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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Ugly Entrepreneurs?

So I’m sitting on the plane, reading through my magazines. I subscribe to quite a number of magazines. Most of them are virtuous business magazines. Entrepreneur, Inc., Wired, FastCompany, BusinessWeek, Fortune, Forbes. I get them all. But something is beginning to bother me. Where are the ugly, homely entrepreneurs and millionaires?

Today’s business magazines like to highlight case stories. Usually they’re very inspiring --- the guy who franchised scooping dog poop … or the woman who puts passion fruit in hot chocolate and sells it in Europe. The magazines regale us with their stories and inspire us to think that we too could become rich and ultra happy if we just jumped out with our great idea. And they always have pictures of these people – the entrepreneurs, business tycoons, inventers and other rain makers in society.

Usually the subjects of the story are photographed in jeans and nice sweaters. Most often they’re in jeans. Many times they are barefooted. I’ve never figured out why people photograph better in their bare feet, but apparently they do. They have dazzling smiles, perfect skin, good hair, and few wrinkles. Rarely are they old. I begin to wonder why.

I’m sitting on an airplane catching up on my reading. I get up and take a stroll through the plane. Most of the people on it are business people. Most of them are not that pretty. I wonder if these are the real people who run the world. They have thinning hair, thickening waistlines, wrinkles, and not a single one is in his or her bare feet.

Arriving back at my seat, I had an upgrade to first class, so I survey that cabin. No, these people are even uglier than the people in coach. There are no super models in first class on this flight! I pick up my stack of magazines and lay them out to see what’s on the cover of each. In every case, it’s someone attractive. They are the stereotypical entrepreneur, business tycoon, etc. Even the computer nerds are pretty boys. In fact, the homeliest person on any of these magazine covers would have to be Meg Whitman (CEO of eBay) --- and few people would consider her ugly.

The worst magazine was from my home town. The local city magazine had as its feature story, a guy who has been named “Citizen of the Year.” I don’t know who named him that or why. But he sure is pretty. And besides the cover, there are several more pictures of him inside, in varying poses. It’s like he has had very own modeling portfolio published!

So here’s the question. Can fat, ugly people start or run successful businesses? Can old people with thinning hair and bad skin launch game-changing social organizations?

1 comment:

  1. Maximilian12:06 PM

    I searched google fearing this same idea. Frankly this blog isn't very reassuring. But I will persevere. I'll die before I settle 9-5 as a permenant means. I will continue until business works out.