Talk about a niche dating site. TheUglyBugBall.co.uk launched on Monday as the first online dating site only for ugly people in the U.K. It claims to “deal in reality,” is free to join and filled with 1,500 unattractive people who want to, um, bump uglies. First of all, that’s the best name for a website ever. Second of all, founder Howard James’ quote is the funniest ever: “It’s a sad fact that up to half of the UK is made up of ugly people yet amazingly nobody has ever thought of providing a dating service for them.” The rules are strict: attractive singletons are not allowed!
But isn’t a dating site for “the aesthetically challenged” kind of … wrong? True, they are a self-selecting group, who willingly put themselves on there. And I suppose some singletons would feel like it’s easier to date among a pool where everyone has lowered expectations about physical appearances. I’m troubled, though, because “ugliness” and “attractiveness” are so subjective. The idea that some people may define themselves as being “ugly,” if they’re not really at peace with it (i.e., not embracing it in the empowering way some people have embraced slurs like “gay” or “slut”), seems exploitative. Why would society want to encourage people to identify themselves like that?
The site itself makes a lot of downright untrue — not to mention cruel — assumptions about “ugly” people. Try: “Ugly people are a better calibre of human — pretty people generally aren’t very nice and are often a bit shallow.” And: “Ugly people have had a tougher life and therefore tend to be more considerate and more loyal. A recent survey [on the site] also proved that they try harder in bed.” And this gem: “Ugly people have lower expectations – for a first date a Family Bucket will usually do the trick.” So guys, don’t bother wooing an “ugly” woman or treating her like she’s a human being! Just buy her a bucket of fried chicken and she’ll be grateful.
There’s also the question of how “ugly” do you have to be to join. What are the qualifiers? Weight? The size of your nose? Facial deformities? Skin color? It seems to me this would just contribute to sizeism, racism, ableism, etc. Even if it’s a self-selecting group who joins, it saddens me that the online dating pools — which can already be a vicious meat market — are further subdividing in a way that doesn’t challenge notions of beauty.
Clearly, it’s a hot-button topic. What do y’all think? [The Sun]