YouTube: Young girls ask viewers 'Am I Ugly?' - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

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YouTube: Young girls ask viewers 'Am I Ugly?'

PHOENIX (CBS5) -

There's a disturbing online trend among girls.

Thousands of children have posted videos to YouTube - asking viewers to comment on their appearance.

"A lot of people say I'm ugly," said a girl who appeared to be no older than 10 years old, wearing lipstick and swaying timidly as she stared into a webcam. "And I just want to know the truth - am I pretty or ugly?"

She then asks viewers to post their comments.

"It's an unhealthy habit, addiction for people to look for external validation," said Jane Fendelman, a Phoenix expert on children and families.

Many of the girls who've posted videos admit to being bullied offline.

"I truly view myself as this wicked, ugly, fat thing," said one girl who appeared to be around the age of 12 as she hid behind her long brown hair.

Now these girls are opening themselves up to vicious ridicule online.

One comment reads: "Bitch, you're ugly, I'm not gonna lie to you. But, if you want to be pretty there's stuff you can do to make you look better."

And that is one of the tamer cruel comments you'll find.

Fendelman, who has been counseling children and families for more than 30 years, said this online ugliness even shocks her.

"It needs to be taken really seriously," she said choking up. "There actually needs to be a class in school, from first grade, on self-acceptance."

Fendelman said this also needs to be worked on at home.

And parents need to watch their negative self-talk – because their kids are listening.

"The kids pick up on that. And they learn how to judge themselves, and they learn how to judge others," said Fendelman. "And it's the same thing, whether you're judging yourself or judging others - it's judgment and it's damaging."

Instead of posting videos online, and asking the world's opinion, Fendelman suggests kids in Arizona call a free hotline - where they can talk to peer counselors about what's bothering them.

To learn more about Teen Lifeline click here.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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