Are you Fugly? There's an app for that.

As the latest in our line of Hot Air Public Services to Improve Your Lives, we bring you yet another essential tool for managing your affairs. Even if you happen to have a job, friends and your health, you still need something to worry about. So with that in mind… are you good looking enough? Even if you think you’re not too hard on the eyes, how would you really know? Your friends may not be all that reliable of a guide. After all, if they truly like you, maybe they just don’t want to hurt your feelings and tell you that you’ve actually got a face that could peel paint off the walls.

Fear not! There’s an app for that.

“When your friends won’t tell you the truth, the Ugly Meter will.” So goes the tagline for the latest iPhone app sensation, which recently shot up to second place in the iPhone app store, just behind Angry Birds. The app was also the top seller in China for weeks. Created by Jo Overline and Ryan Allen of Arizona, the app has been around since 2010, but only hit the mainstream after its latest iteration, the Ugly Meter Pro, was featured on Howard Stern’s radio show. Here, a guide to the iPhone’s newest hit:

How does the Ugly Meter work?
The app snaps your picture, then “scans” your face, calculating its contours, symmetry, and proportions. The app pronounces your ugliness on a scale of 1 to 10 — with 10 being the ugliest — accompanied by corresponding quips. A low score will earn you praise (“You’re so hot that you make the sun jealous”), while a high score will result in insults (“You’re so ugly, you could make a glass eye cry”).

The article chooses to focus on whether or not this app will be used by school children as a tool for bullying, but then again, what doesn’t get that treatment these days? It seems to me that bullies will be bullies and it’s up to parents to handle that, not Apple.

So does it work? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, of course, but there seem to be a few standards that most people agree on. Angelina Jolie scored a 2 on the Ugly Meter. (So hot she makes the sun jealous.) David Cameron rings up a score of seven. (If ugly were bricks, you’d be the great wall of China.) So far so good.

But the same tool rated Cheryl Cole with a 4.2. (Wow, you’re ugly! Is your doctor a vet?) Dannii Minogue nearly pegged the meter on the ugly side at 9.8 and Brad Pitt came in as uglier than David Cameron. Is there really any sort of high tech facial recognition behind this program, or is it just ripping you off for a few bucks and popping out random scores?

I don’t use an iPhone, but I’m sure many of Hot Air’s readers do. Anybody have this app loaded up? How did you score?

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David Strom 12:01 PM on October 07, 2022