CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- I was browsing Slate.com when a blogpost about a relatively new trend among teenage girls on Youtube stuck out to me. The girls post videos of themselves asking the world to tell them if they're pretty or ugly.
In one, a girl with dark-rimmed glasses and thick hair complains about having tiny teeth, big hands and small wrists. She tells her audience she sees herself as "this wicked ugly, fat thing," and begs them to give her their honest opinion.
Even cute girls are there with similar questions. They seemed just as unsure of themselves.
It's difficult to watch these videos, partly because of how insecure the girls all seem. Mostly because of how much some of them remind me of myself at that age.
In middle school, I was an awkward girl that people sometimes picked on. Two large moles on both sides of my neck earned me nicknames like Frankenstein and Mole Girl until my parents graciously allowed me to have them removed as an eighth-grader. I was weird, too, I'd say. Ultra-religious, awkward and shy, which I attribute to being home-schooled until fifth grade. In middle school I was still adjusting to the new environment.
High school was better but I was always self-conscious about my weight and how tall I was.
I never posted a Youtube video of myself asking whether I was pretty. Youtube didn't even exist yet. But I can relate to this desire for someone to validate my worth.
If I could say something to these girls, my message would be: It gets better. (Can I borrow that phrase from the LGBT community?)
Life gets so much better. Our entire culture is so obsessed with youth that you might make the mistake of thinking that these are the best days of your life.
Don't get me wrong, youth has a lot of positives, and being an adult isn't always fun, but the best-kept secret about aging is that you also grow into yourself. I spent my teenage years trying to make people like me and worrying about those who didn't. Trying not to mess up for fear of being judged and disappointing people.