminism today — so she posed as a teenager, posted a series of ‘pretty or ugly’ videos online, and documented the shocking responses.