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'Am I Pretty' YouTube trend causing concern

By Dwayne Parker, Reporter, DParker@wfmz.com
Published On: Mar 05 2012 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Mar 05 2012 10:42:42 PM CST

'Am I Pretty' YouTube trend causing concern

READING, Pa. -

Videos posted on the Internet by young girls have a lot of people asking: is this really a good idea?

"I just want to know if I'm pretty," said one girl through a YouTube video.

"I'm making this video because I want to know if I'm pretty or not," said another girl.

It's a question that has been repeated hundreds, if not thousands, of times on the Internet.

Some of these videos titled, "Am I Pretty or Ugly?" have received more than 4 million hits.

Now, some mental health experts in Berks County say they are concerned.

Serafin Amancio, director of the Reading Behavioral Health Center, said many of these young girls may be struggling to prioritize their values.

"That's why they're asking because they are not sure," said Amancio. "They may be confusing the physical values with the moral values, with, maybe, the educational values."

Some of the girls in the YouTube videos appear to be as young as 12 and 13 years of age.  Amancio explained that if those girls come from single-parent families, they could also be at a greater risk for developing low self-esteem issues.

"It's hard to raise your children by yourself. And sometimes, they don't get the level of education that they need, emotionally, spiritually," said Amancio.

Stephanie Garcia is a college student majoring in design and merchandising, and said the fashion industry could be one of the culprits.

"The fashion industry is still keeping the plus sizes down, so the girls feel like they have to do certain things to fit into that magazine cover.  And the girls on the magazine cover are 'photoshopped.' So not even they are that beautiful," said Garcia.

If you think this trend is limited to teenage school girls, you might want to think again. Apparently, some adults also want to know if somebody thinks they're attractive or not.

On the website hotornot.com even adults 41 years of age and older can have people rate their beauty on a scale of 1 to 10.

But some say they don't need a website, or the Internet, to know how beautiful they are.

"I feel like, in life, you have to just keep going forward and work on how you are as a person, instead of what you look like as a person," said Samantha Shank, student at Albright College.