Things had taken a turn for the real fuckin bad down at the local LifeManagement4Life centre

There had been many new and wonderful ideas put into practice by President Hair’s coalition of Liberal Compassionates and Neo-Luddites but the preposterous malignance of Pretty-Making had taken things to a new level.

Despite banning publications like Cosmo for the negative imagery they forced down people’s throats (not to mention the pollution they caused) and dubbing advertising ‘institutional violence’, President Hair, or somebody in his office, had come up with the idea that a pretty face is a happy soul. Wanting to make everyone as equal as possible (amongst the common folk at least) Hair, or somebody in his office, had decided on a quite revolutionary scheme to improve personal happiness.

All Misaligneds were required to undertake a beauty test in which a whole host of attributes were analysed and discussed by a panel of Holistic Medicine Technicians. If you failed, under the knife you went. It was a rather literal take on the remit to restructure each person’s life. If anyone refused their voluntary-compulsory surgery they were sent to solitary confinement, to rooms with wall-to-wall mirrors and huge speakers piping through messages telling them how ugly and disgusting they were. Distressed and crying people were taken from these mini-detention centres straight to surgery once they had relented. It didn’t take long, as you can imagine. That’s where the young man was headed.

“People want to, and should, feel good about themselves,” reasoned President Hair. “These measures can only be beneficial in the long run. You’ll feel better after surgery. It is obviously making society better and I don’t think anyone can argue with that now. After all, a pretty face is a happy soul.”

When people returned to the main Misaligned population they were often hard to recognise depending on the severity of their procedure. In some cases only the voice remained of the original person. Pontiff had taken his test the week before. Happily he’d been deemed attractive enough in his own right and was not part of the group liberally and compassionately described as Fatties and Uglies.

– from Ed Spencer’s The People’s Republic of Absurdia

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