Is Your Daughter Making “POU” Videos for YouTube?

October 18, 2013  |  

Slate highlighted a disturbing trend that might make some parents a little nervous. Thousands of girls have been uploading videos to YouTube asking the Internet at large “am I pretty or ugly?”

Katy Waldman says these POU (pretty or ugly) videos start with a certain nonchalance, saying they just really wanted to know because they’re confused; boys might say they’re ugly but their girlfriends say they’re pretty. But after the first minute or so, they become really self-conscious, seeming really hopeful that people will be nice.

Instead of privately looking in the mirror trying to find their best (or worst) quality, girls are now using a very public forum to explore the kind of self-consciousness and identity forming most do where no one can see them. But is it necessarily bad? Walman writes,

“It’s sad that young girls are so preoccupied by their physical appearance. It’s sad that they solicit the opinions of anonymous strangers. But what if they really are able to laugh at the vileness of the commenters? Is that preparing them for life as adults? Might they one day achieve the devil-may-care outlook they’re affecting? What if creatively engaging with their insecurities becomes a way of banishing them? I hate the POU videos, but maybe they’re no more self-destructive than self-destructive things tweens have always done.”

Have you seen these videos on YouTube? Would you be upset if your daughter posted one?

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