LIMERICK may be a lady, but a global dating website has found that Limerick women aren’t ‘beautiful’ enough in the eyes of men around the world to gain entry to their site.
Over 730,000 people across the globe have been accepted to join a dating site for the world’s most beautiful people, BeautifulPeople.com, but no women from Limerick and just one Limerick man have been accepted by its members.
Prospective members have to wait 48 hours before they are voted in by other members, if they deem them beautiful enough to join.
The site has rejected over five million applicants since it was established in 2001, and Irish men, along with their Polish counterparts, are among the most rejected. Just nine per cent of Irish male applicants are accepted, compared to 45 per cent of Brazilian men, while Irish women have a 20 per cent success rate.
However, one 26-year-old Limerickman has broken through to the “largest internet dating community exclusively for the beautiful”.
The young man, who is well educated and is described as being athletic and ‘outdoorsy’, declined to comment for this article.
But well-known Limerick model agent Celia Holman Lee said maybe good looking Limerick people don’t need a dating site to find a partner, “it’s as simple as that.”
Ms Holman Lee debunked the view that Limerick has no ‘beautiful’ people, pointing to Mr World, Kamal Ibrahim, who hails from the city.
“I don’t think this is anything to do with looks. We have had Miss Irelands from Limerick. And we have fine looking men in Limerick. I just think people haven’t bothered to use the website’s services.”
Miki Haines-Sanger, a spokesperson for the site, said the profile pictures uploaded by the Limerickman did not show him holding a pint of Guinness, but enjoying the outdoors – unlike many other Irish males who seek to join.
“It is a very difficult site to successfully join,” says Ms Haines-Sanger, “because increasingly the standard seems to go up as more people put more effort into their looks. It’s no longer laughable for a man to spend more time grooming his appearance and for women the polished look is coming back.
“The Limerickman uploaded a photo that was genuine, in the outdoors, and projected a clean, healthy living vibe, which strikes a chord with women.”
She said most people are rejected because they upload “a grainy photograph taken on a mobile phone”, or a group shot of them on a night out that has to be cropped, and is then of poor quality.
Most Irishmen submit photos of themselves “with pints in a pub”, but she said the site and its application process “is taken very seriously in other countries and some people try to get professional looking pictures.”
Men, she said, feel awkward about getting their photo taken, while women tend to submit a picture after a long day in the office when “they might be feeling discontent with their lives”, which is also not recommended.
Instead, she suggested Irish women should get their hair done in the morning and take the picture when they are “feeling more robust”.
Ms Haines-Sanger accepts there is “huge” criticism of the site, and said letters of complaint are delivered daily to their offices “because people don’t find it politically correct”.
“In this maze of internet dating there are so many different options. It’s just another option which focuses on the hurdle of the initial attraction. A lot of people really do want to meet someone they’re attracted to. The site isn’t saying this is the only way people should meet,” she said.
*A longer version of this story appears in the Limerick Leader weekend edition