A heartbreaking video has gone viral as it shows a four-year-old girl crying as she calls herself ugly – thousands have chimed in to tell her she is beautiful.
A video of a little black girl calling herself ugly has broken the hearts of millions of social media users, who have called that there be a much bigger representation of black women in society.
Atlanta based hairstylist Shabria was styling four-year-old Ariyonna’s hair last week when the little girl caught sight of herself in a video being recorded.
She then states: “I’m so ugly.”
Appalled that such a young child had such low self-esteem, Shabria quickly reassured Ariyonna that this simply wasn’t true and that she was beautiful – immediately, Ariyonna began to cry.
Shabria had been recording for Instagram Live, whilst doing Ariyonna’s hair and was almost finished when the child caught a look at the hairdresser’s phone and saw what she looked like on camera.
When Ariyonna stated she was ugly, like it was a fact, Shabria is heard gasping and is horrified. But the little girl doesn’t even realise that what she said is concerning, she asks Shabria what’s up.
Shabria says: “Don’t say that. Don’t say that. You are so pretty. When you look at yourself, you’re supposed to say, ‘I am so pretty’. You are so pretty. Do you hear me?”
At this point, she gently grabs Ariyonna’s face and tilts it towards her.
“You’ve got the prettiest little dimples. You are too cute,” she tells her.
At hearing these lovely words, Ariyonna’s face begins to crumbles and she dissolves into a rush of tears. In minutes, the floodgates are open and she is sobbing in Shabria’s arms.
The hairstylist is clearly heartbroken by the girl and snuggles her, reassuring her she’s not ugly.
Over the course of several minutes, Shabria continues to build the girl’s self-esteem and tells her what she must never get to hear: That she is beautiful, that she has not one but two adorable dimples and that her teeth are pretty and white.
She then tells the child she needs to go to school the next day, beaming with confidence in the knowledge that she looks great the way she is.
“You’re gonna grow up and you’re gonna be everything that you can be,” she tells her.
On March 5, the video was shared onto Twitter and it has since been viewed over 10 million times.
Since the clip has gone viral, it has sparked the important topic of representation and diversity in society. Many Twitter users were quick to point out that Ariyonna’s feelings about her appearance were most likely based on the fact she does not see herself represented on TV, magazines and in popular culture.
One person wrote: “You know what’s funny, is she may have NEVER had anyone tell her that she is ugly. She may have just witnessed the adoration of girls that don’t look like her. People think kids don’t pick up on that kind of stuff. But they are highly intuitive. Representation matters!”
Another said: “This is why it’s so important to tell young black girls that they’re beautiful. They need to hear it.”
Whilst another person commented: “It’s important to instil in dark skin black girls that they are beautiful and loved cause the world will be ugly, this made my heart cry.”
Even celebrities have joined in on the debate, with actress Viola Davis saying: “THIS is the motivating factor for Black women to leave a legacy… of WORTH of BEAUTY!”
Jada Pinkett Smith wrote: “THIS made me cry! Kudos to this beautiful woman for loving this beautiful child! We gotta love on each other! This made my heart sing.”
After causing such a reaction, Shabria went on to reassure viewers that Ariyonna was definitely not receiving these negative messages from her family at home.
She said: “It broke my heart into pieces because she has the GREATEST energy and the most beautiful smile and heart.
“She comes from a great home and a loving mother. I just think when kids go to school they learn and pick up sooo much different things that they don’t know the definition but they know the feeling! Keep her in your prayers and keep lifting up our future!!!”
She then posted a follow-up video which shows Ariyonna after she’s received some positive affirmation.
Ariyonna looks at the camera and repeats: “I’m black and beautiful.”
Shabria then comes along and says that she is so precious and this makes the little girl’s face glow, she then sports a huge, genuine smile.
After receiving all the heartwarming, positive messages, Shabria has taken to social media to thank everyone.
She wrote: “Every colour is beautiful. Ariyonna loves all the love and I genuinely appreciate what God is doing! Be blessed.”
Do you have a story for us? If so, email us at [email protected] All contact will be treated in confidence.