Our Bodies, Our Hells: The Struggle to Build Self-Esteem in Teen Girls

Javacia Harris Bowser
Clutch Mag Online

Think back, way back, to junior high. You’ve had a crush on one of your classmates all year and one day you get the courage to pass him a note. It reads:

Do you think I’m cute?

Circle:   Yes          No            Maybe

Reminiscing about the good ol’ days is fun. Nostalgia may deem these memories as sweet no matter how many replies of “Maybe” you received in 6th grade. But I’m not so sure if the 21st century version of this trend is quite as innocuous.

On Sunday CNN.com posted an editorial by 15-year-old Teddi Noel Maddox, a freshman at Montclair High School in New Jersey. In the article Maddox discusses the “Hot or Not” YouTube phenomenon. She writes:

“Unfortunately, what’s “in” at the moment is something a lot of girls my age are doing, posting “Hot or not?” videos on YouTube. The whole premise of this is to post a video of yourself and ask viewers if they find you attractive.”

Maddox goes on to say that the problem with these videos is that girls “can look at 100 good comments and if there is one particularly nasty one, that’s the only one that stays in our heads.” And as the Internet allows viewers a certain degree of anonymity the negative comments tend to be quite vicious.

Read More: Our Bodies, Our Hells: The Struggle to Build Self-Esteem in Teen Girls

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