What is the world coming to when parents are worried about their child’s self-esteem because of an entertainment application…that they are probably paying for? I have seen numerous news reports online and on TV where parents are getting upset about the “Ugly Meter” application and state their child is being made fun of or having negative experiences as a result. The “Ugly Meter” is a facial feature recognition application that assesses your looks on a scale from 1-10 and then provides some comments based on the number result; 1 being ugly and 10 good looking. Users can then upload the result to Facebook to share with friends.

Let’s look at this again…the app is meant for entertainment not government quality facial recognition technology used for security checks, the app needs to be purchased, the result needs to be published, and a child has a smartphone.

I have a few questions and suggestions for the parents that have these concerns:

  • Put some parental control on the devices you give to your child…block downloads.
  • If your child is using Facebook then they know their friends will see their profile. If they are willing to upload the results of the “Ugly” test then they should be prepared for consequences.
  • If your child uses the “Fat Booth” are they going to have an obesity complex?
  • Why does your child of 8 or 10 or 12 have a smartphone?
My final recommendation would be to tell your child that beauty is in the eye of the beholder or to run the test again on the same or different picture until they get the 10 they are looking for.
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Leigh Merz

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