On the Uglies series

Liking What You See: A Documentary

By Ted Chiang

Beauty is the promise of happiness.


Tamera Lyons, 1st-year student at Pembleton:

I can’t believe it. I visited the campus last year, and I didn’t hear a word about this. Now I get here and it turns out people want to make calli a requirement. One of the things I was looking forward to about college was getting rid of this, you know, so I could be like everybody else. If I’d known there was even a chance I’d have to keep it, I probably would’ve picked another college. I feel like I’ve been scammed.

I turn eighteen next week, and I’m getting my calli turned off that day. If they vote to make it a requirement, I don’t know what I’ll do; maybe I’ll transfer, I don’t know. Right now I feel like going up to people and telling them, “vote no.” There’s probably some campaign I can work for.

Maria Desouza, 3rd-year student, President of the Students for Equality Everywhere (SEE):

Our goal is very simple. Pembleton University has a Code of Ethical Conduct, one that was created by the students themselves, and that all incoming students agree to follow when they enroll. The initiative that we’ve sponsored would add a provision to the code, requiring students to adopt calliagnosia as long as they’re enrolled.

What prompted us to do this now was the release of a spex version of Visage. That’s the software that, when you look at people through your spex, shows you what they’d  …

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