Social network nixes users who 'let themselves go'

BeautifulPeople.com, a site that allows attractive people to connect on the Web, announces that it has removed 5,000 members due to weight gain over the holidays.

Don Reisinger
Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
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BeautifulPeople.com, a social-networking and dating site for "attractive people," announced on Monday that it has removed 5,000 members from around the world for putting on too much weight over the holiday season.

According to the site, "many members posted photos of themselves celebrating Christmas and the New Year--revealing that they have let themselves go. Vigilant members, who take pride in the standards demanded by the site, called for action."

Greg Hodge, the site's managing director, said in a statement that the service "responded to complaints by moving the newly chubby members back to the rating stage. This is the same as having them re-apply. Their re-applications were reviewed by existing members and only a few hundred were voted back in. Over 5,000 were rejected."The United States led the list of ousted members with 1,520 people being told to leave the social network. The site also let go of 832 people from the U.K. and 533 from Canada. Russia lost the fewest people with just 88 being told to find a new social network.

"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," Hodge said in a statement. "The USA 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."

"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," BeautifulPeople.com founder Robert Hintze said in a statement. He went on to say that allowing those members to stay on the site "is a direct threat to [the company's] business model and the very concept for which BeautifulPeople.com was founded."

Now it's time to hear from you. Did BeautifulPeople go overboard? Is the site itself troubling, since users are judged by their looks? Let us know in the comments below.