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Happy New Year, Unless You're Fat: Social Networking Site Kicks Out 5,000 Members For Holiday Weight Gain

"As a business, we mourn the loss of any member, but ... our members demand the high standard of beauty be upheld," says the founder of BeautifulPeople.com.
 
 
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2010, I thought to myself, would be the year I ignored all the bullshit and concentrated on the serious stuff. But then the BBC had to come along and ruin it by tossing this little gem of absurdity my way:

Dating and social network site BeautifulPeople.com has axed some 5,000 members following complaints that they had gained weight.

The members were singled out after posting pictures of themselves that reportedly showed they had put on pounds over the holiday period.

The site allows entry to new members only if existing members vote them as sufficiently attractive to warrant it.

According to the site founder Robert Hintze, himself a Beautiful Person, according to this 2008 profile -- "Hintze is the active 'dater,' falling in love weekly ... and has been validated as a beautiful person in every country in the Beautiful-People world" -- the decision to shed 5,000 members from the social networking site is simply business, nothing personal.

"As a business, we mourn the loss of any member, but the fact remains that our members demand the high standard of beauty be upheld," he said.

"Letting fatties roam the site is a direct threat to our business model and the very concept for which BeautifulPeople.com was founded."

This concept, lest the name or Hintze's logic suggest otherwise, is to provide a safe space for narcissists and the aggressively shallow to find each other and revel in being what Zoolander eloquently described as "really really good-looking."

Check out the questions on the site's front page:

  • 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

If you are pretty enough to be approved to join, the privilege of membership costs about $25 month -- a total steal, if you have ever wasted countless hours browsing online dating sites only to have to see a lot of ugly people. (Time is money, after all.)

Liliana Segura is a staff writer and editor of AlterNet's Rights and Liberties and World Special Coverage. Follow her on Twitter.

 
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