Wanted: "Ugly ducklings"

The "beauty disadvantaged" are invited to flock to Mount Isa, where they'll be treated as swans.

Published August 18, 2008 8:30PM (EDT)

The mayor of a remote Australian mining town where men outnumber women 5-to-1 has a message for all the lonely, unattractive women out there: Move to Mount Isa, where you'll get some action so long as you have a pulse!

Last week, Mayor John Molony shared an observation with the Townsville Bulletin: "Quite often you will see walking down the street a lass who is not so attractive with a wide smile on her face. Whether it is recollection of something previous or anticipation for the next evening, there is a degree of happiness." I imagine this shocking discovery -- that even the town's "not so attractive" women were happy -- raised a perplexing question for Molony: What on earth do unattractive women have to smile about? Why, it must be that Mount Isa's lonely cowboys and desperate miners are settling for any woman they can get! That's when genius struck: "If there are five blokes to every girl, we should find out where there are beauty-disadvantaged women" -- um, points for political correctness? -- "and ask them to proceed to Mount Isa," he proposed.

To explain his rationale, Molony invoked the familiar fairy tale about "an ugly duckling that evolves into a beautiful swan" and said, "I'm a bloke who respects women. I believe we should look after women." Even the fuglies, how charitable.

Maybe next Molony will attempt to revitalize the town's tourism industry with travel discounts for the "beauty disadvantaged." I can see it now: "Plastic surgery? $12,000, minimum. Self-esteem boosting therapy? $3,000. A trip to Mount Isa? Only $500!" Or: "From ugly duckling to swan in just one flight!"

By Tracy Clark-Flory

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