The article is about called a website called BeautifulPeople, and the premise (according to the website itself) is that it's an "elite online club, where every member works the door." What does this mean? That if you post a picture and enough people of the opposite sex don't find it "beautiful," you're not allowed to use the dating site (and apparently about 80% "fail"). While this statement strikes me as wrong on so many levels, the website itself is even more egregious.
One of the worst quotes on the entire website is on the introductory page is at the bottom with a huge font (complete with an animated sliding scale), "Too ugly to sign up? Click here to browse BeautifulPeople as [sic] guest." For what reason, I ask you? To know what you "can't have"? To make you angry? To convince yourself you're much prettier than the other people and will "qualify" for the site (a dubious honor at best, IMHO) with no problem? To provide work-safe images for bored office drones who can't get to porn through the office internet filter?
According to CNN.com, BeautifulPeople has now decided to expel members (who once qualified for admission) because they posted pictures showing they'd gained a few holiday pounds (for the record? Who didn't?)
But it wasn't just the site admins who made this decision. Instead, this purge was apparently sparked by complaining members who decided their fellow site members were no longer attractive enough to be considered "beautiful" with their added pounds. In response, BeautifulPeople dumped these "fatties" back into the queue, sent them an email with workout tips, and told them they could register again after they'd lost weight (and presumably, run the gauntlet of having an entire web community vote on their attractiveness a second time).
Greg Hodge, founder of BeautifulPeople, who, incidentally, admits his site is unfair, elitist, "lookist" and not politically correct, doesn't have a problem with that. He says that's what people want. And given that the members voted to expel thousands of "fatties" with the flagged profiles, it does seem to work for his business model. Which of course, doesn't make it any less enraging, AKA "femangry."
Even more incredulous? Hodge's parting quote in the CNN.com article defending his decision: "The U.S.A. has been grossly over-indulging since Thanksgiving. It's no wonder that so many members have been expelled from the network." But like any businessman, Hodge apparently wants his loyal customers back as soon as possible--but only after they lose the holiday pounds.
Unfortunately, I have a feeling a lot of them will be back. After all, more than 5,000 people who got the email telling them they'd been flagged attempted to re-apply. Only a few hundred made it. I, for one, won't be telling them congratulations.