March 3rd, 2012
06:00 AM ET

On YouTube, teens ask the world: Am I ugly?

By  Sari Zeidler, CNN

(CNN) - Am I ugly?

It’s a question teens have been asking their reflections in bathroom mirrors for decades. But with the prevalence of web cams and the increasing Internet know-how of today’s youth, the already complicated inner-world of teenage angst and self-doubt has taken a not-so-pretty turn outwards.

Videos asking that painful question have cropped up all over YouTube.

Adolescents, possibly as young as 11, are taking to the web and asking the world to weigh in on their appearance.  From supportive messages to the plain pervy, the responses run the gamut.  Comments provoked by these videos offer an interesting cross-section of the American psyche–and it's all painfully punctuated by images of America’s youth searching for approval.

In a video titled “Am I ugly or pretty? Please Let me know!” one young YouTube user says: “Hey guys, this is my first video…but before I post any more videos making a fool of myself, and I know there’s hundreds of videos like this…I just wanna know, am I pretty or ugly?  Cuz at school I get called ugly all the time.”


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Filed under: Age • Gender • How we look • Women
February 22nd, 2012
02:59 PM ET

Rareview: finding a place for Yiddish

What happens to a language that has no land?

American Yiddish speakers are asking that about the once popular Jewish language with roots in Hebrew and German.

As some wrestle with this loss –and how it defined who they are and where they come from– a small movement looks to find a new space for their displaced language.

January 5th, 2012
12:17 PM ET

Rareview: Going from U.S. soldier to U.S. citizen

By Sari Zeidler, CNN

(CNN) - Dalia Nesmith says she always felt like an American, even as she grew up in a family of illegal immigrants in the United States.

Living between Mexico and the United States, Nesmith held on to her Mexican heritage, but also to her dream of defending the United States, a country where the worries of deportation and a family torn apart were real.

By the time Nesmith joined in the U.S. Air Force, she was a permanent resident - a requirement for her to enlist. For her, the military was a call to action, she said, not the promise of an expedited path to citizenship.


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Filed under: Ethnicity • How we live • Immigration • Latino in America • Rareviews
December 13th, 2011
03:52 PM ET

Rareview: Protect Native American culture through innovation

Rareviews go inside the lives of those in America whose stories we don't always hear.

“What really struck me, after traveling around and seeing other places, was the isolation,” said T. David Petite, the son of a chief of the Fond Du Lac Chippewa Tribe in Wisconsin, as he recalled his childhood impressions of American Indian reservations.

“I had made a commitment and the commitment was I would go back and help Native Americans.”

Petite, an inventor and philanthropist, last year founded the Native American Intellectual Property Enterprise Council - a non-profit that teaches Native Americans about intellectual property rights and helps inventors bring their ideas to market.


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Filed under: How we live • Native Americans • Rareviews
December 1st, 2011
08:00 AM ET

Rareview: Growing old openly gay

Rareviews go inside the lives of those in America whose stories we don't always hear.

Early on, they didn't know they were gay. Sometimes, they didn't even know what the word meant.

But eventually, they learned. They fell in love. They paired up. Sometimes, they got married. And now, they're the first generation to grow old openly gay.

November 22nd, 2011
06:31 PM ET

Rareview: Race matters at Occupy Atlanta

When Kung Li learned that civil rights activist and Georgia Rep. John Lewis, a Democrat from Atlanta, was denied the chance to speak at an Occupy Atlanta general assembly meeting last month, the former director of the Southern Center for Human Rights decided to respond. In her open letter to Occupy Atlanta, which was later published as an essay on Colorlines.com, Li explains why you can’t talk about the economy without talking about race.

In cities around the country, the Occupy movement is continuing.

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Filed under: Ethnicity • How we live • Race • Rareviews