OK, so we sensationalised the title of this article a bit; of course we don't believe that any one nation could be deemed 'ugly'; that would be ridiculous, and both morally and culturally questionable at best. But, believe it or not, BeautifulPeople.com seem to be making inroads into doing just that.
The website began in Denmark in 2002, and went global in 2009. The dating site asks applicants to upload a recent photo and a short personal profile, then gives existing members 48 hours in which to vote on whether or not they are attractive enough to join their online community. Voters have four choices, “Yes definitely”, “Hmmm yes, OK”, “Hmmm no, not really” and “NO definitely NOT”.
Due to its blatantly superficial nature, BeautifulPeople.com has sparked deserved controversy wherever it has been launched, and attempts have been made to block the site in the Middle East. In 2010, the site removed 5000 members for gaining weight. That same year, they expanded their service to include egg and sperm banks to enable users to have beautiful babies. The site’s founder, Robert Hintze, commented: “…everyone - including ugly people – would like to bring good-looking children into the world and we can’t be selfish with our attractive gene pool.”
Despite this, BeautifulPeople.com attracts over 4 million visitors per day. Hintze continued: “the numbers don’t lie – we are catering to a very clear demand. BeautifulPeople.com may be morally ugly to our critics, but our growing success is a very beautiful truth.”
Approximately 20% of applicants are accepted to the service, and rival dating sites have sprung up to cater specifically to the large number of BeautifulPeople rejects out there. Scandinavian hopefuls tend to do very well, with a whopping 76% of Norweigan women and 65% of Swedish men gaining admittance to the elite online club. Brazilians don't do too badly either, with a success rate of 45% amongst both men and women. The following list, on the other hand, reveals the nationalities with the highest failure rates, i.e., the “ugliest” nationalities in the world. This list should, of course, be taken with a grain of salt - as should the source dating website itself. If your country features on here, don't feel too badly about; it simply means your fellow countrymen failed to make the cut among the overtly superficial users of beautifulpeople.com, and perhaps that's not a bad thing...
15% of Korean females and 18% of Korean males who apply to BeautifulPeople are viewed as attractive enough to become members of the dating site. Like all of the entries on this list, this could just be due to the fact that not many Koreans are applying to the website. With such babes as Daniel Dae-Kim, Yunjin Kim and Julien Kang boasting Korean heritage, they're not exactly a nation of unattractive people.
Just 17% of Chinese men and 15% of Chinese women who apply are deemed good-looking enough to join BeautifulPeople.com. On the other hand, stars of Chinese descent, such as Lucy Liu, Harry Shum Jr (Mike Chang in Glee), and Fan Bingbing (Blink in the latest X-Men movie) prove that there are plenty of hotties out there too. Again, in this case this low percentage might simply be a reflection of a limited sample group.
Bollywood is practically overflowing with devastatingly handsome men and stunning women, and many gorgeous Indian actors, actresses and models have made names for themselves in the Western world. It is somewhat surprising, therefore, that only 16% of Indian women and 19% of men who apply are granted membership to BeautifulPeople.com... This list is starting to look less and less objective.
German men and women are apparently evenly matched in the unattractiveness stakes, with just 13% of women and 15% of men getting accepted to the dating site for 'beautiful' people. Spokeswoman Miki Haines-Sanger noted that men need to smile more in order to boost their chances, as too many photos show German candidates looking “scary and weird”. Perhaps almost as scary and weird as the site itself.
Only 12 per cent of British men and 15 per cent of British women are voted in to BeautifulPeople.com. The Managing Director of the site, who is English, observed that many British people are unfit and don't spend as much time on their appearance as other nationalities do: “If you go to some countries they are very into how they look – very health and body conscious. The UK attitude is a bit more about kicking back and relaxing, and having a few drinks in the pub after work…Next to Brazilian and Scandinavian beauties, British people just aren’t as toned or glamorous.”
Many of Hollywood’s hottest actors, including James Franco, Joaquin Phoenix, Harrison Ford and Jake Gyllenhaal, claim Russian ancestry. Despite this, a measly 9% of Russian men are considered attractive enough for BeautifulPeople.com, contrasting with the impressive 44% of women who make the grade. Hodge commented that, as with the Germans, too many Russians are submitting photos in which they look stern and unfriendly and “need to soften up”, although “the fact remains that many are just extremely unattractive”. Harsh.
Polish males really don’t fare very well on BeautifulPeople.com. With only 9% of candidates being accepted to the site, they are tied with Irish and Russian men for the title of most unattractive nationality. Polish women tend to do much better, with about 1 in 3 making the cut. Looking at the large number of successful female models emerging from the country, it’s not hard to see why.
The author of this article herself hails from this (likely unfairly) maligned island nation. Poor old Irish men are the joint ugliest in the world according to the questionable measures BeautifulPeople.com use to assess their candidaes, with less than 1 in 10 making the cut. Their female counterparts do a bit better, with a 20% acceptance rate. Spokeswoman Miki Haines-Sanger advised the pale-skinned Irish men on how to win the approval of the women on the site: “A big no-no is the bare-chested photograph, unless, that is, you have the most magnificent six pack in the world. Put some clothes on, Irish men, and try to take a photo which is from a holiday where you have a light tan, or even better: try to take one which shows you participating in a sport – this signifies that you do have some interests outside of going to the pub.” Haines-Sanger also dissed the suit-and-tie corporate shot, the next favourite choice for the Irish after topless/pub pictures: “This doesn’t work unless you look like James Bond.” Oh well, at least they have charm and humour to fall back on.