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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.

By Kevin Huffman  | January 7, 2010; 10:02 AM ET
Categories:  Huffman  | Tags:  Kevin Huffman  
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Comments

The website is missing opportunities if they don't also offer full-service weight-loss/plastic surgery consultation.

Posted by: bobsewell | January 7, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

"people seek personal comforts" is code for someone with a job.

Posted by: caribis | January 7, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Well they can just go over to moretolove.com or GayChubbyDating.com depending on their proclivities.

Posted by: sjpatejak | January 7, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how far their membership would drop if the members were expelled for "cosmetic enhancements?" Half? Two-thirds? I consider that more offensive than being overweight.

Posted by: srpinpgh | January 7, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

After all my years (71) I's ashamed to say I still can not understand what makes so many of us think the way we do. Although I do NOT believe in group think....I do believe in common scense. A quality it appears not many of us possess. This articel took me back to a Christmas many years ago. I had gotten a very large beautifully wrapped box from my husband and was very excited. I could not imagine what could possibly be in such a large box. It looked so expensive and the wrapping was so exquisite. I was very careful not to mess up the ribbon or the paper. It took me a while but finally got down to the box. When I opened that box the 1st thing I thought was "I'm not a HOUSE"....Yes, it was very expensive. A very expensive set of ......POTS AND PANS.....

However, that was one of the most wonderful days of my life. The next gift I got looked like a joke. The wrapping paper was uneven, scotch tape was wraped all around it. The paper was twisted together at the top with scotch tape holding the twist together and the little bit of paper left open at the top of that twist was cut into what looked like a little fringe. I made a big deal out of it because I knew it was from one of my kids.

After I got enough of that tape off and opened my gift I started to cry. I could not stop. My beautiful daughter jumped up and said, Mom it's a bowl. I made it for you. I made it in school for you. I took her in my arms, still crying and kept repeating it's beautiful, I love it, I love it as I cried. That was Christmas of 1977, and Vickie was 12 years old. I know this for a FACT.....You see I just went over to my night stand, picked up that bowl and checked the bottom of that clay bowl where she had written all the important information. I now own a memory and a TREASURE.

Beautiful things do not always come in beautiful packages. It's what's INSIDE the package that counts. ...All those beautiful people....Well, an empty suit is an empty suit and an empty dress is an empty dress.

Posted by: LandoftheLost | January 7, 2010 11:49 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, LandoftheLost, that was a beautiful story, and we all know in our hearts you're right.

Posted by: eat-the-rich | January 8, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Thank you for the beautiful story, landofthelost. Not to try to outdo you, but your story reminds me of a birthday gift I once received from a man I was seriously dating.

We were both poor single working people in our 30's, trying to get through one of the coldest winters on record for the area. I had to park my car outside and sometimes had trouble getting it started.

My boyfriend said, I know you're probably expecting a romantic gift like flowers or candy, but your car badly needs a new battery, and I can't afford to get you both. So you are getting the battery.

It was at that moment I fell in love, and I still am after all these years.

Thanks, landofthelost, for reminding me.

Posted by: martymar123 | January 8, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

What I find ridiculously amusing is that the media insists on reporting on this website.

Of course it is absurd, so why would you give them free advertising?

Posted by: kenskorupski | January 8, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I LOVE it...anyone shallow enough to be a member of that site deserves to be dumped from it for falling out of favor...LMAO

Posted by: squatty2 | January 8, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

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