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The Eye of the Beholder

June 24, 2010

Have you heard of the social network/dating web site known as BeautifulPeople?  They are the guys who don’t take just anyone.  When you apply for membership, you post your picture on the site and for 48 hours the existing members have a chance to look at it, exchange catty comments, and then either accept you or reject you.

It’s all about looks.

They made the news a while back when they whacked something like 5,000 members who were deemed to have put on too much weight.  That’s a big no no in the world of Beautiful People.  The founder famously said “Letting fatties roam the site is a direct threat to our business model.”

They’re back in the news again!

Apparently they’ve gotten tired of being branded as vapid, self-indulgent and smug and have decided to do something truly altruistic.

In order to help the rest of us achieve our dreams of populating the planet with beautiful people, they have started a sperm and egg bank!  At first it was for members only, but now anyone can access Beautiful Person DNA. The Vancouver Sun quoted BeautifulPeople’s founder as saying: “Initially, we hesitated to widen the offering to non-beautiful people.  But everyone — including ugly people — would like to bring good-looking children into the world, and we can’t be selfish with our attractive gene pool.”

Setting the tone at the top, the site’s managing director said, “If you had your choice between a genetic donation from Brad Pitt or Shrek, you’re going to roll with Brad Pitt.”

The way it will work is that the existing cadre of beautiful people who may be interested in making sperm or egg donations will be linked up with uglies who express an interest in procreating that way. 

I don’t know about you, but I see a lot of potential for buyer’s remorse with this whole thing.

I’m no scientist, but my understanding is that when you get an egg or sperm you get the whole package from a DNA perspective. That DNA might be making someone conventionally attractive in their twenties, but I’d want to know if there are any sour notes in the genetic symphony.

I guess you could get a clue from looking at the BeautifulPeople site .  As they explain, “Beauty is subjective and BeautifulPeople Network believes that beauty lies in the eye of the beholder.  The rating module was born from this very principle.  By giving the power back to the members to define their ideal of beauty in a democratic way.”

So the bottom line is that if you want to use the BeautifulPeople sperm/egg bank, you will produce an offspring 50% of whose DNA came from a person who joined a social networking site because they thought they were beautiful and had their assumption validated democratically.

Somehow I’m not getting a more comfortable feeling about the survival of the human race.

Before you think I’m overreacting, there was another interesting item in the news today as well.  Two guys in Australia are recovering in the hospital after undergoing surgery to remove air rifle pellets from their butts.  Apparently, they had been drinking and after having exhausted all of the other pertinent topics of the day, began to debate whether “it would hurt” to be shot in the butt with an air rifle. 

As you know, when the human mind comes up against impenetrable questions, the natural reaction is to experiment to find out the truth.  As a result of the experiment, according to the cops, “both men have been admitted to hospital and require surgery to remove slug pellets from their buttocks and legs.” 

Think about it.  Although we probably all have a mental picture of these two guys that says otherwise, it is not outside the realm of possibility that they may be members of BeautifulPeople. And they might have signed up for the sperm donor option.

Beautiful Donor Reunion Fun Run–2025

Not only that, I saw recently that more than half of all people in Russia don’t know who built the Berlin Wall (58% said they didn’t know and only 24% said the USSR).  Why is this possibly meaningful?  Because Russian woman are the third most beautiful in the world according to BeautifulPeople.  That is based on the percentage of Russian woman who apply to BeautifulPeople and are accepted.

And the phenomenon is global.  The New York Post reported that schools there are grading kids based on something called “Holistic Rubrics” which means that even if you get the wrong answer, you get credit for making a mark on the paper.  For example, one question was “How many inches long is a two foot skateboard?”  A kid got half credit for saying 48 inches.  The logic is that he added 24 + 24 rather than 12 + 12 so he had the concept right. 

Another question: “If you have 35 boxes with ten books each, how many books in total do you have?” An answer of 150 is good for half credit. 

My first hope is that none of these kids become airline pilots. 

And my second hope is that they don’t grow up to become BeautifulPeople members!

31 Comments leave one →
  1. June 25, 2010 2:23 am

    Gee Tom, you missed your calling. This medley of hilarious “bits” absolutely cracked me up this morning (before my coffee, even). Please continue to collect absurd news items and then add the Stazyk effect.

    One question for your readers: do you (they) think that a contest about whether or not shooting oneself in the bottom would hurt and then doing it is a strictly male thing?

    • June 25, 2010 7:34 am


      As far as your question, I can’t imagine two ladies doing something like that. But then again, before I read the article I couldn’t imagine two guys doing it either!

  2. June 25, 2010 3:20 am

    Am I the only person who thinks that Speidi must have had a hand in this website?

    • June 25, 2010 7:29 am

      Could be. But that sort of thing might be too much of a challenge for his attention span!

  3. June 25, 2010 10:46 pm

    Wow the curiosity got the better of my and I followed your link. And I believe that I just lost another 10 IQ points without even getting to enjoy losing them.

    The worst part of it was that their top 50 beautiful women were not beautiful. Some were, but very few. The vast majority had great bodies and dressed like sluts but had fuck all for bone structure or classic beauty. I mean, who is doing the rating anyway; 14 year old boys?

    Yes please; I want my kid to be a dumb, butter-face slut with no fashion sense.

  4. June 26, 2010 11:30 am

    I want to get running shorts like those.

  5. June 27, 2010 1:38 am

    Those are some pretty fantastic shorts! And yes, the holistic marking rubric. I get more and more depressed about the state of education these days, especially as a teacher. Luckily, I tend to hang around in educational back alleys (like jails, or Co-operative Education classes) so most of the time I can 1) grade students based on their performance and 2) actually teach something worth while other than “if I do a half-assed job on anything, everything will be ok” mentality.

  6. June 27, 2010 11:24 am

    ha ha, so good. Photo caption a classic!

  7. June 27, 2010 4:58 pm

    I honestly can’t laugh at The Beautiful People. Too much horror has been unleashed on the world in the name of eugenics, and as funny as this may be, our laughter is also a form of acceptance (though not necessarily approval) of them and their ideals.

    I’m sure many of you think I’m overreacting.

  8. June 27, 2010 5:43 pm

    Interesting way to look at it but I don’t agree that there is any implication of acceptance of Beautiful People by laughing at them and their ideals. Ignoring it would be to accept it.

    My hope is that if I portray it as ridiculous, others may see it for what it is.

    • June 28, 2010 10:09 am

      I have to admit you did a nice job of portraying it as ridiculous.

  9. June 28, 2010 2:04 am

    Thank you for bringing this fascinating site to our attention. I immediately signed up. Initially, my beauty score was 6 out of 10, then it gradually went up to 8.50, but now it has dropped back down to a paltry 6.29. (If you don’t hear from me again, my score has dropped below 6 and I have killed myself.)

    • June 28, 2010 10:19 am

      Or died of exhaustion because the sperm bank can’t keep up with the demand!

      • June 30, 2010 9:08 am

        I can’t find the sperm bank section on the dopey site.

        The bad news is that my beauty score briefly plummeted to 5.75. The good news is that it recovered and has now soared back to 6.00 again, so I’m still alive. (Actually, I’ll leave it to the reader to determine which of these announcements is the good news and which is the bad news.)

        The site seems rather sloppily run from an administrative point of view, as it is shot through with obviously phony profiles that apparently no one deletes. Besides, there are pix of Frankenstein’s monster with a beauty score of 10, and others of really hot chicks with a beauty score of 4 and below. Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but only to a point.

        I’ve been up there for more than 72 hours now, and I still don’t know if I’ve been accepted or not. Doesn’t really matter, because they charge for a “full” membership anyway, and full membership appears to be open to anybody whether one has been officially “accepted” or not.

        • June 30, 2010 9:13 am

          Thanks for the field research! Have you gotten any ‘hits’ yet?

          • July 1, 2010 1:34 am

            As per the Statistics tab on my BP (in light of the oil spill, I’m sure the Beautiful People founders are delighted to have picked a name with these initials) profile, I’ve had 58 profile hits so far, but no one has actively hit on me save for two “winks” (by the same lady, who obviously has no idea that I’m an unemployed waiter who has just filed for Chapter Seven— may be a more appropriate venue for me) and a couple of friend requests. Not sure which definition of “hits” you had in mind.

            • July 1, 2010 2:53 am

              Correction: “blinks” (not “winks”)

              My apologies. I’m new there.

            • July 1, 2010 5:03 pm

              I look forward to hearing more about your whole BP experience (in your inimitable style).

              To answer your question, I guess my definition of hits was a contact from another Beautiful Person–I didn’t know about the blink concept–how does that work?

              Speaking of BP, I’m working on a post about the more notorious BP–can’t seem to get away from those initials!

            • July 2, 2010 2:51 am

              You click on somebody’s profile, and among your options there is a little red heart with the words Send a blink. By clicking on it, you’re sending a blink to the person. In the U.S., of course, the blink would be a wink, but given that the site appears to be operated out of Denmark, they’re using British terminology. After all, the sun never sets on the British Empire, so it makes perfect sense to go British when going globally.

            • July 2, 2010 8:05 am

              You might want to check the BP TOS. If this person has given you two blinks, depending on what country she is from you may already be married.

            • July 3, 2010 3:36 am

              She winked at me again. She’s from Chicago. Depending on Illinois state law, she may already be pregnant.

              Meanwhile, I’ve been appointed a “new member,” although my beauty score has plummeted to an apocalyptic 4.29. Perhaps my ignoring the winks renders me less attractive. After all, looks aren’t the only beauty criterion as per the site’s mission statement. Being a jerk lowers the score.

              My preliminary assessment is that the site should more aptly be named Beautiful People and Everyone Else.

            • July 12, 2010 7:21 am

              Field research update:

              So I met this adorable creature on BP. Not only is she beautiful and real in every respect (at least to the best of my ability to ascertain this long-distance between NYC and Texas based on supporting pictorial evidence regarding the effect of gravity on these things when she’s upright), but she’s also living proof that not all folks on BP are necessarily imbued with hollow vanity 24/7, as she has just complied with my request to re-enact a clip of a biscuit-munching marmot (!) I had posted on my Facebook profile. You can watch her re-enactment here.

              (Yes, women do whatever I tell them to do. One of my talents.)

              All my exes do not live in Texas. One of my future exes, though, may. (Although, realistically speaking, chances are I’ll be forced to move in the opposite direction very soon. Oh well. But who knows.)

              Anyway, thank you, Thomas—I really like your website recommendations!

          • July 12, 2010 8:56 am

            Glad it’s working out!

            • July 13, 2010 5:39 am

              My mediocre beauty score, though, keeps worrying me.

  10. amyblam permalink
    June 28, 2010 6:07 am

    Wow. I can’t believe I never heard of this. That’s just…well, there are no words.

  11. June 28, 2010 11:13 am

    excellent post as always Thomas. yeah, i read about this somewhere a few days ago (I think it was a few days) anyway, the whole thing is totally ridiculous and also scary that people want designer babies. what if the child is born ‘ugly’ or unattractive…return to sender? Nature will have her way. seriously though this is a sad indication of how self-obssessed our ‘perfection’ society has become.

  12. June 28, 2010 1:00 pm

    “Somehow I’m not getting a more comfortable feeling about the survival of the human race.”

    I agree. That hammering sound you’re hearing is another nail in our box

  13. Dan permalink
    June 28, 2010 10:38 pm

    I wish past civilizations had recorded something like Beautiful People, so we could gawk at all changing standards of beauty as we browsed countless pages of deathly pale women with long peacock necks, or whatever was popular in Marie Antoinette’s day.

    Say what you will about self-proclaimed beautiful people, but it’s fair to say that they are generally more altruistic (albeit in a bland, unintelligent way) than self-proclaimed smart people. I can’t imagine a MENSA-type dating site giving away their eggs and sperm to the hoards like this…

  14. June 29, 2010 3:19 pm

    Since my kids have banned me from ever joining Facebook maybe I should try BeautifulPeople instead. Being over fifty I probably don’t have a chance and they wouldn’t want my old eggs. Just another rejection I don’t need.

    I think that the BeautifulPeople should have to post their parents pictures next to theirs so we can get an idea of what they will look like in 20 years from now for a more honest assessment and disclose any plastic surgery.

    I couldn’t believe that there was actually a site like this. What next?

  15. June 30, 2010 5:16 am

    OMG! There are no adequate adjectives to describe such narcissism. Ok, vapid, arrogance,,,,,,,
    Great post.

  16. July 2, 2010 8:16 am

    Where should we send the wedding gift??

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