Am I Ugly? It's a question that has tortured tweens and teens since time began, but now it's a query that young children are posing to millions of people around the world via YouTube.
A worrying new trend has emerged of primarily middle-school-aged girls uploading videos of themselves and asking viewers to judge them in the bluntest and most superficial of ways.
One girl who posted a video of herself, accompanied by a selection of photos asking viewers to give their verdict on whether she is pretty or ugly has received over 3.5 million hits and 93,000 comments since it was uploaded in December of 2010.
I just wanted to make a random video seeing if I was, like, ugly or not, the girl begins the video by saying. Because a lot of people called me ugly and I think I am ugly, 'cause I think I'm ugly and fat.
While many of the comments have sought to restore the clearly fragile esteem of the young girl or deride the fact that she is even posting such a video, there are, unsurprisingly, many who are less than kind with their remarks.
Your friends are just being nice about that monstrosity of a face, read one comment.
Your so ugly, but what makes you really ugly is your character, states another.
A host of videos follow a similar line, usually with the video beginning with a girl stating that a boy or a class mate has called them ugly.
The trend is not limited to girls, though, with a number of boys posting similarly-themed personal clips seeking solace.
Reading through the comments posted on the increasing number of these videos it is clear that, as one commenter on a similar video states, The internet is not a place to go for reassurance.
Denise Restauri, a contributor with Forbes says that these videos can only further damage a child's mindset.
It's lonely being a tween-teen girl, she writes. Many have low self esteem and looking for validation in the worst place, the Internet. There's only one way for self-esteem to go with these videos, and that's down.
Another issue that perhaps has yet to be properly addressed is the invitation these videos represent for child-seeking sex offenders. Such clips gives them ready-made access to emotionally vulnerable children.
With these videos beginning to gain widespread attention across the news media, pressure is sure to be put on YouTube to address the ease with which young people can post videos of such a personal nature.
Amy Graff, in her SFGate column writes that it is time for the site to act.
I only wish the online video site more closely monitored kids' use, she says. The site says it doesn't allow kids under age 13 to upload videos so then why is there a video of an 11-year-old girl asking the world if she's ugly? Where are this girl's parents? Something is wrong with this picture.