Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Where are all the ugly people?

A while ago, I was playing in facebook one weekend, and I found that the interactive games worked best if you could engage someone else frequently to do whatever it was that earned points. The trouble was, many of my friends were just too slow to make the points accumulate quickly enough. So I started another account under a pseudonym, in order to have someone a bit more interactive in these games, so that I could accumulate points and then play against my friends. The first thing was that a new person needed at least five friends in order to take part, probably to prevent this kind of cheating, so I had to set up four more accounts! As soon as I was able to get these accumulation games to work, I discovered that glamorous looking women seemed to accumulate friends and rewards far quicker than dull-looking men, so I changed the gender of some of my accounts, and gave them beautiful faces. It is easy enough to find beautiful and glamorous women on the web. All went well, until I got bored of the ease with which I could accumulate these points and use them. Soon enough, I lost interest in this, but the beautiful and fictional women were still visible, and gradually some lonely, sad men started asking to be friends, and telling these non-existent women how lovely they were, and how they would like to get to know them better. This was just too creepy. Initially, I tried telling one or two of these sad men that these were fake accounts and not real people, but their desire to meet these fancy women was so strong, they refused to accept the truth and assumed that my girls were just playing hard to get. Even more creepy! So then I thought that I would change their faces to ugly ones. And this is where things got very interesting. I tried to find some ugly faces through Google images, where I had originally found the pretty faces. It was really tough! There were plenty of people pretending to be ugly, but they weren't really. There were plenty of people pulling faces, or who were flagged as ugly, but they did not have the kind of face that would make you recoil in horror. Anyone who really had a genuinely ugly face never appeared in these searches, because most people are not so insensitive as to flag their acquaintances as just pig-ugly. What a surprise! Most of the so-called ugly people on the internet are actually quite ordinary-looking people who have been snapped while pulling a strange face, or people posing as ugly who aren't really. So this is my question - where are all the ugly people? I then started to think that perhaps most of the glamorous-looking people are really quite ordinary, too, and just happened to be pulling a particularly attractive expression or pose. Hmmm.

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Reading, Berkshire, United Kingdom

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