General Question

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

Have you heard the phrase, In the land of beautiful people...

Asked by evelyns_pet_zebra (12913points) January 19th, 2009

the ugly man is king? I have heard this phrase quite a few times, and wonder if it really applies to anything, or is it simply a clever saying.

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16 Answers

eambos's avatar

If everyone is the same, the one person who is different will be special.

asmonet's avatar


aprilsimnel's avatar

Oooh, like Harrison Bergeron. Sort of. Well, it’s a great story! Vonnegut FTMFW!

Well, it IS tagged “literature”!

janbb's avatar

I always thought it was, “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.”

Jeruba's avatar

Special, and maybe pecked to death.

eambos's avatar

@aprilsimnel I love that Vonnegut story! It is one of my favorites!

SuperMouse's avatar

This question made me think of that Twilight Zone episode where the doctors were all horrified about how the patient looked. Remember that one? The patient turned out to be a beautiful lady and all the rest of the people looked like this. Creepy, creepy, creepy! That being said, I think Eambos hit it on the head.

@aprilsimnel, lurve for the Harrison Bergeron reference – what a great story!

aprilsimnel's avatar

Yeah, I tell people I know who like The Incredibles to give that tale a spin. It was the first thing I thought of when Dash gets in trouble at school.

The saying I’ve heard is the same as @janbb uses here.

eambos's avatar

What about the Twilight Zone where they wanted to make the girl look beautiful like everyone else, when she was already good looking. By making her look like all the others, she was no longer special.

The pig face episode still freaks me out.

SuperMouse's avatar

@Eambos, it still freaks me out too! I cringed when I found that picture.

Jeruba's avatar

@SuperMouse, I thought of that too. I saw it when it was originally broadcast (we watched TZ faithfully every week at my house), and I still remember how shocked we were at the ending. (@Eambos, I think you might be thinking of the same episode.) It really left a major impression on my young mind, perhaps exactly as Rod Serling intended.

“Harrison Bergeron” is a great story and one that almost has the quality of a myth. I have come back to it again and again over the years as so many things going on around me seemed to be bringing us closer and closer to this no-longer-such-an-extreme fantasy.

eambos's avatar

@Jeruba it’s a similar episode, but different. In it, every person has plastic surgery done as a coming of age ceremony, making everyone beautiful. There is one girl who realizes that she is beautiful because she is different, and refuses to get the sugery. By the end of the episode, the girl is brainwashed and given the plastic surgery, making her a carbon copy of everyone else.

Jeruba's avatar

@Eambos, is that part of the original series?

eambos's avatar

@Jeruba, I believe so. I saw it this past New Years Eve during the Scifi Channel Marathon, but it was opened by Rod Serling and recorded in black and white.

Jack79's avatar

Just my personal experience here: having lived in various countries, I can tell you that it is fairly true in that being different automatically makes you exotic. Being fairly dark myself, I remember being seen as a sex god in England but just an average guy in Greece. And in my recent spell in Poland women saw me as at least “interesting” and ignored my beer-belly. Which means that in Italy I’d probably rate somewhere between Quasimodo and Frankenstein right now.

EmpressPixie's avatar

@aprils: that is my favorite short story.

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