It started with angry old people. When Reno Dehareng’s friend purchased a photo of an unsmiling elderly couple from a vintage store, the 33-year-old Brussels social worker had an idea. The ensuing website, Happiest People Ever ! , has become the latest addition to a growing Internet trend: blogs that catalog uncomfortable photos of strangers.
“I love photography in general and unsmiling, non-photogenic people have always made me laugh,” Dehareng explained in an email to TIME. Readers are invited to submit their own pictures, though in all likelihood, most photos on the site are probably “found” objects similar to the vintage-store snapshot. The concept is catching on. Happiest People Ever ! has been around for less than a month, but it’s already getting about 6,000 hits a day. In part that’s because the qualifications for entry are minimal. Anyone bored, lonely, grumpy or dejected is welcome. Smeared make-up is a plus. So is a dingy background, like a fast food joint or a room with wood paneling.
Dehareng’s blog has a small but active base of commenters. A picture depicting a bored women eating a candleless cake inspired one reader to note, “The cake sucks, the trashy candleholder is pathetic…but I love the decorations on top of the air conditioner.” And the three teenaged girls with hair hanging in their faces A reader reached back to the ’90s with, “The Hansons wonder what happened to their careers.”
So who is the unhappiest person on Happiest People Ever Is it the drunk man with a baby The depressed woman alone at a party Nope think again. The award goes to the elderly people wearing clown costumes, almost certainly against their will. Now that is awkward. And hilarious.
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