Ugly People Need Not Apply…

I started out this week writing about online dating turn-offs (and for those of you who requested this topic I will cover it soon). But while doing research on the biggest online turn-offs, I came across this story and felt compelled to write about it.

BeautifulPeople.com is an online dating site strictly for beautiful people, as determined by the site’s creators. But this past June the site was attacked by a computer virus that let in 30,000 new members who (gasp!) weren’t beautiful enough. So, at a cost of $100,000, the site’s operators dumped those new members. But they did “set up counselors to help the newly rejected people to cope with their unattractiveness.”

The virus, nicknamed Shrek (since the film promotes the message that looks shouldn’t matter), attacked the screening software used on the site to determine whether each applicant is good looking enough for membership. Current members get to vote on perspective members, with a red light meaning “absolutely not” and a green light meaning “beautiful.” Your photo and stats (height, weight, etc) are posted for 48 hours, and you need to get enough “beautiful” votes in that time period to be admitted.

According to The Guardian, the managing director of BeautifulPeople.com, Greg Hodge, stated “We have to stick to our founding principles of only accepting beautiful people – that’s what our members have paid for. We can’t just sweep 30,000 ugly people under the carpet.” He later added that he felt very sorry for the “unfortunate people who were wrongly admitted to the site and believed, albeit for a short time, that they were beautiful”. America had the largest number of rejects among the 30,000 by far with 11,924 people.

The judging doesn’t end when you’re accepted to the site, however. In another controversial decision, the site removed 5,000 members last year when they posted photos revealing they had put on weight over the holiday season. Members complained to the site administrators about these people who had the nerve to eat one too many pieces of chocolate while celebrating.

In another oh-so-compassionate statement, according to CNN, the founder of BeautifulPeople.com, Robert Hintze, stated “As a business, we mourn the loss of any member, but the fact remains that our members demand the high standard of beauty be upheld. Letting fatties roam the site is a direct threat to our business model and the very concept for which BeautifulPeople.com was founded.” Fatties? Really? The site has now set up a “beauty police” who will monitor members for “infiltrators” who don’t meet the site’s beauty standards.

Yet the site, founded in Denmark in 2002, has approximately 700,000 members around the world, so some people obviously like it. And even more have tried to join. To date, roughly 5.5 million applicants have been rejected. Even some of those 30,000 recently dropped from the site plan to reapply with new photos.

One woman who got admitted due to the virus had been chatting with a man she met through the site, and they were in the midst of scheduling a date when she got booted off. Now they have no way of reaching each other. Obviously that man found her beautiful enough.

What do you think of a site like this? Is it fair? Would you ever join? BeautifulPeople.com points out that sites like Mensa require a certain IQ, and if 30,000 “dummies” got onto the site through a virus Mensa wouldn’t create an easier IQ test to lower their screening standards. Is this the same thing? You can probably guess my opinion simply by what I’ve written, but I’d love to hear yours – whether you agree or disagree.

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3 Responses to Ugly People Need Not Apply…

  1. The Mensa comparison is just something a pretty, but stupid person would throw out there. Mensa uses an IQ test which is a measurable Intelligence Quotient. Though one could argue that it’s flawed, it is a very objective test. Beauty, as they say, is in the eye of the beholder. As you said, that one couple hooked up before she was booted for not meeting the very subjective definition of beauty set by the owners of the site. What I find beautiful and what someone else finds beautiful are not necessarily the same. For example, based on their “no fatties” attitude, I’m willing to hazard a guess that there are a lot of men and women there I would find unattractive because they are TOO thin for my tastes. I would be too fat for the site, I’m quite sure. *shrug*

    As for whether or not I’d join? Hell no (okay, maybe on a dare, but if by some weird virus-y glitch I got in, I’d quit LOL). I’ve had my share of “pretty boys” and really they’re over-rated. I’d rather look for more “quality” qualities than just physical appearance.

  2. Greg says:

    It actually reminds me of the website hotornot.com, where people rate the attractiveness of others on a scale from 1-10, based on a picture. I think most people out there have a compulsion to know if the world thinks they are attractive or not, as all we have to go on most of the time is our own opinion (which can be misleading for many reasons) and what our friends and loved ones say (which is biased and often altered for our own protection). It’s not often that we get a truly unfiltered and unbiased opinion of our attractiveness to others, and in a strange way, the fact that the judging is done by anonymous people helps cushion the blow and make it easier.

    So on the one hand I can understand why people would want to join this site – we all need a little affirmation, no matter how shallow, from time to time – and yet it all just leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth and feels like the setup for a bad sci-fi movie about the perils of a vain and shallow society.

    Would I ever join? Not to find someone I would actually want to date long-term, no. It’s like going to an ultra-trendy and exclusive club to find a deep and meaningful relationship – right idea, wrong venue.

  3. courtney says:

    I think they should be able to have their site.
    It’s better that way.
    It weeds out the people that are mainly focused on physical traits.
    I believe the members of that site are probably very insecure and may feel the need for validation. They need to be working on their inner beauty because in the end that is what shows.

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