Why a Dating Site for "Ugly People" Can Be a Beautiful Thing

Does this specialized site take the pressure off when you're looking for love online?

Tom Cruise may have had Renee Zellweger at “Hello,” but Tom Clifford from the UK, used a different sort of pickup line to woo fiancée Janine Walker:

"I've got a face that makes children cry but, as they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder -- and I think you'll love me, too."

Before you start feeling bad for Clifford, 36, you should know that a) While he’s not Tom Cruise, he’s no Sam the Ugly Dog, either and b) He’s OK with how he looks. So OK, in fact, that he joined The Ugly Bug Ball Dating Site (TUBB), a dating website for the “aesthetically challenged” which attracts unattractive men and women who are “sick of all the twee lovey dovey dating sites that show perfectly pretty people walking hand in hand on a wind swept beach.”

Niche web sites exist for all ilk these days, whether you’re tall, a self-proclaimed geek, have a sexually transmitted infection or are seeking an adulterous affair. TrekPassions.com promises Spock fans the opportunity to love long and prosper, and 420dating.com means you’ll never have to light up alone.

While it absolutely stinks that we live in a society where people feel “like a joke” to the opposite sex (his words) because of their looks, the fact remains that on most dating websites, physical appearance and sex appeal are what draw people in -- at least initially. We’re all guilty of playing into this, no matter how staunchly feminist we believe ourselves to be, no matter how much we preach that “beauty is on the inside.” Consider your Facebook profile pic: No one chooses a photo that shows them looking dumpy, or with giant bags under their eyes or a monster zit on their forehead. We scour our files for a photo that shows us looking as pretty and, I’m guessing, slim as possible.

Here’s what I love about Clifford and Walker’s inner beauty-based romance and, as an extension, TUBB:

-There’s no pretense. You know what you’re going to get. The pictures are accurate and you needn’t worry that Steve, a “mature, muscular athlete with an eye for detail” is actually a 68-year-old former logroller with a lazy eye.

-They eliminate the self-obsessed and egotistical. No Miami Beach hottie with a penchant for gigantic fake boobs, 32-inch hips and silicone lips is going to join a dating site called TUBB. Remember BeautifulPeople.com, the dating site with a "strict ban on ugly people" that booted 5,000 members this past January for letting themselves go over the holidays? TUBB is the opposite of that -- in a good way. Whereas BeautifulPeople.com issues statements such as "Letting fatties roam the site is a direct threat to our business model and the very concept for which BeautifulPeople.com was founded,” (who wrote this stuff, the Marie Claire “fatties” blogger?)  TUBB self-deprecates with facetious, tell-it-like-it-probably-is claims like, “Half of UK daters aren’t pretty so instead of fishing in a small pool of prettiness and getting nowhere dive into an ocean of uglies and have more choice.”

-TUBB members are probably more down-to-earth than looks-obsessed BeautifulPeople.com members. This is a bold statement and plays into many ugly steroetypes, I know. There are plenty of pretty people who are nice, and lots of jacked-face a$$holes out there. I’m assuming TUBB is being snarky when they claim, “Ugly people have had a tougher life and therefore tend to be more considerate and more loyal. A recent TUBB survey also proved that they try harder in bed.” But I have difficult time believing that people who join an elitist site for self-proclaimed sexy peopleare all that beautiful on the inside. (Of course, most people simply date on mainstream sites that don’t sell themselves based on appearance.)

Regardless, I’m happy Walker and Clifford found one another; she’s “head-over-heels in love” with her “perfect, handsome prince,” and he loves his “beautiful” fiancée “in every possible way.” A thing of beauty is a joy forever. Mazel tov!

Have you ever dated online? Chime in below.

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