With two recent movies spawned by the Snow White fairy tale (for those living in a cave: Mirror, Mirror with Julia Roberts and Snow White and the Huntsman with Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron, not to mention hunk-o-the-month Chris Hemsworth), we do indeed seem to be living in a "who's the fairest of them all" era. For those of us who lack magic talking mirrors, there's an app that's ready to help us answer that timeless question. Or at least figure out how ugly we are.
Ugly Meter app
The Ugly Meter is advertised thusly on iTunes: "Do you ever wonder if you're ugly and your friends just don't tell you? Do you have an ugly friend, and you just don't know how to tell them?
The Ugly Meter takes your photo and scans the details of your face to give you a rating of 1-10 on the Ugly Scale. If you rate a 10, you probably have a face that only a mother could love. Depending on how bad your rating is, the Ugly Meter will comment on your looks!"
Brad Pitt through the Ugly Meter Pro
You snap a picture of you (or your victim). The app scans the photo and evaluates it based on things such as facial symmetry, proportions and shape. It then spits out a score from 10 to 0. Unlike the Dudley Moore/Bo Derek movie romp, in this case, a 10 signifies the ugliest and a zero means you're hot. Then, depending on your score, it will insult you with a clever put-down, such as "any similarity between you and a human is purely coincidental." All this for 99 cents! Or $4.99 for the PRO upgrade, where the scale goes to 100. (Why not 11?!?!?)
Of course, the Ugly Meter is a complete joke. A user can submit the same photo half a dozen times and receive different results every time. And the app creators, the Dapper Gentlemen, go so far as to poke fun at all the press they have received about this app, including featured stories on CBS and MSNBC, the Today Show, the Tonight Show, the Huffington Post, the Daily Mail and Howard Stern, many of whom don't seem to get the joke.
But maybe the problem is that our whole social milieu has become an Ugly Meter. Back in 1999, there was the attractiveness rating website called Rate My Face, which then was superseded by Hot or Not, which was apparently an inspiration for Mark Zuckerberg's first foray into social media creation, Facemash, which used hacked images of his Harvard classmates' ID photos to create a "who's the fairest of them all" smackdown. The next-gen spawn, Facebook, allows us do that in a "kinder, gentler" fashion as we scroll through all those photos of fabulous vacations and remodeled kitchens and pretty babies and that "friend" who always posts a shot of herself posing with her leg jutting forward in classic model style, as if looking for affirmation that she's still hot after all these years.
It's all about the ranking and the rating... from reality television shows that are competitions in which the audience votes to eliminate the "less fair" (singer, dancer, etc., etc.) to best seller lists and box office returns and the ceaseless political polls.
When did we forget how to judge for ourselves?
Hey, just look in the mirror...
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