EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was published in October 2009.
Philadelphia wasn't listed on Travel+Leisure's 2013 list of "Least Attractive People" where Washington D.C. took top prize.
For the third year in a row, our not-so-fair city was ranked the ugliest in Travel+Leisure’s “America’s Favorite Cities” survey.
Ranked dead last in the “attractive people” category out of the 30 major American cities on the list was not the end of the bad news. For the third year running we are also ranked as extremely unfriendly (26th out of 30) and not the least bit athletic (28th out of 30).
Now before you all start the “wah-wah-everybody-hates-us” barrage of outraged self-pity, we’re going to throw a novel idea out there:
It’s your own damn fault, Philadelphia.
No, we’re not saying you should have run to your nearest plastic surgeon, or stopped breeding, to prevent the ugly title again. We’re saying you’re the ones saying you’re ugly.
This was a voluntary survey. Anyone could go on the site and vote his city the best at everything. We even gave you a heads up and told you to vote us pretty this year.
No, there isn’t any conspiracy theory to be had here. The most attractive city of Miami did not sabotage the voting. And no, Travel+Leisure is not out to get us. They actually tried to soften the blow by saying, “We have a lot of brotherly love for Philly,” much like the way nice, confident people do for those with really low self-esteem.
Other cities simply made favorable votes about their homes, while Philadelphians bashed themselves with the ugly stick.
This city has a self-imposed inferiority complex, the origins of which are a mystery as this was one of the grandest cities in America, with a history, culture and architecture that are unmatched.
And yet, like an anorexic teenager who only sees fat in her reflection, Philadelphia voted itself into the bottom -- again.
We admit Philadelphia is not exactly the model capital of the world, but we don’t deserve to be last on the list. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And Philly’s vision is poor and self-deprecating.
Or maybe we do deserve the ugly title. Low self-esteem is an incredibly unattractive quality.