Today we’re talking about the strange phenomenon right now of young teenage girls posting videos on Youtube asking the question, ‘am I pretty or ugly?’
If you look these up, you’ll see that many finish with the line “please be honest”.
Now, when I first saw these videos, I thought they were disturbing.
The comments on the videos vary radically from “stop valuing yourself like this, you’re beautiful; you shouldn’t be asking strangers opinions on this” to “you are beautiful” (validating them for doing it) to “you’re incredibly ugly”.
Now why are people doing this?
What strikes me as perhaps the scariest part of this is that we have failed to educate these people on where real value comes from, and what will end up being valued when they grow up.
The beauty obsession of young girls shows a fundamental misunderstanding of what’s going to be important later on.
Even when looking at most relationships, I’ve never known a guy who will be miserable with someone for the rest of his life, just because the person he’s with is hot. Guys leave these people; beauty does not keep someone around when they’re not happy.
We need to bring value through what we know, by the things we learn, by the ways we make the world a better place, and by the things we create.
Beauty is only one way people bring a very superficial form of value to the table.
I often think it would be interesting if we lived in a world where everyone was born looking the same, and you got better looking based on the amount of value you added to the world. It would make beauty actually mean something, but that’s not the world we live in!
It’s easy to blame Youtube, magazines and celebrities, but the fact is, it really comes down to education.
How much can you educate the person that you care about that their real value comes from what they bring to the world, not from the way they look.
I want to get to a place where kids are instead posting on Youtube speeches they make at school, asking for feedback to get better. I’d love to see kids posting a joke online to ask whether people find it funny or not. I’d love to see people showing their value, and then getting people to rate that – as then they’re getting validation for something that took creativity and effort, and they’re putting their attention towards something they can actually change and work on.
That’s where real empowerment comes from.