Deborah Ross: At last, a dating website for the plain ugly

If you ask me...

If you ask me, I'm wondering about the news that a dating website called has allegedly slung out 30,000 people because they aren't beautiful enough. "We have to stick to our founding principles of only accepting beautiful people," said their managing director, adding: "We can't just sweep 30,000 ugly people under the carpet." Can't you? OK, 30,000 is a big ask, but I swept a couple of ugly people under the carpet the other day and they were fine about it. "I'm used to it," said one, "sweep me under good and proper", while the other said: "I would caution you to mind my hair, but as it's a frizzy mess of the kind that looks as if I've rubbed it vigorously on the underside of a carpet, I'm guessing there is no point. Sweep me under good and proper too, and make sure you shove my legs right in. No-one wants to see the legs of ugly people sticking out from under carpets."

Still, ugly people – as well as plain people generally – must fight back, which is why I have established, the first service of its kind, and an exciting advance in dating. Or, as our MD puts it: "This will allow plain people to connect with other plain people, some of whom may even be under a carpet in a different room." will have as exacting standards as its beautiful counterpart, and no-one can join unless they can answer "yes" to all the following:

1. Do I have hair which looks as if it's been rubbed on the underside of a carpet even on the days it hasn't?

2. Do I always hand over my passport with my eyes closed just in case it falls open at the photograph page?

3. Have I tried to love the skin I'm in and did I look at it from all angles before concluding: "Sorry, no can do?"

4. Did I always doubt that it's about "inner beauty", most particularly when boys were throwing rocks at me?

5. When I am swept under the carpet, do I complain about dust and breathing difficulties, or do I stay quiet as I don't want to give the impression I have as much right to live as anyone else?

If you have said "yes" to all the above, congratulations – you can join And if you want further heartening news think on this: plain people never wake up one day and discover they are not plain anymore. This is just the kind of thought that can keep you going, particularly when you are stuck under a carpet with your knees drawn up to your chin.