The cruel world of online dating
The cold cruel world of online dating got a little crueler this week when international dating site Beautifulpeople.com dropped the axe on over 5,000 members for getting too chubby over the holidays. In a brilliant p.r. gambit, the company released a statement announcing that it was expelling members who, based on photographic evidence, “have let themselves go.”
The site’s founder claims to be acting on principle. He said, “Letting fatties roam the site is a direct threat to our business model.” Members for the site are selected – based strictly on appearance, of course – through the votes of other members. Expelled members are allowed to re-apply through member vote, presumably after hitting the treadmills.
Somewhat predictably, the U.S. took the biggest hit, losing around 1,500 newly chunky members followed in order by the U.K., Canada and Poland.
Online dating moved mainstream a while ago, and according to some reports, it is a recession-proof industry, thriving more during an economic downturn as people seek personal comforts to drown out the bad times. Around 30 million people were expected to log on to an online dating site last year, and baby boomers are one of the industry’s fastest growing markets.
As with all things Internet, online dating has its mega-sites, but also has fractured into numerous popular sites dedicated to specific markets like Jewish singles or African American singles. So it’s not shocking that a site would crop up strictly for self-professed beautiful people.
While I’m sure it must sting to suffer the ignominious fate of the excommunicated members, it’s tough to feel a ton of sympathy for people explicitly seeking mates based on hotness. Live by the sword, die by the sword.
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