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I can’t say I was greatly surprised when I found out I wasn’t beautiful. Nevertheless, the swift cruelty with which my plans to write a feature on beautifulpeople.com were truncated was something of a blow to my self-esteem, already bludgeoned by numerous Facebook advances sent my way which were, as always, a joke.
The Beautifulpeople controversy arose when, having gained a few festive pounds, five thousand members were kicked off the social network. The mild palaver, of course, resulted in a flood of profile entries sent in high spirits, my favourite of which was someone operating under the pseudonym ‘Les Dennis’, with a picture of Leonardo Dicaprio cerca 1997.
The unbeautiful masses were greeted with horror and revolt by the original beatific members. In a banner on the site onto which people can post their beautiful thoughts, one Danish member pleaded, “Why won’t these people leave us alone.” Though an invitation to the inner circle requires members to vote on the profile pictures you submit, the prospective beauties are privy to the scores they’re being given. My scores for my (heavily photoshopped) offerings averaged 4.827/10.
But, as every writer is bound to ask in such a column, what is a beautiful person? Doubtless, to the left we find such a specimen. In York, though, our visions of beauty are necessarily hazy and clouded. This distortion has led to a substantial and abrasive crowd of third-years being labelled York’s ‘beautiful people’. A friend of mine in particular is wholly obsessed with their destructively tedious banter and their knowingly dishevelled clobber. So great is this obsession that they feel urged, each time they come across a beautiful person, to commit the occasion to a photograph multiple times. The expression on his face is one of unabashed joy. And the beautiful ones? The beautiful ones look so bored. Such is their pain.