I remember receiving my first Treasure Troll. She (I arbitrarily picked a gender based on hair color) had light blue hair and a slightly darker blue round stone in her belly. My mom gave her to me when I got off the school bus one afternoon.
I was really proud of that doll. I took this troll (which I never named) to my grandmother’s house to show her off.
“Huh,” my grandmother said, “it’s so ugly it’s cute.”
That didn't make any sense.
Is that what “cute” meant? Did cute mean “really really ridiculously bad looking”? People called me cute all the time!
Also, I thought my troll was cute! In the sense I understood it before my world was turned upside down by my grandmother’s proclamation.
How could she think it was ugly AT ALL? Did she not see its glorious hair, its sparkly belly, its smooth genital-free body?
She apologized and bought me another Treasure Troll and eventually a Treasure Troll carrying case, so I got over it.
But the phrase really stuck with me and as I've grown older, I've used it myself. I've heard my grandmother use it to describe babies, but you probably shouldn't do that.
I think “so ugly it’s cute” is the PERFECT way to describe the blobfish, which was recently awarded the title of “ugliest animal" by the Ugly Animal Preservation Society (which actually sounds like somewhere I would really love working).
I really really really love the blobfish. I love his little eyes. I love his blobby nose. I love that his resting face bears a striking resemblance to my own. When I’m not talking or interacting with anyone my mouth is almost always shockingly downturned. I call it "Blobby Resting Face."
So yeah, the blobfish is ugly, but surely THIS is not the ugliest animal. He looks like the Eeyore of the ocean, and who doesn't love Eeyore?
Related: I will tolerate no criticism of Eeyore.
Anyway, uglier animals.
I mean, the first one that comes to mind is the naked mole rat.
It looks like a penis with teeth! Can you think of anything more upsetting?
No. No, you cannot.
When they get pregnant, they look like a bloated penis with teeth.
This is obviously terrifying.
If it’s an ugly fish you want, I've got your ugly fish.
This jerk (the anglerfish).
Not only is this girl ugly (for the females are the scary ones) she is also a dick. She lures smaller fish over with her shiny light (WHERE DID SHE GET THAT LIGHT GUYS?) and then eats them, which is the height of rudeness.
I mean I can see why the Ugly Animal Preservation Society wouldn't want this fish to represent them. If I saw some promotional material with the anglerfish’s ugly mug on it, I would be all “Let them die off, for this is the stuff of nightmares, and maybe you guys should change your name to ‘Nightmare Preservation Society.’”
Then there is Wilbur the Turkey, who was deemed "too ugly too eat". He's probably cool with that, though.
Besides being underweight, having a limp, and being “misshapen,” he also seems to have a scrotum growing off of his neck.
AND WHAT’S WITH HIS SNOOD? Is it melting off of his head? Did you know snoods are erectile? That’s right; it’s a face penis.
Turkeys have penises on their FACES.
So that’s just three animals I think are uglier than the blobfish. I could do this all day. I love ridiculing nature.
But in all "seriousness," I understand why the blobfish won. The actual contest was “favorite ugly animal” and this is my favorite “ugly” animal. The Ugly Animal Preservation Society (where IS their careers page?) needed a mascot, an Eeyore, a Treasure Troll. They needed something so ugly it’s cute. The blobfish was actually an excellent choice.
Before I leave you, I want to mention one more homely beast. You know those upright ape-like creatures? They’re hairless and get all pimply sometimes? Some of them aren't pimply though, some of them get all flaky?
They have weird mating rituals too. They smear pigmented material all over themselves and try to drastically alter their scent?
Do you know what those things are called?
Tweet me if you know their name @clairelizzie