General Question

cutiepi92's avatar

Do you believe that there are people in the world that are actually ugly?

Asked by cutiepi92 (2252points) July 15th, 2013

I’m talking about physically, not personality wise. Personality wise I have met and seen people who are downright hideous. No no this is all about aesthetics.

I’m kinda veering towards the side of no or yes, but it is extremely rare. I have rarely seen people in this world that are just really ugly, for the most part it seems like anyone’s appearance can be altered or “made beautiful” simply by a change in makeup, hair, and clothing choices. If you look at celebrity pictures without makeup or from when they were children, there is nothing that tends to be just extremely exceptional about them (except for the occasional one). I do believe there are people that are just ridiculously naturally attractive, but no one is “ugly”. Anyone can be pretty or handsome, some might just might be slightly prettier or more handsome than someone else.

How do you feel about this? Do you agree or disagree? (I’m asking this because I’m bored and was reading an article about the magic behind makeovers.)

Why do we place so much emphasis on physical attractiveness whether it is just society in general or even when searching for a partner when it is possible for anyone to become attractive?

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40 Answers

Jeruba's avatar

Yes, at least in the eyes of some. Most of us fall in the midrange somewhere, but there are a few at either extreme.

My sister had a classmate in nursing school who was pretty far out on the wrong end of the bell curve. She was a nice girl with a sweet personality, but it hurt my eyes to look at her. It seemed that most people around her had a similar reaction.

It wasn’t just a lack of attractiveness (the absence of some nebulous positive quality); it was the disharmony (the presence of a negative quality), of pinched and badly shaped features that just seemed to constantly beg to be corrected. You’d look away, and think you must be overreacting, and look again, and you weren’t.

It would have taken a lot more than superficial adornment to change that.

According to my sister, she graduated from nursing school and became an excellent nurse. Not too long afterward, a grateful patient fell for her and married her. Her looks didn’t put him off at all.

flutherother's avatar

Ugliness like beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

zenvelo's avatar

Yes, some people are, unfortunately, ugly.

A friend is a psychologist in a public health care clinic in rural California. After nine months there she said she had changed her opinion on this question, because she met people who were so unattractive that they never left the house from fear of staring, and were essentially unemployable.

She had always believed it was a matter of taking the time to dress neatly and take care of oneself, that one could at least be presentable. But after months of dealing with an underclass, she’d realized that some people can’t do anything to make themselves okay or to hide in the background.

Pandora's avatar

Some of these people qualify. Although I will say I do not agree with the whole list as to who is the ugliest. But the first on the list was Micheal Jackson and I will have to agree that he made himself quite hideous towards the end there.

Rarebear's avatar

Oh my goodness, yes.

cutiepi92's avatar

@Pandora well to be fair, some people on that list are have either altered their appearance with surgery or have a disease. Neither counts. Michael Jackson was adorable as a child and young man.

I’m talkin about all natural looks. And no, I do not count any type of orthodontic help (getting teeth fixed) as really “plastic surgery”........don’t know why, but I just don’t lol.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

Beauty is just a matter of symmetry and dimensions. A beautiful person has a well-defined facial structure (“good bones”), and his/her features are the right size for that face. Also, the facial features are arranged according to certain measurements.

Beauty ideals differ among cultures, but they’re easy to define within a culture.

So, have I ever met anyone who’s “ugly” according to western standards? Yes, both male and female.

My nasty ex-fiancĂ© married the ugliest woman I’ve ever seen, and she’s also about 100 lbs. overweight. Being only human and sometimes prone to cattiness, I got an unreasonable amount of schadenfreude from that.

Coloma's avatar

Yes, there are some humans that are going to be less attractive, based on whatever measuring stick the culture uses. One persons ugly is another persons ideal. Of course, certain traits would lead to ugliness on the external level across many cultures.
Hairy moles on the tip of ones nose, deformity from disease, accidents and just plain goofy faced humans. lol

On the other side, true ugliness is always an inner job, regardless of the physical.

keobooks's avatar

I’ve been really guilty a long time in my life because there was a girl in my church who was so ugly I was OBSESSED with her looks. I would constantly draw pictures of all of the various procedures I’d order to “fix” her. She was the first person in my life that made me question the phrase “God doesn’t make mistakes”. I was convinced she was God’s “oops” child.

AshLeigh's avatar

Yes. But beauty without intelligence is a masterpiece painted on a napkin.

ucme's avatar

A face that only a mother could love, like a bulldog licking piss off a thistle…yup, some are out there.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Why wouldn’t there be? If there were no unattractive people how would anyone tell what attractive is? If everything was salty you’d never know what sweet was. Rosie O;Donnell should have been way closer to the top of that list.

Katniss's avatar

@Pandora Great link. I disagree with a couple however. That’s a bad pic of Marilyn Manson. I actually think he’s pretty fucking hot. Ok, so I’m a freak. lol
I also think Kelly Osborne is quite beautiful.

I’ve come across a few people in my life that are so ugly it’s hard not to stare.
I’m not saying that I’m gorgeous or anything, but some people are just downright offensive to my eyeballs.

cutiepi92's avatar

Damn, y’all are harsh lol. I guess I’ve just been blessed to have never met anyone that was so ugly it hurt my eyes lol. Everyone that I have seen that wasn’t on the attractive side was only that way due to disease, excessive (morbidly obese) weight, bad teeth, poor hair and dress, or lack of makeup. That is to say, no one that was beyond help. Maybe I’m too optimistic about people lol

Bellatrix's avatar

There are people who are on the surface very physically unattractive. I do think if we get to know someone, there is usually something attractive about the ugliest person. Even if it’s their hands, or eyes, or they have a nice nose. Or maybe I just look for something because I hate to think of anyone as ‘ugly’.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

To answer your question, yes. I suppose there are some “ugly” people out there in the world. But over the years I have learned to stop judging people on their appearance. Too many times I have jumped to the conclusion that someone is ugly and then later gotten to know them. Only then did I see them in a different light. Personality is everything. Beauty is within.

josie's avatar

Certainly. Otherwise we would not have use for the word ugly as applied to people.
Victor Hugo wrote whole novels around the notion of ugly in The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Man Who Laughs

rojo's avatar

Almost forty years ago I had two friends, Chris and Gary. They would while away the hours on the walkway overlooking the plaza and fountain at the MSC and rate people walking below them.
Chris was quite free with his “goose eggs” but Gary ever gave anyone anything lower than a one. I asked him about that once and he told me that he believed everyone had some redeeming characteristics and nobody was a zero.
I have remembered what he said all these years and agree 100%

gailcalled's avatar

De Maupassant wrote a famous short story called Boule de Suif, about a very unattractive prostitute called Butterball or Ball of Lard. Source

majorrich's avatar

Beauty is only skin deep, but sometimes ugly goes all the way to the Bone! Marty Feldman was unattractive, but he had a beautiful soul. There are folks that dont have the soul.

Xilas's avatar

there are certainly people in this world which i do not find have any attractive qualities at all. Does that make them ugly people at heart, NO.

Pachy's avatar

Ugliness, just as beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. I refer you to this classic Twlight Zone episode.

rojo's avatar

@Pachyderm_In_The_Room Isn’t that supposed to be beauty is in the eye of the beer holder?

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Well, to be brutally honest, yes. It sucks, but that’s the truth.

woodcutter's avatar

I do believe there is a line that some people are on the other side of, that is a universal definition of ugly. There is to be no disputing of who falls under that description. The outliers are going to err on the side of political correctness or charity. But ya there are some butt ugly people on Earth and hopefully life for them doesn’t suck because of it.

Jeruba's avatar

I don’t remember that she was unattractive, @gailcalled, only plump. I thought she was described as being very appealing and desirable, and at the same time very rotund.

That was always one of my favorite Maupassant stories. Thanks for reminding me of it.

Neodarwinian's avatar

All humans are distributed normally along this line also, so, yes, some people are ugly as to our evolved sense of general attractiveness..

Still, that make little difference to their actual human value, though humans may value them differently because of their ugliness.

ETpro's avatar

It would be just as absurd to insist that all humans are equally attractive as it would be to insist that giants and midgets are actually the same height.

woodcutter's avatar

I personally have never seen one of these people in person. I have seen some distant runners up but even these people were not in the “B.U.” camp.

everyone put up a recent pic of themselves in the avatar

LostInParadise's avatar

We definitely have an innate response to different levels of attractiveness. As has been pointed out above, this is related to symmetry. Appraisal of beauty is cross-cultural to the extent that it involves symmetry. Scientists have wondered if there is an evolutionary component to beauty. Some have suggested that symmetry may be an indicator of the overall health of a person. This article from Nature suggests that symmetry may be important in nature because it makes it makes a an organism more recognizable from different angles (I did not want to pay to read the article but you can get the general idea from the summary).

There has been a lot of research related to waist to hip ratio. This is an interesting concept. The idea is that the attractiveness of a woman across cultures is not related so much to the size of her hip or waist as it is to the ratio between them.

Headhurts's avatar

I have a colleague that I find very unattractive, she is just very weird looking. She is married though, so obviously her husband finds her attractive.

Sunny2's avatar

Those kids in the adverts looking for funds to correct cleft palates. Surgery helps correct the problem, but seldom leaves the condition without scaring. And then there was the elephant man. There are conditions that can make people ugly, but no physical ugliness is worse than an ugly personality.

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
Katniss's avatar

@Headhurts Have you seen her husband? Maybe he’s a hideous chud too?

Headhurts's avatar

@Katniss Yes I have. I personally don’t find him attractive, but he looks just like a standard man.

DWW25921's avatar

Yes. Sometimes I think some folks just give up on themselves. FYI Look up “people of wal-mart” under pictures on any search engine. You’re guaranteed to feel better about yourself in not time!

flatspin's avatar

Yes, there is no cure for ugly!

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

^ There is to a point; they call it cosmetic surgery.

ETpro's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Thankfully, that’s now a cure for a fairly substantial aggregation of ugly. Sadly that cure works in reverse on your net worth, which is another important measure of attractiveness. :-)

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