The most exclusive dating site for beautiful people (aptly named Beautifulpeople.com) recently dumped 30,000 members whose applications were accepted, despite the fact that they do not meet the site’s “aesthetic standards.” The site claims that it was the victim of a computer virus, aptly named the Shrek virus, which interfered with its screening criteria.
“We have to stick to our founding principles of only accepting beautiful people — that’s what our members have paid for,” Greg Hodge, the site’s managing director, told The Guardian. “We can’t just sweep 30,000 ugly people under the carpet.”
Charming, right? Well, at least the site has kindly realized that its actions will be potentially distressing for the thousands of people who have just been told that they are not sufficiently beautiful for this discerning site. Apparently the site has set up a counseling hotline to help the “ugly” people deal with being rejected.
The decision cost the company more than $100,000 in refunds, but apparently that sum of money is not worth risking the exclusive site’s reputation.
Beautifulpeople.com is no stranger to controversy. They caused outrage earlier this month by declaring that Irish men were the ugliest in the world. And certainly, they seem to have a type – perhaps because the acceptability of applicants to the site is determined by existing members, who vote to determine whether new people can join the site.
According to the Guardian, “Norwegian women and Swedish men have the greatest chance of being accepted into the club, while Brazilian and Danish men are also popular – along with women from Sweden and Iceland.” Sounds pretty homogenous to me.
One of the women who was kicked off the site said that she was getting along well with someone she had met, but now she couldn’t get in touch with them. “I was getting on really well with this American guy and we were going to go on a date and then they said I’d been chucked off and they locked me out of the site,” she said. “Now I can’t get in touch with him.”
What’s truly disgusting is the narcissism of the site’s managing director, who seems to have been in charge of talking to the press. He explained that he feels truly sorry for the “unfortunate people who were wrongly admitted to the site and believed, albeit for a short time, that they were beautiful.” Considering that Beautifulpeople.com seems to have a pretty narrow definition of beauty, it seems more like a matching site for people with big egos than anything else. Or maybe it’s just, as Lane Moore writes on Jezebel, that they have their brand and they’re sticking to it.
Photo from Screaming Monkey's Flickr photostream.