The fashion world and major modeling agencies were shaken today by news that the National Association for Ugly People (NAUP) has sued a wide group of designers, agencies and photographers, alleging that the defendants have engaged in a widespread conspiracy of illegal discrimination against less-attractive people.
“For too long, it’s been acceptable for pretty women and hunky men to be on the front covers of magazines and strutting down fashion runways,” said Fenster Beckworth, the executive director of NAUP. “Our members have been the invisible people of this world, cleaning their toilets, cooking their meals and running their cash registers. It’s time for ugly people to get their day in the limelight.”
Beckworth said because ugliness is a birth defect that many people have no control over, it is covered under the Americans With Disabilities Act and that discriminating on the basis of looks is flatly illegal.
Bertha Dalrymple, 36, of Wilmington Heights, Tenn., is the lead plaintiff in the suit. (See photo provided by NAUP.) Beckworth said Dalrymple has tried unsuccessfully for more than 15 years to get modeling jobs, but she’s been turned down despite having high qualifications. Dalrymple took several years of modeling classes as a teen-ager and is a member of multiple professional organizations.