Are You Pretty Or Ugly? (Be Honest)

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.

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11 Replies to “Are You Pretty Or Ugly? (Be Honest)”

  • Such an important topic. Those videos are quite disturbing! As a mom, I’m always trying to build my daughters up with confidence in how kind and thoughtful they are. I know they do want to feel beautiful, but I’m concerned about how our society has completely intertwined beauty with being sexy. I don’t want their confidence to rely on how attractive they are to the opposite sex. You’re so right, it’s about education. I’m trying to raise them to believe they have so much more to offer than their appearance.

  • This is sort of silly coming from Matt. Clearly Matt, you do not know what it’s like to be overlooked and what it’s like to be unattractive. The majority of the comments on your FB page and this blog are basically grown women fawning over how hot you are.

    Looks DO matter. To say otherwise is utter and complete BS. Guys and girls are attracted to looks. People who are beautiful tend to attract more men into their lives (or women) and have more selection when it comes to finding a mate.

    Also men with a hot woman will put up with her BS far more longer then if he were with a woman with the same flaws but average looking. Good looking people do benefit from their looks.

    There is scientific research that indicates beautiful people get selected for better jobs and are perceived more favourably then their less attractive counterparts. To say this message is actually doing a disservice. Matt if you were ugly, I am sure you would not be getting the same reactions on your comments as you do now.

    1. Research has shown that looks matter and if we are honest with ourselves we will admit that we are all guilty of making value judgments based on the way someone looks at some point. Making decisions and judgments about people based on physical characteristics has always existed. What we have though is greater recognition and understanding that the sum of a person is not defined by the way they look even though our minds may lead us towards this conclusion. Our minds often leads us down roads that we are not proud of. Recognizing this is the first step towards becoming a better person. Refusing to accept a way of thinking and making a conscious decision to change it through action and education is the root of progress. So, yes looks do matter but it is up to us to promote a better way of thinking that places emphasis on the depth of character.

  • I looked up the videos and of course what I found was young teenage girls. I think it’s important to remember those years are when we are most vulnerable and hopefully can find a way to build their self image. More then likely someone is telling them they are ugly and I hope parents are teaching their kids the importance of being kind.
    With all that said there’s a South Park episode called The Hobbit which touches on this exact thing. Check it out it’s HILARIOUS but have a great message.

  • Hi Matthiew. thank you for this video. i think that you are right the problem is that we live in the “image society”. You are judged accordino to your social networks account or to how short is your skirt.
    Many friends of mine (i mean girls) are used to put eveywhere online pictures of them in sexy poses.
    Two years later i decided to close my social network accounts because i think inside them you see the ugly part of people , bad behaviours or stupid jokes.
    And because i felt the pressure of having to behave like my friends and i didn’t want to.
    I am quite pretty, when i walk in the streets many Times people ( women too)ask me if i am a model but when i meet knew people they are very surprised i do not put my pictures on line or i do not like too much to let them put pictures of me inside their accounts ( because they want to brag to friends they where with me). I would like to find someone who loves me not only for my look but Also for my personality. Am i asking too much?

  • well…i think this is life….society…and instinct….the need to be beautiful,to survive in this society and not the strongest…(like in the begining).
    You say, be honest….are you pretty or ugly?
    to be honest, im pretty! ;) really, its what a think, overweight…yes, but cute, preety..and with value..but you know that people make me feel sometimes ugly…because its a “battle” to survive…and those people who want their opinion wants and will do whatever to be accept…
    in my case i know i am preety, have value,and have people who suport me incoditionally…but i have to say, its not enough (being confident about my self) to find the guy…! Sorry about my english…! kiss!

  • Hi Matt,

    Just a small word to tell you how much hearing you react to those things moves me. I’m a musician, and I’ve suffered a lot of having no one to show me the way, all my life, surrounded by insane people, lost people, lost myself. I’m struggling to give meaning to my life since many years, after so many failures, and you help me a lot, it’s crazy. It’s so good to find someone who helps you understand the essential things, and who does not despise the real questions, the need of precise techniques in all areas of life, starting by questions we never dare to ask : how can I find love ? Is it a question that have answers ? When the lack becomes an obsession, surrounded by such a fear. It could seem to be so un-romantic to most people. But it’s not actually, because your commitment is rare, your faith is rare. And I had to go beyond my own resistances too ! I’m a very romantic person ! But the way you work and the meaning you give to things, it’s simply making me change, and have better questions about what I’m doing and what my issues are. And it helps me not feel alone too, it gives me courage, which is very important, it reassures me, your smile, your intelligence, your respect, your charm. Even the best persons I know could answer me when I say I need to learn the rules of love “BUT THERE ARE NO RULES”. Yes they are ! Maybe it’s not the right word “rules” but we have so much to learn, there is such a lack in our education, and we suffer so much of the lack of meaning in our relations, and the lack of understanding of why we always feel rejected, how to fix that, it’s like there is no solution, no one can reassure us, help us, no one. It really spoils our life, as much talent as we can have, everything get spoiled because we are lost.


  • Hi Matt (and Stephen and all the team),

    I just wanted to stop by and tell you that I (and I bet tuns of other people) really appreciate the work you´re doing.
    Because honestly guys, it´s amazing!:)

    Thank you for letting me realize that I don´t have to be afraid to be awesome:)

    So, keep doing the thing you do the best (bringing “meaning” to many lives) and have an amazing time!


  • Matt,
    I work with adolescent girls. These young ladies seem obsed with this idea of what it means to be “cute” or ” beautiful”. I have been trying to educate them on learning to value themselves outside of their looks. This video is extremely helpful and I am going to share it with my girls in the hopes of some self discovery.

  • You know who thinks like this beautiful smart people with a good social network. People who are devalued, bullied, and shamed think that way because they are conditioned to think like that by a society where beauty is highly valued.

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