Sunday, March 4, 2012

Magpie Tales: This is Us

Image by Sarolta Ban (via Magpie Tales)
'am i pretty or ugly?' she asks,
straight faced in her vid, on YouTube

'You need a hug', one commenter offers,
then adds, 'around your neck...with a rope.'

'a lot of people call me ugly.
and i think i am ugly,' she continues

'attention whore' the next comment comes

& where is this leading?
     & what have we done?

This is based on the AP report on a YouTube video posted in December. Hundreds more have been posted since then, all asking the same question. Many getting the same hateful answers.


this is a Magpie Tale.

113 comments:

Grace said...

This is a sad state of our modern but broken life. Concise but getting into the heart of it ~

Happy Sunday ~

Gloria said...

I agree with Grace, what sad Brian and all this publicity about beautys and others, so sad,xx

Secret Agent Woman said...

I am disturbed by the open seeking of approval on YouTube, FB and so on - it's is sad and desperate. I'm even more distrubed by the venom it elicits.

JJ Roa Rodriguez said...

Nice of you to tackle this topic, Sir Brian... So sad eh?

Blessed Sunday! And great week ahead...

JJRod'z

izzy said...

Hmmm seems rather hateful for people or machines to respond that way-
sad that anyone would set themselves up for it. *SIGH*

farmlady said...

Yes, where IS all of this leading?

American Potpourri said...

Yes. Anytime I read an online article or such, the comments are just so horrible. Do they not realize we are all human beings with real feelings? It is sad when a young girl wants to post a video of herself for a stranger's approval.

Myrna R. said...

I don't think I know of this video scandal.

But judging from your poem, responses were cruel, ignorant and deadly. What a sad state of affairs.

Brigid said...

People hiding behind their computer screens can be so cowardly but not us Magpiers, we represent the good side of the internet, we hope:)A great piece, Brian.

DJan said...

Just now playing with Pixelmator and know exactly how that image was created. It's a bit scary looking... but a hug (a real one) usually helps. :-)

Suz said...

Oh I heard about this this morning in the wee hours of the morning on the radio.....well done Brian

Laurie Kolp said...

That's devastating for impressionable young girls! I haven't heard about that... will definitely look it up.

Fred Rutherford said...

geez lots of misfortune here, both for those who ask the questions and especially those who reply so negatively. Your last point really what have we done, can be interpreted in a few directions, I like that. Did not know about this issue, thanks

Claudia said...

it's heart-breaking and i want to shout at their parents..you were supposed to tell them they're beautiful and special and precious and loved - and it makes me sad & angry that no one told them-- this leaves a dangerous wound which gets deeper and deeper if they don't find someone to heal it...

Bonnie said...

Desperate and needy hearts - on both sides -

Stafford Ray said...

What have we done, indeed!
I have not seen the video nor do I want to but it seems the more layers of unanimity we allow between ourselves and our 'audience' the more we attract bullies!

Caty said...

I heard about that on the radio...girls posting a video on youtube asking if they are ugly. so sad! and people can be so hateful.

^.^ said...

... attention whore or not ... as long as somebody does actually pay attention ... before it is too late ...

flaubert said...

Brian, this is just a reminder of what a horrible society we have become. Everything we see is on the surface, now, the younger generation seems to be unwilling to look for the beauty within. It makes me feel very sad for them. Well penned.

Pamela

deb colarossi said...

Clever take on the prompt,
and it's a very haunting reality isn't it?
As the mother of four daughters it is something dear to my heart.

Pat Hatt said...

So very sad indeed
That one needs to use youtubes feed
To ask such things
And then you got the nutjobs waiting in the wings
To comment away
Some ugly word display
Screw the internet for that crap
Better off taking a nap

hedgewitch said...

Sad that anyone has to ask, or care that much about a stranger's answer. Someone should have told her every day when she was a kid how beautiful and unique she is. Good take on the pic, bri.

tera said...

I agree with Claudia. Where are the parents? Who is teaching these children, even adults, that this kind of thing is not only acceptable, but worth doing in the first place?
And then part of me thinks that it's just a pathetic attempt of an attention seeker looking for some kind of selfish validation. I get those phone calls a lot.
:(

Daydreamertoo said...

It's a sad world we live in now and, just to think, it's one that we all in the west have helped create.
This is so sad on so many levels. I hope my teen never feels this pressure to 'be' seen as anything like 'perfect' because I tell her there is no such thing as 'perfect' and even ugly has its own type of beauty if we open our eyes ans choose to see it.

Other Mary said...

Good of you to bring this into the light for discussion. Like so many I'm not sure which is more disturbing, the desperate need for validation or the monstrous responses.

Brian Miller said...

the scary part for me was the parents did not know until the reporter contacted them....

Teagan said...

I love how well your poem & the subject jive with the photo - she's out there; putting herself out there, up-close & personal, seeking whatever it is she seeks, while he's dark and we can't see his face and he could be saying whatever he wants under that anonymity. A sad state of affairs on both ends.

I appreciate a poet that cares about the world.

Mimi Foxmorton said...

Well writ....and sad, but true.....

I love your weekly insight into the world.
Very edgy.

Mimi

Wander said...

Brian I watch this kind of thing happen on Facebook and I jump all over the abusers! I have a very well-honed ability to shred people like that...comes from my past. I also let them know that this is no video game and that their actions have real world affects. If someone is asking questions like that I am very careful to offer something positive. The person asking may only need one more bad thing said to them before they do harm to themself or others.

Wander

Tara Miller said...

I had not heard of this - but it's sad that these girls are looking to others for approval on their looks. Makes me angry that people can so easily be mean to others when hiding behind their computers and making these types of comments. To someone with this much insecurity to have to ask the world...it could very well cause tragic outcomes. Where is their support and confidence at home? Why is no one telling them they are pretty or important. Sad. Very sad.

Mama Zen said...

Unbelievable, the things we do to ourselves and the things that we do to others.

Great write, Brian.

nicolewian said...

So impacting. Wonderful last lines. Concise and worthy of contemplation.

Yousei Hime said...

That's really unbelievable. I guess I shouldn't be shocked, but I am. Not so much that people would reach out online for affirmation, but that others would shoot them down so callously. That joyous hatefulness is why I despise reality shows.

Alright, rant over. I enjoy your writing, as usual, and this one just pushed a button.

Thanks.

Linda said...

Girls need to stop thinking of themselves as victims. Girls need to stand up to bullying behavior. And when are people EVER going to accept the fact, it's what's inside that counts. How you look does not matter.
It really does not matter. There is so much more to life. Thank you for sharing this Brian.

Jira said...

I liked this... it has a great message. I wonder about people on both sides of this issue. Those who feel the need for recognition from strangers probably need some more personal 'at home' attention rather than taking a chance someone not connected will care. On the other hand, those who find joy in afflicting psychological pain on others have their own mental issues and need to find some sort of understanding of the human nature. Nice write!

Lyn said...

Freedom's such a yin and yang....am still feeling a chill from your insight...

Brian Miller said...

it is pretty crazy...if you go to youtube and just type in am i pretty or ugly you can see the vids...it is rather disturbing....

wander you make some great points as well...this is a very dangerous game...

Daniel said...

Yeah, I read this headline. I agree, where is this leading?

Fireblossom said...

For being so easily wounded themselves, teenagers can be astoundingly insensitive to each other. It's really sad that someone would get comments like that.

I have noticed that the comments on youtube tend to be pretty horrible.

Heather said...

oh it's just so sad...all of this...out in the open and everyone knowing everything, strangers...it's actually starting to get to me more and more
love what you have written...
what would happen if we all just stopped watching? I wonder. love this piece...so much to think about!

tattytiara said...

Well written as always. As for the muse, I'm not swayed. She's fishing for compliments. Nothing wrong with that - sometimes we need to hear 'em and that's a good way to get 'em, but it hardly warrants analysis.

Anonymous said...

What a thought-provoking conclusion ...

So where is the link to your video, Brian? :)

~Shawna
rosemarymint.wordpress.com

Magpie said...

It's such a hard thing to overcome when our brains are hardwired to be drawn to certain things that we as a species accept as attractive.

kaykuala said...

The Social network can be cruel. Many see it as an outlet to amuse themselves. They never realize the questions asked are emotionally charged. Real answers are in order.

Hank

Mary said...

I just can't imagine asking the "You Tube World" whether I was pretty or ugly. As someone else said, a person would be setting herself up for nasty replies...as so many people are so cruel. But truly, pretty is more than surface; and it takes a while for some people to realize that. Hopefully anyone who would ask the question will realize this before it is too late.

On another note, thanks for the few visits to my site while I was not writing. I did notice and greatly appreciate, my friend!

Kutamun said...

If only they realised you tube is no more than a magic mirror!

rosaria said...

I'm so angry at this incident; a child looking for help in her question, and what does she get?

Syd said...

How sad that we don't love others or ourselves enough to not have to ask the questions of whether I am ugly or pretty. And how sad that people don't have one smidgen of compassion for others and what they are feeling. What have we become?

Joanna Jenkins said...

And that would be another dark side of YourTube.
Sheesh.
jj

LadyFi said...

So sad. Approval must come from within, from our own inner confidence.

janaki nagaraj said...

Youngsters today are so driven to the edge just for their looks, for their need to fit in and be accepted...sad tale.

Stranger said...

It's so sad and scary.
Seeking validation from strangers is bad, but think of how damaged her self-esteem already is that she requires validation from hateful strangers?

Sharp Little Pencil said...

Oh, Lord, so sad, Brian. My own Riley thinks she is ugly and she is so gorgeous. Body dysmorphia has captured so many young women, and some young men as well. To be ashamed of herself when so many people call her beautiful... The hardest part of being a parent.

Peace, Amy

ipenka said...

I read about this news report the other day. Its a horrible expression of the self-doubt teenagers have.

Dave King said...

Yup, great one. That's telling 'em!

Valerie said...

I hadn't heard about this but it disturbs me to think that young people are baring their souls on social network sites and YouTube. The world seems to be getting sadder.

Lorraine said...

I've heard about this, and those who do later will be ashamed of their cruelty...something's got a give

♥ Braja said...

holy shit, (excuse me...) but that blew me away...i think it's your best. i love it. yowza.

ccchampagne.com said...

What is it that makes us base our reflection of ourselves on the tastes of another... *sigh* Really loved this one, Brian!!! And it did set my brain on fire!

♥ Braja said...

i mean, may i clarify: the way you captured such an ugly facet of society is brilliant. there is so much of this tech world i hate with a passion....not the kind of hate and inner loathing you captured in the comments to the vid, but a hatred towards those who dare to vent it and think they have a "right" to do so. That? That's what "ugly" looks like...

SUCEN said...

Nice

mo.stoneskin said...

That's the sad state of most comments I see these days. You have to ask why people would actually trust the public to participate.

jabblog said...

Very sad when we have to look to anonymous people for validation. Very destructive.

CiCi said...

This image is great.
People of all ages feel inferior. Instead of encouraging ads directed at average people, they are being bombarded from all directions to achieve something always beyond their grasp. When in reality it is within each one of us to be satisfied with who we are, not just satisfied but proud of what we achieve and how we look and how we fit in with the life we live.

Andreas said...

this one is not easy to shrug off.
powerful and painful.

Jill from Killeny Glen said...

UGH. What is the point? The videos? The commenters? SO sad. Yet, a cry for help too...

Kay said...

wow...sad and painful....i haven't heard of this and it is a sad reflection that we have to ask strangers this question....

Susie Clevenger said...

It is so sad that we judge others with Hollywood eyes..It scares me whee we are heading and the damage we have done.

Manicddaily said...

Ooh, that's just terrible. Well done poem, but terrible stuff--a whole new awful version of mirror mirror on the wall?

On the other hand, when people talk about modern life being broken, I'm not so sure. I frankly think there's been a lot of cruelty throughout time. I'm not sure that modern life is particularly more cruel--one needs only look back to 30s/40s. k.

Barbara said...

Cripes.
Hate all this pouring out of angst (and personal info) on Facebook, You Tube et al.
Is it my age? I keep telling my granddaughter....don't post that crap. She does anyway.
Damn.

TALON said...

I wonder when the obsession of what we look like as opposed to who we are will lessen?

Anne Frank said...

Short and profound. Straight to the point! ...and true, sad but true. I have trip with a lot of videos like that and I really feel sorry for all those girls. In some way I feel they are victims of this society that gives so much importance (not to beauty but) to a certain standard of beauty.

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

It's so disturbing how freely people will spit forth vicious words through social media.

Tina said...

Holy Shit! To hell in a handbasket comes to mind, as the answer to where are we going! I am disgusted by this. BUT you're write captured similar emotions. I hear you loud and clear through this one.
Tina @ Life is Good
Co-Host of the April A to Z Challenge
Twitter: @AprilA2Z #atozchallenge

Sue said...

I read about this you-tube trend the other day. Pretty crazy stuff.

*sigh*

"/

Zuzana said...

Dear Brian, I am in the stone age it seems as I have not seen the video (youtube) in question nor do I know what is about - still it is funny how we both talked about beauty (in different subjects) today.
I assume this is about some kids/people posting clips of them selves, seeking attention/ approval. I guess this is really nothing new in the history of mankind, but the internet makes this search/exposure easier.;)
Have a great afternoon dear friend,
xoxo

Teri M said...

I wish kids didn't have to take to the internet to express their feelings. I wish other people were not so hateful towards those that do.

RD said...

the insulating force of anonymity ...

it's all good until "they" step out in the real world...or after

judgement shall be swift and brutal

Thanks B.....off to imagine something

Peace ☮

Bar None Publishing Group said...

We're all beautiful baby. It takes 20 years of being a teenager to accept that for most of us. Good social thrust Brian.

Cheers,

Mark Butkus

Becca said...

The internet has allowed things like this to happen...sigh

Grand Pooba said...

Hmmm, I really don't know what to think. Yes, it's horrible for people to write those comments, but isn't it just as bad to put yourself out there like that?

(Not that I agree with the whole "attention whore" comment, but they do bring up a good point)

Helen said...

Becca is right .. technology is a double edged sword!

otin said...

Whenever you introduce the possibility of anonymity, these things will happen.

ds said...

I wish I knew, but it is no place good, for sure. You hit it square. Thank you.

Vodka Mom said...

oh my.


Oh, oh my.

Vicki Lane said...

Grace is right -- broken lives...

Josh Hoyt said...

It is amazing how cruel we as humans are especially when we are under the 'anonymous' title.

Ayru said...

i've heard of this video scandal before
sucks tho

myheartslovesongs said...

i know of a barely 14-year-old girl posing the question on facebook... along with all of her friends. it terrifies me to see how little teenage girls {and i imagine boys} value themselves. i am deeply disturbed by what i see happening online and i know it extends into their "real" lives, and that you see it almost every day, brian. i have the utmost respect for what you do to help.

Sheila said...

How awful.

Madeleine Begun Kane said...

Wow! So tragic. Beautifully done!

Short Poems said...

I don't think I know of this video scandal..Great words expressing!

Take care
Marinela

Short Poems said...

I don't think I know of this video scandal..Great words expressing!

Take care
Marinela

Susan Deborah said...

Inspite of so many distractions by the media, an individual feels alone and inspite of the so called "likes" on FB, people are starved of appreciation. The world is producing a lot and parallelly also depriving a lot. The situation is sad as many have mentioned.

Joy always,
Susan

Wander said...

You are a very busy man Brian, I wondered what it would be like to comment on every post from mag 107...so I did. and go figure there you were, on almost every one.

Neha said...

Thats so hateful. I can't believe why these people send out hateful comments. If they got nothing to appreciate, they should just keep the rude criticisms with themselves.

Nice read.

Jenny Woolf said...

fascinating take on this prompt. And sad commentary on the pathetic losers who write those kind of comments.

Mystic_Mom said...

Brian - that you can take such a current issue for young people, and make it into such poetic power is inspiring...you kick butt my friend!

Little Nell said...

Those comments really are foul - but what a good idea to use your poem as a vehicle for exposing them as such.

lifeisaroadtrip said...

There you go turning everyday conversations into poetry. Yes, this is "us" but it is not "me".

Ginny Brannan said...

To judge people before we even really know them..how shallow is that? Even if not same subject, this is quite timely in the light of media attention over Limbaugh's most recent remarks. To call someone you don't even know a slut, a whore--what gives anyone the right to throw stones?? Reflects to the ignorance of the name-caller. Concise and very thought-provoking, Brian.

Tess Kincaid said...

Disturbing...

zongrik said...

how many people tell her all day that she needs a hug

Tumblewords: said...

Connected is surely a misnomer. Nicely done!

Rinkly Rimes said...

I've just published a poem on my blog on this subject called...what else.....Am I Ugly? Judged by perfection, we all are, so why worry?

hyperCRYPTICal said...

Disturbibg stuff indeed.

Anna :o]

sharmishtha said...

human beings can become really ugly if they are sure about their invisibility.

Lady In Read said...

as always, you state the truth so well..

Lolamouse said...

People will seek validation wherever they can, and bullies will bully wherever they can, especially when granted anonymity. It's very sad.

Goofball said...

she needs a real soft hug...a long patient one

poeticlicensee said...

Impossible to decide which is more pathetic, the question or the answers...

Nikki Rules said...

I learned a long time ago to stop asking people if I was pretty or ugly... Sadly like most things in life, when you learn something its not through a fun experience!
;)

Hey dude, I just wrote my first Magpie in such a long time! This image was so enticing wasn't it? I l loved your outlook on it.

Lydia said...

Oh, Brian, that you highlighted the recent reports about the goings-on at youtube gives such a heartbreaking slant to the image. I cannot believe what the kids are doing to themselves and others. Why is it like this?