Trends & News

An ‘Ugly’ YouTube Trend Among Tweens, JK Rowling’s Next Novel, Gender Mixer Mashes Up Ads For Boys & Girls

YouTube Trend Pretty Vs. UglyWe were horrified when we first stumbled across the trend of tween and teen girls (posting videos of themselves on YouTube asking strangers to tell them if they are pretty or ugly. The videos usually start with the tween saying that people always tell them they’re ugly, so they want the Internet to tell them if they are or not. We’re sure you can imagine the kinds of responses the videos get. Denise Restauri of AllyKatzz sums up the reasons these girls — and occasionally guys — would put themselves through something like this) (Time) (Forbes)

JK Rowling landed a number of adult fans with her ‘Harry Potter’ series (and now she’s writing a book for them. Little, Brown announced that it will publish her next novel, and all we know so far is that it will be aimed at grown ups. No word yet on title or subject matter. And even though the book is for adults, we’re sure that her younger fans will probably want to get their hands on it too. Over in the textbook publishing world, renting books for class is becoming a more common trend among students. In fact, only 60% of students buy new or used textbooks for school) (USAT) (Publishers Weekly)

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We’re having a little too much fun with the Gender Remixer (an app that lets you create advertising mashups using video for an ad directed at girls with the sound for an ad aimed at boys, and vice versa. It’s hilarious to see images of pink, frilly girls’ toys accompanied by battle sounds and talk of saving the world…and it also says a lot about gender in advertising to kids) (Gender Remixer)

Simon Cowell is looking for a few good men (to create his first American boy band, having found success with British boy bands, including One Direction. See, we told you boy bands are back! In other music news, Adele’s “21″ becomes the first record to go double platinum on iTunes. We can’t say we’re surprised considering all the accolades the album has been getting in recent months) (Just Jared) (Mashable)

We love a clever marketing campaign, and the videogame “Mass Effect 3″ (is the latest to catch our attention. EA Games is sending advance copies of the new game — about an extraterrestrial battle — into the upper atmosphere, and fans can track the copies as they eventually float back to Earth, landing somewhere in San Francisco, New York, Las Vegas, and a few European cities. Whoever finds the games first gets to keep them) (IGN)

Clarissa Darling explains where she is now (in this brilliant series from Bullett magazine that asks six stars of iconic 90s TV shows — Melissa Joan Hart, James Van Der Beek, Rose McGowan, Rider Strong, Heather Matarazzo, and Thora Birch — to pick up where the writers left off and imagine what their characters have been doing for the past 15 years. We love this kind of 90s newstalgia)

Instagram gained popularity as a photo app (but now a new twist turns it into a game that we think Millennials will love. Much like kids’ memory matching games, InstaMatch asks users to match similar Instagram photos using either built in themes or their own photo libraries) (TechCrunch)

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