Thursday, 14 January 2010

Beautiful Ugly People

Do looks matter to you when it comes to selecting a partner? Do you want to guarantee your dates will always be beautiful? Tired of filtering through unattractive people on mainstream sites? Such reads the homepage of 'BeautifulPeople', a dating agency where applicants are entitled to upload a photo of themselves to have it slated (or 'judged' as they call it) by existing members. Only those deemed 'beautiful' are allowed to sign up and join their aesthetically pleasing comrades in a haven of shallow-minded bliss. If that didn't sound horrific enough, it is notoriously difficult to be accepted and existing members are allowed to post comments about a potential member. "No WAY", "Perhaps without those saddlebags", "Um what are you thinking - get back to the ugly masses", or if you're lucky "Well I suppose so, but as long as you stay off the kitkats". Because weight seems to be a key issue when it comes to being beautiful in the eyes of ''. In the new year thousands of members had their accounts closed after holiday snaps showed they had 'overindulged' on the turkey and mince pies. Apparently once members have shed the pounds gained over the festive period they can reapply (how kind), which means, joy oh joy, going through the ritualistic humiliation of 'beauty' judging again.
Although saying that, I think you get what's coming to you. Perhaps an element of it really is a yearning to meet only those with 'superior' DNA, but I think it's mainly narcistic. You choose your most 'beautiful' photo (the hair, the complexion...I really am a fabulous specimen of humanity) and wait eagerly to be deemed 'beautiful' by your peers. And when that email comes saying your request to join the site has been successful... well it is just confirmation that you really are as gorgeous as you thought.

I must admit, there is a part of human nature that makes you wonder - what would they say about me? You can't help but be curious. But frankly, I don't want to find out. And that's not just because I don't particularly want to have strangers giving their harsh opinions about my physical attributes (or lack there of as the case may be), but because I don't see why, once actually within the agency, anyone would want to actually meet or spend a candle lit dinner with any of these beauties. What would the conversation be? "So, you're beautiful too..", "So, looks matter to you too when it comes to selecting a partner...", "So, YOU were tired of filtering through unattractive people on mainstream dating sites..." Delightful. If these people really are so beautiful, then why, might I ask, are they using an online dating agency in the first place? Is it maybe because (shock horror) there is more to a person than looks, and that personality has something to play when it comes to choosing a potential mate?

The saddest thing to me is what 'BeautifulPeople' shows about society. I am shocked there has been such little outrage over a site that discriminates so openly and that it is even allowed to exist. Yet worse than that is the way in which it has been welcomed with open arms in 16 countries, and has a huge database of members. '' may be all about beauty, but it reflects the ugliest of our society.


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