Ugly people should be compensated for their obvious disadvantage in society, argues Gonzalo Otalóra.
Gonzalo Otólora, once a pimply teenager, has written Feosexual, an ironic book about his decision to ignore people’s opinions about his looks. In his native Argentina – the country with the most beautiful women in the world, he says – his book is a bestseller.
In your book, you call for a tax on beauty. Why should people have to pay because they’re attractive?
Gonzalo Otólora: “Countless studies show that good-looking people have an unfair advantage. It’s easier for them to find jobs; they’re paid more and find partners more easily. In a true democracy, beautiful and ugly people should be given equal opportunities. So I think we should tax the beautiful, a kind of compensation for the ugly ducklings. There are also other ways to reduce this unfair advantage.”
“In Argentina, companies are allowed to ask applicants to send in a photograph; that should be outlawed, just as the immoral practise of manipulating pictures of models in magazines and advertisements should be banned.”
But how can we blame people because others consider them hot?
“Why not? If they spend money on diets, gyms, anti-wrinkle creams and plastic surgery, surely we can wheedle even more money out of them and donate it to the ugly among us. We, the unattractive, won’t squander that money because we’re not compulsive consumers. We’re not worried about failure because we’ve learned from all the rejections we’ve suffered. As a result, we’re well- suited to think strategically and reach our objectives quickly. Our relationships with people are more honest and durable. Society ultimately benefits from these qualities, which is why ugly people should be recognized, emancipated and supported.”
Are you saying life’s really about what’s inside?
“Absolutely. The ideal of beauty doesn’t exist. I discovered that when I threw my mirror and scale in the trash. If you’re trying to be beautiful you’re chasing a dream, but that dream only ensures you’ll suffer. If we can develop our sense of self-confidence, we’ll all have the same opportunities.”