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Beautiful People don't get the Irish male's animal magnetism

Are you an ugly guy? Seriously, though. Not totally hideous, not a Celtic Quasimodo, but just a little bit of a munter? Do you have a really low forehead and lab-rat pale skin? Or perhaps your default expression is 'gormless'? Or maybe you tense up when they take a photo of you because you know you'll look horrible in it.

If all of these things are the case, then don't worry! You're just Irish. And we are the mingin-est guys in the world. So say the good folks at beautifulpeople.com -- a newly popular dating site which weeds out applicants if they're too wonky-looking, which Irishmen mostly are.

The website, which claims it has five million members worldwide, asks applicants to submit a photo and then over a 48-hour period, existing site members are asked to vote on whether they should be accepted -- like a sort of ethnic-cleansing system for munters.

According to a spokesperson less than 10 per cent of all the Irishmen who apply are accepted.

To add insult to insult, they think we're even uglier than British men and nobody on Beautifulpeople.com would shag a Brit unless they had 10 pints on them (which would never happen -- that's how you stay beautiful -- by not drinking so much).

"Unfortunately, it is the case that Irishmen are not very successful at getting on the site. Around nine per cent of applicants get through," Miki Haines-Sanger perkily told Newstalk's breakfast show last week.

So who does she and her fellow beautiful people think are more attractive than us? Brazilians, Yanks and Scandinavians, mainly.

"Other countries are sunnier and you get more applicants who have beach-bodied tan," Miki explained, helpfully. "They look happier and more relaxed in their profile pictures. They will use outdoor, sunlit photos, whereas a lot of the Irish photographs are from the inside of a pub, for example. Those are not the best ones to upload."

Obviously, what Miki (who looks kind of horsey if Google Images is anything to go by -- just saying) doesn't know is that 'looks' are the least of the weapons in the Irish male's dating arsenal.

"World-renowned sense of humour" and "knicker-wetting accent" more than compensate for looking a bit tense and pale with a pint in your hand. That's why for such a small country we have so many male film stars -- we're charismatic, rather than purely photogenic. That's why films like PS I Love You make such a play on how loveable and sexy we are.

And that's why we're so keen to go J1-ing when we're in college -- we know Americans are totally helpless against us.

But nobody humourless enough to refer to themselves as a "beautiful person" would get any of that.

Nevertheless upon hearing of this dating eugenics experiment I needed to see if I passed muster. I airbrushed a snapshot of me to within an inch of its life, digitally removing all traces of tenseness and paleness, until it was unclear if it was me or Angelina Jolie in the picture (Miki had praised those who use "professional" photos, so I felt this would be ok). Then I uploaded it to the site.

There followed a fretty 48-hour wait in which I tossed and turned as perfectly tanned Brazilians laughed and rolled their eyes at me in my dreams. As the clock counted down the final seconds I had to look away. Would there be an appeals board if I was rejected? What if I promised to go to the gym more?

But then suddenly the clock had counted all the way down. And when it had finished, instead of getting a guaranteed congratulatory snog from some gorgeous Scandinavian beauty queen, the screen merely said: "Welcome to Beautiful People. You are now an applicant for the next 0 days, 0 hours and 0 minutes."

I stared at the screen for 20 minutes. No amount of fiddling around with it seemed to do any good. I was stuck in applicant limbo. All that airbrushing for nothing.

But then that's the thing about Beautiful People: they are often quite thick.

Too thick, it seems, to design a website properly. Unless my mug was so offensive that it short-circuited the whole system. That might have happened, now that I think about it.

But Miki's comments on how men from other cultures are better-looking than the Irish annoyed me. You feel like if she had her way we'd stop drinking and speak in a mid-Atlantic accent that she can understand.

Certainly she'd have us on the treadmill and probably have us worrying about our tinge of ginger hair. Irish women have already given up this battle without much of a struggle, which is why so many of them have orange skin and bottle-blonde hair.

They all want to look like a catalogue model from Sweden. Which is all the more reason that Irish men need to take a firm stand on this. Europeans are dictating to us on the bailout, they're not even letting us win the Eurovision any more and now our big, wide potato faces are not up to scratch?

Well sorry, Beautiful People, but we'll let the French near our corporation tax before we darken the door of a tanning salon.

Sunday Independent