Sometimes, somehow, the world still manages to surprise with the sheer tactless superficiality that it's capable of producing. Today's example? A dating website called BeautifulPeople. Already the name itself put my back right up. Not because I'm not a beautiful person - I think we can all quite clearly see that I am all things to all mankind. As long as all mankind wants is an overweight speccy bald man (and who doesn't?). And certainly not because I want to join - I've found my beautiful person, ta very much. No, it's the fact that the members of this particular site rate each other for membership eligibility based purely on looks alone. I mean, for starters, here's the blurb on the front page of their website:-
* Do looks matter to you, when it comes to selecting a partner?
* Do you want to guarantee your dates will always be beautiful?
* No more filtering through unattractive people on mainstream sites
* Meet beautiful people locally and from around the world - now
* Attend exclusive events and private parties
Lovely, isn't it? So why has this odious little site come to my attention? Well, it's due to a news article which claims that 5,000 members have been "axed" as they've put on a bit of weight over Christmas. A further damning indictment of our weight and looks-obsessed culture but not the thing that has overly raised my ire. No, the thing that really got to me in the article was this direct quote from founder Robert Hintze (this is a genuine quote; I've not paraphrased in any way):-
"Letting fatties roam the site is a direct threat to our business model and the very concept for which BeautifulPeople.com was founded."
It's not just the fact that this is a deeply unpleasant sentiment to be bandying about. No, it's that fact that this is obviously a cynically calculated unpleasant sentiment designed for maximum publicity, making an unpalatable statement that much worse. I remember it being tough enough out there in the dating world without bozos like this further denting everyone's self esteem.
OK, I guess if you look at it from a certain point of view then all this site is doing is herding the vacuous but pretty morons together in order to keep them away from all the normal people. The only downside to this is that it's encouraging them to get together and breed...