Am I Pretty or Ugly?

Did you know there are hundreds of thousands of videos online of tween and teen girls asking one simple question: Am I pretty or ugly? The girl then asks people to leave comments and let her know. The first time I read about this, at the start of December, I was heartbroken.

Curiosity had me checking out a few of these videos on YouTube, and I’m sure you can guess that the comments range from sweet to downright cruel. (And let’s now even consider the predators that could easily prey on young girls with low self-esteem.) I can imagine how these girls read the comments and what they felt as people complimented and insulted them. No doubt, for most of them, the insults stuck with them longer than the compliments.


How sad is it that we live in a world in which each girl doesn’t understand how truly lovely she is, and one that has girls seeking the opinions of faceless online strangers to confirm or deny something she should know intrinsically. I look at my 16 month old niece, who, while not perfectly proportioned, is absolutely adorable. She hasn’t been able to do anything noteworthy yet. She doesn’t have a sense of personal style. Heck, she barely even has personal taste in food. But she is beautiful. I’m in awe at the tiny little person who gives kisses willingly and is now an adorable big sister. It would kill me to think one day in the future she would post a video like this, having no idea that she is amazing!

There is only one answer to this question – no matter the girl, no matter her features or her coloring. Are you pretty or ugly? You are pretty. You are!

Why? You are pretty simply because you are; because you exist.

Think about it… creation is an amazing thing, filled with beauty and pretty things. Consider, the tiny black spots on the back of a lady bug, a vibrant yellow dandelion sprouting between the cracks in a sidewalk, the vibrant colors of a sunset. Even the things most people would consider gross still have an amazing appeal in their very being… eight tiny little eyes on nearly every spider, the intricate pattern and coloring of a snake. There is beauty there. Wonder. Dignity.

And if there is beauty in the tiny bugs crawling around and the weeds sprouting unannounced, there is beauty in each person who is.

Still, as human beings we don’t find every single person attractive. We have personal tastes and preferences. My friends and I always joke about how there are some men who are universally good looking (I’d put George Clooney in that category) and then there are men that some people find really attractive and some don’t see the appeal (Matt Damon or Ben Affleck? – in my experience, most chicks like one or the other.) So maybe you aren’t someone’s personal preference but you will be someone else’s choice.

Katy Rose
Filed In: Life

30 thoughts on “Am I Pretty or Ugly?

  1. Patty

    I’ve seen stories about those videos and it too, breaks my heart. Society today puts such importance on a certain standard of beauty that is almost impossible to attain. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a time where that pressure didn’t exist at the same levels. I was fortunate enough to find a man who told me that what he saw first in me was my smile.

    The people who would go onto those videos and spout that evil to those young ladies are, if you ask me, evil. No other word. As you stated attraction is in the eye of the beholder – yes, there are some that we all see as beautiful but others not so much. Me – I don’t get Brad Pitt.
    Patty recently posted..#Ad Fresh Produce Boca Shirt On Flash Sale

    1. katyrose Post author

      Patty – LOL I’m with you in the Brad Pitt thing, especially not with his long hair. HA! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  2. katherine

    I used to be like this when I was a teenager. All I wanted someone to do was tell me I was pretty

  3. Jenna Wood

    Great post- thanks for the sentiment. I always try to use the mantra that I want to be the best me- never that I want to be ‘like’ anyone. We are given what we have and we all should love that, because every little ‘flaw’ is really just an undiscovered beauty, right?

    1. katyrose Post author

      Jenna – I completely agree. They aren’t flaws and we need to work everyday to be the best we can be, not the best compared to another.

  4. Jamillah

    oh man, i did not know about these videos and yes it makes me so sad. i just hope it’s something they grow out of and a lot of that is youth and not yet loving themselves.

    i really love your example of the lady bug…something really beautiful that i never thought of. sweet sweet post, katy :).
    Jamillah recently posted..What I Wore – Floppy Hats and New Boots

    1. katyrose Post author

      Hopefully they will grow out of it, although it’s got to be hard to break the cycle when you have all these outside forces telling you what you ‘need’ to be. And ladybugs are kinda my thing, so I’m always awed by them. HA! Weird, I know.

  5. Mindy Grant

    Wow, that is so sad. I remember having very low self esteem when I was a teenage girl. I have large Italian eyes, and my face didn’t really grow into them until I was an adult. Needless to say, I was called some horrible names, like “bug eyes”. I went home crying to my Mom on many occasions. I now love my large Italian eyes, and think they are one of my best features! I wish as teenagers, we would know what we know as adults. I hope I can help my own daughter through her awkward teenage years, and she will know that she is beautiful, no matter what anyone else says.
    Mindy Grant recently posted..Boba Carrier Review {& Giveaway!}

    1. katyrose Post author

      Mindy – I love that the thing you hated most as a child is one of your favorite features now. It just goes to show, when we are young we are still growing, developing and changing in so many interior and exterior ways that we shouldn’t be harsh on ourselves. Thanks for your comments!

  6. Lena

    This scares me so much. I have seen a whole bunch of these last year – and I really wish we could back to the pre-internet age when I see these. The every day life is difficult enough without the anonymous negativity via social media jerks
    Lena recently posted..Raising a Child With SPD

    1. katyrose Post author

      Totally agree. It scares me and saddens me. And it’s so true, life for any teen is hard enough, no need to make it worse by horrible face-less comments.

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    1. katyrose Post author

      Natalia – I couldn’t agree more! I am trying to make a concerted effort to write more uplifting posts, like these, at least once a week. We all need to do our part the best way we can.

  9. Jenmarie

    We all need to do our part and write posts like these to spread the truth and love! There’s so many girls and women who need to hear this!

    1. katyrose Post author

      I couldn’t agree more. It’s one of my blog resolutions for the year. We all could use a little more uplifting and a lot more truth telling. Thanks for commenting.

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  15. janet @ ordinary mom

    LOVE this discussion. The idea that young girls are asking about their looks is very sad. I don’t think I could watch the videos as they would break my heart too.

    I read a long time ago a post about not telling your daughter she is pretty. To just support her other skills and attributes as worthy. But I tell my daughter she is beautiful every day. Because like another article pointed out (it was a rebuttal to the first) I don’t want someone else to have the power to be the first one to tell her.

    We are beautiful because we are human. Because we are alive. Because we are.

    Thanks for sharing.
    janet @ ordinary mom recently posted..insta-friday

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