Associated Press: YouTube phenomenon has girls asking – Am I pretty?

Tween and teen girls are posting videos asking “Am I pretty?” or “Am I ugly?” or both. Some have millions of views and thousands of nasty comments. Dyson Professor Emilie Zaslow, PhD, speaks with the Associated Press about the dangers to self-esteem.

Dr. Emilie Zaslow, a media studies professor at Pace, told Leanne Italie of the Associated Press that today’s online world for young people is only just beginning to be understood by researchers. The article, which is about young people posting videos asking the world to judge their physical appearance, appeared in the Wall Street Journal and in other media outlets nationwide.

From the article:

When the Internet is your diary and your audience is global, she said, “The public posting of questions such as “Am I ugly?” which might previously have been personal makes sense within this shift in culture.”

Add to that the unattainable pressures of the beauty industry, a dose of reality TV, where ordinary people can be famous, and superstars who are discovered via viral video on YouTube, she said.

“These videos could be read as a new form of self-mutilation in line with cutting and eating disorders,” Zaslow said. 

Read the Wall Street Journal article here.

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