Sunday, January 10, 2010

Dating website drops some weight

By: J.A. Laraque

In this online age we all know we can find a website for just about everything. This also applies to the dating world. You have general sites like and eHarmony that cater to just about everyone, but you also have specific sites based on race, religion and yes, even size.
CNN first reported that a dating site that markets itself as an elite community for beautiful people with a "strict ban on ugly people" has axed about 5,000 members for packing on the pounds during the holiday season.
How the site works is you create a profile and it is voted on and “judged” by approved members for 48 hours. If you get enough votes you are in, but you must keep your profile updated. After the holiday season many members uploaded new photos showing “extra pudge” and in turn several members were angry feeling they no longer deserved to be on the site.
"As a business, we mourn the loss of any member, but the fact remains that our members demand the high standard of beauty be upheld," said Robert Hintze, founder of "Letting fatties roam the site is a direct threat to our business model and the very concept for which was founded."
The members who gained weight were flagged and sent e-mails telling them they could re-register once the added weight was gone.
"We responded to complaints by moving the newly chubby members back to the rating stage. This is the same as having them re-apply," Greg Hodge, managing director of, said in a statement.
Some of the people expelled tried to re-register right away hoping others may vote them back in, but in the in only a few hundred were allowed back out of over 5,000.
"Is it elitist? Yes, it is, because our members want it to be," Hodge said when the company started out in 2005. "Is it lookist? Yes, it is, because our members want it to be. Is it PC? No, it's not, but it's honest."
It seems Mr. Hodge also has strong opinions about the Western cultures habit of over indulging during the holidays.
"Every year we see that some of our members from Western cultures eat and drink to excess over the holidays, and clearly their looks suffer," he said in a statement. "The U.S.A. has been grossly over-indulging since Thanksgiving. It's no wonder that so many members have been expelled from the network. We hope they will be back after shedding the festive pounds."
The company said it "expelled" 1,520 users from the U.S., 832 from the U.K., 533 from Canada, 510 from Poland, 425 from Germany, 402 from Italy, 323 from France, 220 from Denmark, 176 from Turkey and 88 people from Russia. In the e-mail, it gave users suggestions for boot camps and workout facilities to get themselves back in shape.

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