TIME relationships

Man Who Really Cannot Handle Rejection Steals His OkCupid Date’s Phone

Online dating
Getty Images

And then he hacks her OkCupid account like a true gentleman

Anyone who’s ever used online dating site OkCupid knows it can be a convenient way to connect with somebody really interesting and worthwhile. Or, it can be a festering cesspool of awkwardness, crawling with weirdos and people who just can’t find it in them to stop talking about how study abroad changed their life.

But usually, the worst thing those weirdos ever do is talk way too much about Game of Thrones, and the worst thing the study abroad enthusiasts do is assure you that in Spain, they never would be eating dinner this early.

So really, they are all pretty harmless compared to the Brooklyn man who stole his date’s iPhone — and hacked her OkCupid account — after she rejected him. It all began when, after a few drinks, the 24-year-old suitor invited his 22-year-old companion back to his apartment, the New York Post reports. She declined, and he then followed her to the subway station and threw a water bottle at her. She got away from him, but he did manage to steal her phone.

The man, who police are still seeking, used the phone to text the woman’s friend and then log into her dating profile. He uploaded photos and then changed her profile to say “I’m available for threesomes,” she told the Post.

So, next time your OkCupid date tries to speak to you in Dothraki or talks too much about how much Kenya changed him, consider yourself lucky. Things could be way, way worse.

TIME Personal Finance

Why Millennials Would Choose a Root Canal Over Listening to a Banker

Bank Investor Returns Seen Rising to Most Since 2007 on Test
Pedestrians walk past a Citigroup Inc. Citibank branch in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, March 5, 2013. The six largest U.S. banks may return almost $41 billion to investors in the next 12 months, the most since 2007, as regulators conclude firms have amassed enough capital to withstand another economic shock. Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Fed up with indifference, Millennials envision a bank-free existence.

It’s symbolically important that a dozen or so former bank buildings around the country—some road kill from the recession—have been turned into thriving nightclubs. The young adults who frequent these dens would tell you it’s a far better use of the space; they have little interest in banks, period.

You don’t have to look hard to find out why. Millennials have a whole new set of money issues that banks do not address in a relevant way: this generation is loaded with student debt that’s difficult to refinance; grossly underemployed without access to capital to start a business, or three; and hungry for financial guidance that isn’t self serving. Millennials also want to conduct their affairs on a smartphone, not go to a bank branch—ever.

This generation does things differently. Couples are quicker to mingle their financial accounts. They are more likely to piece together a career through four or five jobs. They share cars and apartments. They are ultra connected and enjoy teamwork and collaboration, and value experiences and meaningful employment above high pay. All this has huge and largely ignored implications for banks that just want to issue a mortgage, auto loan, or credit card. From the Millennials’ point of view, they don’t get it.

A third of Millennials say they will lead a bank-free lifestyle in the near future, according to new research from Scratch, an in-house unit of Viacom that consults with brands. Half of Millennials say they are counting on startup firms to overhaul how banks work, and 75% say they would prefer financial services from the likes of Google, Amazon, and PayPal. They expect technology companies to change the industry—not banks.

This is a thunderous warning shot for banks, which Millennials—our largest generation at around 80 million—see as a cookie cutter industry with little interest in innovation or differentiation. A third of young adults are ready to switch banks in the next 90 days; 53% say all banks are the same. Visiting a branch is like getting a root canal: 71% of Millennials would rather go to the dentist than listen to a bank’s message.

With numbers like that you might expect they’d also stay away from former bank buildings—just because. Then again, Millennials may find a level of catharsis partying in places like The Vault in Sacramento, Calif., (formerly Bank of Italy), Capitale in New York (formerly Bowery Savings bank), and Bond in Boston (formerly a Federal Reserve building). It feels a little like grave dancing.

“None of the big banks have made a public shift from selling credit to empowering human endeavor,” says Scratch executive vice president Ross Martin. He believes there is an opportunity for banks that can flip the switch. Millennials grew up believing they were special and could not be stopped. They’ve been pummeled by reality but yet retain a high level of confidence and optimism. According to Scratch research:

  • 73% of Millennials say when they decide to do something no one can stop them.
  • 80% say they are sure they will get what they want in life.
  • 82% own their future; saying when they fail at something it’s their fault—not someone else’s.

“This generation needs someone to bet on them,” says Martin. It’s not enough for a bank to be reliable, trustworthy, green, and community oriented. Bankers need innovative products and services that will help Millennials carve out their unique path to success. They need micro loans and a new way to assess creditworthiness that does not revolve around a single full-time employer. They need impartial counseling on how to save and invest. They’d flock to a bank that felt more like Starbucks or Apple than a hospital operating room.

Rethinking lending and other financial services presents an imposing challenge. Millennials rank the four largest banks among the 10 least loved brands in America, Scratch found. Says Martin: “We’ve never seen numbers like that.” So banks can either figure it out and capture this generation’s heart, or watch the kids dance on their grave.

 

TIME society

Teenager Reportedly Tried to Kill Himself Because He Wasn’t Satisfied With the Quality of His Selfies

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Getty Images/Lonely Planet

Okay, this whole selfie craze is actually becoming a problem

You know those friends you have on Facebook or Instagram who seem like they could possibly be addicted — truly addicted — to taking selfies? Well, for most people, that compulsion is relatively harmless, but for 19-year-old Danny Bowman, it reportedly led to an attempted suicide.

The British teen spent up to 10 hours each day taking photos of himself on his iPhone, the Daily Mirror reports. The addiction became so debilitating that he dropped out of school and retreated into his home for six months.

“I was constantly in search of taking the perfect selfie and when I realized I couldn’t I wanted to die,” Bowman told the Daily Mirror. “I lost my friends, my education, my health and almost my life.”

He nearly overdosed on pills, but his mother intervened and helped keep him alive. Bowman’s case is extreme, yes, but psychiatrists are beginning to consider selfie addiction as a serious mental health issue.

Maybe we should all just stop taking selfies and solely use our smartphones for the truly important things, like pretending we’re texting to avoid saying hello to people.

TIME Millennials

School Bans Teachers From Using Red Ink Because It’s Too Mean

Rory MacLeod / Flickr

Can students not handle being wrong?

Kids these days, they can’t handle any negativity. Stereotypical millennials always need to be rewarded for their accomplishments whether or not they actually accomplished anything. Now, one school is taking this to heart by banning red ink.

At an academy in the U.K. county of Cornwall, teachers have been instructed not to grade papers in red pen because it is a “very negative color,” vice principal Jennie Hick told the Daily Mail. Green was suggested instead for corrections (the opposite of red, we supposed).

What’s more, teachers are encouraged to write “two or three positive comments” about the work handed in, and students can respond to their teachers’ comments in purple. Wonder what color they’ll write their diary entry in when, as adults, they realize everything is a lie and they are not actually special snowflakes?

TIME Work & Life

Sheryl Sandberg and Princeton Mom Want You to Fast Track Your Life

Sheryl Sandberg and Susan Patton
Paul Morigi, Peter Kramer—Getty Images

Their two new books push women in different directions, but they agree on one thing: whatever young women want out of life, they need to get cracking

Two new books promise young women the secrets to achieving their wildest dreams. Facebook exec Sheryl Sandberg’s upcoming Lean In for Graduates is a how-to guide for early 20-somethings hoping to get a head start on their careers. And Marry Smart by Susan Patton (widely known as the “Princeton Mom”) cautions women to focus on their love lives in college so that they can snag a “good” husband and have kids while they still can.

Sandberg and Patton have about as much in common as Kim Jung Un and Beyonce; one has become a feminist role model, the other is the second coming of Phyllis Schlafly. But if you listen closely, they’re both saying the same thing; whether we want a picket-fence family or a professional blastoff, recent graduates like me need to get cracking, because our biology means we may only have one shot at getting it right. Even “leaning in” is almost as much about preparing for a family as it is about winning at work; the idea is to get good enough, fast enough, that your career becomes childproof.

Charlotte Alter – TIME

You could say that when it comes to advising women my age, both Sandberg and Patton have set their watches to Hurry Up Time. Now we don’t just have to be “twice as good to go half as far,” as novelist Fannie Hurst once said, we also have to be twice as fast. Men and cats have nine lives to get it right. Women have only one, so there’s no room for mistakes.

Patton is candid about a young woman’s need for speed when it comes to getting serious about her personal life: “Work will wait; your fertility won’t,” she said on the Today Show. “If you spend the first 10 years out of college focused entirely on building your career, when you finally get around to looking for a husband you’ll be in your 30s, competing with women in their 20s,” she cautioned young women in her Wall Street Journal op-ed. “If you want to have children, your biological clock will be ticking loud enough to ward off any potential suitors.”

Sandberg’s message is more subtle, but equally urgent. “There’s no question that the world moves faster today,” she writes in the introduction to the new Lean In for Graduates. “This means that grabbing opportunities is more important than ever.”

I should note that I fully subscribe to the “Lean In” movement that encourages women to commit to their careers and aim for leadership roles. But what’s left unsaid in that philosophy is the notion that much of “leaning in” is about gaining the clout to be able to lean out when you need to. High-powered executives like Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer can demand an onsite nursery, in her case, or time off or a flexible schedule or any number of things a mom might want. Office administrative assistants or mid-level managers–not so much.

In a frequently quoted chapter of Lean In, “Don’t Leave Before You Leave,” Sandberg encourages women not to hold back at work just because they think they might have children. But the unstated implication is that women should “lean in” especially if they want to have children. The more valued you are at your company, the easier it is get the flexibility you need, and the more you want to return to work after your maternity leave. If your career is a marathon, you want to sprint as far as you can before you start dealing with the complexity of a family.

In other words, there is no room for dilly-dallying in the worlds of Susan Patton and Sheryl Sandberg. Like so much of what young women hear, their advice is punctuated by the persistent tick of the biological clock, thudding under the floorboards like a telltale heart.

And Patton and Sandberg aren’t the only ones out there giving well-meaning advice to my generation and the next one. Actress and writer Amy Poehler’s “Ask Amy” web series helps girls deal with pressing real-life problems. Publications like Cosmopolitan and The New York Times regularly publish roundups of the “best advice for young women in the workplace.” Memoir/polemics like Tina Fey’s 2011 Bossypants and Caitlin Moran’s 2012 How to Be a Woman are huge bestsellers.

But where is all the advice for young men? A quick Google search delivers only reprinted texts from the 1850s and a few choice nuggets from Ben Franklin. Young men aren’t warned about the perils of their future mistakes, or cautioned that one missed opportunity could leave them childless or unfulfilled. Instead, lots of men seem to be following the advice given to young tech entrepreneurs about how to build a good startup. “Fail early, fail fast, fail often” has become a mantra among the young Zuckerberg-wannabes of Silicon Valley. Or, as LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman put it, “you jump off a cliff and you assemble an airplane on the way down.”

Maybe the need for deliberate planning comes from an assumption that women are on a different timeline, one that leaves no room for error, while men have room to experiment. They can go to Nepal for a few years, spend a few more years touring with their band, and then decide it’s time to start medical school at 30. (There are heroic women medical students who also have children, but that particular balancing act is a tough one.) Men can live with someone for a 15 years and then change their minds about marriage, or they can get married early, then divorce, then get married again at 50 and start a brand new family. For women, that’s almost biologically impossible.

In short, men have the luxury of time. Most women don’t. If you subscribe to the Patton/Sandberg model, then you think women have to make sure to get it right on the first try, which is why we need so much strategic advice.

The scary truth is that Sandberg and Patton are probably right. Women do have to plan more. Our mistakes do cost us more. It’s not fair, but it’s not wrong. And it’s making me sweat just to think about it.

So if you’re a millennial woman, you probably don’t have time to be reading pieces like this or books like theirs. Just get cracking. Love, Susan Patton and Sheryl Sandberg.

TIME Religion

Francis: A Pope That Millennials Can Love

Pope Francis greets the faithful as he arrives at Copacabana Beach to celebrate mass on his sixth day in Rio de Janeiro
Pope Francis greets the faithful as he arrives at Copacabana Beach to celebrate mass on his sixth day in Rio de Janeiro, July 27, 2013. Ueslei Marcelino—Reuters

Why young people are ready for the pontiff's call to action

It was a rainy Roman night that surpassed all superlatives. A year ago today, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims waited under their umbrellas in St. Peter’s Square waiting to meet the new pope. After a long wait with a record setting television audience, the mostly young crowd was brought to silence when the new pope was announced: Jorge Mario Bergoglio.

We had briefed ourselves substantially for this moment. We knew all the contenders, and we had read all the biographies. But we most decidedly hadn’t a clue who Jorge Mario Bergoglio was.

But it didn’t take long for that to change. Within minutes of his election, stories about Cardinal Bergoglio’s past went viral on social media. The photos and stories of him washing the feet of AIDs patients, riding the bus to work and ministering to children and their nursing mothers dominated the international news cycle.

From the moment he appeared on the central loggia of St. Peter’s Basilica only wearing a white cassock, we knew Pope Francis was a game changer.

The media became obsessed immediately with every move Francis made. And rightly so, because every action, from paying his hotel bill in person to personally telephoning victims of violence, showed us that this was a man worth following.

As we commemorate Francis’s first anniversary, it seems that his tenure been analyzed from every possible angle: as a spiritual leader, as a manager, as a social justice activist, as a pop culture phenomenon and so on.

Implicit in all these conversations was a mandate and an agenda for change. We know that Francis wants to reform institutions like the Roman Curia and the Vatican Bank. We know that Francis wants to give women a higher place of authority within the Church. And we know that Francis wants the Church to re-engage secular society in a new way, with particular focus on Jesus Christ and a re-thinking of what it means to be a missionary disciple.

But it seems to us that the media’s exhaustive review of Francis’s one-year pontificate has fallen short. Yes, clearly Francis wants to change various functional and pastoral elements of the Church, but more than anything else, it isn’t things that Francis wants to change.

It’s us.

Faith, the pope argues, must change a person. A few years ago, he put it well: “[I]f one is faithful, one changes. Fidelity is always a change, a blossoming, a growth. The Lord brings about a change in those who are faithful to Him. That is Catholic doctrine.”

While the media is still hacking at the leaves, this message strikes at the root of Francis’ pontificate. Perhaps, we’ve missed this because there is a voice missing in this conversation: that of the young. This is unfortunate, because perhaps more than anyone else, our lives will be affected by Pope Francis.

If the Francis agenda is about personal change then the sure catalyst of this reform is mercy. During his first Sunday Mass, he said that mercy was Jesus’s “most powerful message.” His words continue to ring in our ears: “The Lord never grows tired of forgiving us. It is we who tire of asking for forgiveness.”

Millennial Catholics in the United States are especially ready to respond to Francis’s call. We are the only American Catholic demographic that has shown a rise in mass attendance over the past decade. Our mass attendance rates have risen eight percent, while other generations lag or hold steady. Millennial Catholic women are almost twice as likely as Catholic women overall to respond openly to the Church’s teaching on sexuality. And we are the generation that polls both strongly concerned for poor children and for children in their mothers’ wombs. We are a generation that increasingly does not fit the political categories of our parents.

We have also experienced personally the harsh realities of this world, realities like abortion, poverty, excessive materialism and familial discord.

Francis speaks our language. He is a man who, within the context of his humanity, is willing to engage in the gritty new reality that Christians and especially young people find themselves living in. Our generation grew up with close friends who are gay. We all know someone who has had an abortion. Half of us grew up in broken homes.

He has been willing to propose the truths of the faith in a new way: that all men and women are redeemed and made holy by God’s love in Christ and that their authentic individual and communal flourishing must be the fundamental goal of all human activity. He also embodies in his words and his deeds the notion that there is no such thing as liberal Catholic or conservative Catholic, social justice Catholic or social issues Catholic, just Catholic. Or in his words, “missionary disciple.”

But most importantly, Francis has reminded us that the faith is not simply set of rules, regulations and procedures, but a complex human drama about the goodness of creation, the pain of sin and brokenness, and the power of God’s redeeming love.

This is a man and this is a Church that goes beyond contemporary political labels. This is our faith. This is the faith of the Church. And while we look forward to seeing how Francis will change the Church, we also believe that our mission and vocation as young people is to begin the reform with ourselves—right here and right now.

Christopher J. Hale is a senior fellow at Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good. Ashley McGuire is a senior fellow at the Catholic Association.

TIME Retail

Costco Is Facing a Looming, Bulk-Sized Problem

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Spencer Grant—Getty Images/Photo Researchers RM

The suburban, car-loving, McMansion-owning parents of millennials represent Costco’s core customer base. But what about millennials themselves?

As far as retail success stories go, few can compete with Costco’s run in recent years. In surveys, customers routinely weigh in on how much they love the Costco shopping experience, and the company’s unique business model is celebrated in TV documentaries and glowing magazine profiles alike.

But the fact that in early March Costco reported lower-than-expected earnings and its stock price has slumped now has some wondering if the company can stay on its hot growth streak going forward. In particular, concern is being raised that Costco’s membership model and its bulk-goods products don’t appeal to the nation’s young consumers—and that the Costco experience might not be a good match for the millennial generation even after they grow older and have families.

It’s understandable that Costco’s customer base skews older. A car is all but a necessity for the typical “stock up” visit to Costco, and compared to older generations, millennials tend to not own cars and don’t seem to want to own cars. Most Costco stores are in suburban locations, while millennials tend to prefer urban living, and even if they are among the relatively few of their peers who could afford to buy a home, home ownership is less important to them than it was to their parents and grandparents as young adults. So … if you don’t have a car, and you don’t have the money or interest to stock up on two years’ worth of paper towels or mustard, and you wouldn’t have the space in your apartment to store this kind of stuff even if you wanted to, then there’s not much sense in shopping at Costco.

(MORE: Beef: It’s What’s No Longer Affordable for Dinner)

All in all, a member of the millennial generation is highly unlikely to be a Costco customer, unless he or she happens to among the many still living in their parents’ homes (and still taking advantage of their family’s warehouse club memberships).

The idea that Costco has thus far been missing out on the largest generation in American history is an obvious cause for some concern for the company and its investors. In a Q&A session with analysts last week, Costco CFO Richard Galanti was asked about how the warehouse retail giant was trying to draw younger shoppers into its stores. He replied that Costco will be taking incremental steps—adding more organic foods and slowly ramping up online sales, among other initiatives with millennials in mind—but that the company will not be making any dramatic changes any time soon. “We’re not going to do anything rash but we’re also not going to have our head in the sand here,” said Galanti.

As Retail Wire pointed out, Costco has a long way to go to reach millennials via the generation’s favorite mode of communication, social media: “Costco’s Facebook page has 1.1 million likes versus 22.7 million for Target and 34.5 million for Walmart.” Meanwhile, Costco’s Twitter page is reportedly inactive.

In general, Costco’s plan to win over the younger generation seems to be in the taking of baby steps toward meeting their preferences as consumers, while basically just waiting until millennials grow up, buy cars, move out to the suburbs, and (fingers crossed) feel like a Costco membership works for their households. For the time being, Costco doesn’t work for young people simply because “you’re not going to stick big vats of mayonnaise and big stacks of toilet paper in a small apartment,” McAdams Wright Ragen analyst Dan Geiman explained to the Seattle Times. Still, Geiman applauded Costco’s efforts to woo younger shoppers. “Anything you can do to lower the age of your target market is going to be a positive in the longer term,” he said.

(MORE: The New Costco? Buying Meat Out of a Truck in a Church Parking Lot)

What’s unclear is if Costco is doing enough to get younger shoppers on board with what the warehouse membership model has to offer—now, and even more importantly, in the years ahead.

TIME Food and Beverage Industry

Drink Up! Later Last Call Coming to a City Near You?

Getty Images

More cities want to be known as the city that never sleeps. Or at least as the city that isn’t so lame as to force bars to shut down soon after midnight.

Boston has a new mayor, Martin J. Walsh, and he’s hoping to change the city’s image from “puritan” to “cosmopolitan.” Nightlife has traditionally ended early in Boston, with most bars announcing last call at around 1 a.m. That’s also the time the city’s T subway system shuts down. Compared to cities like New York, where last call is 4 a.m. and the subway runs 24/7, Boston’s hours of business can seem like the equivalent of a nagging mom, making sure that everyone gets to bed on time.

Walsh wants to change all that, according to the Boston Herald, which reported that the mayor is announcing in a speech on Friday the launch of a “late night task force” whose mission is to shake off Boston’s stuffy image and make the city more vibrant and attractive to young people, international travelers, and anyone else who expects modern metropolises to offer food, fun, and entertainment 24 hours a day. It looks like the first step in this process will be pushing for later hours at bars and restaurants, perhaps with a 2:30 a.m. last call and the option of staying open until 3:30 a.m. for dancing. Weekend public transportation service could be extended into the wee hours of the morning as well.

Supporters of the initiative say that longer hours in a wide range of businesses have come to be expected in today’s world, and that the move is necessary for the city’s future from a purely economic point of view. “To me it’s not just about being out partying and drinking. I think the world has changed,” Greg Selkoe, founder e-retail apparel seller Karmaloop and creator of a youth-focused nonprofit called Future Boston Alliance, told the Herald. “It’s an economic development issue. If Boston wants to keep up with the rest of the world, it needs to loosen up a bit.”

(MORE: Q&A: Why Taylor Swift Thinks Nashville Is the Greatest Place on Earth)

Massachusetts as a whole seems more amenable to loosening up these days. A bill was recently approved in the house that would allow liquor stores to open earlier on Sundays; they’re currently banned from opening before noon, but if and when the bill officially becomes law, stores would be able to open at 10 a.m.

Boston isn’t the only city eyeing later last calls—and later business hours in general—as a means to juice local business and give downtowns a more youthful edge and vibrant, cosmopolitan feel. Cincinnati, Cleveland, Orlando, and Lincoln, Neb., are among the cities that have either approved or have been having discussions about giving the OK to open containers and longer bar hours in specific neighborhoods. Earlier this year in Colorado, lawmakers proposed new rules that would allow municipalities to let bars stay open as late as 4:30 a.m., rather than shut down at 2 a.m. like they do now.

In many cases, proponents of later hours make the argument that later last calls would make cities safer. Right now, the sidewalks flood with unruly crowds the moment the lights are dimmed, and many of the woozy bar patrons aren’t ready to call it a night. The theory is that with later closing times, bar customers would trickle out periodically as the night grows longer, decreasing the chances of a mob scene when the doors are finally shut.

(MORE: New Way to Save Downtown: Open-Air Drinking, Longer Bar Hours)

This is exactly the argument being made in Montreal right now, even though the bar closing time is currently 3 a.m. Mayor Denis Coderre is pushing a pilot project that would give bars to have the option of staying open until 6 a.m. “The reason is pretty simple, and it’s also a matter of security,” Coderre explained, per CBC News. “When we close the bars at 3 a.m., everybody is getting out into the street at the same time. And then you have some people fighting, you have some security problems, and of course you have the noise that comes with it.”

TIME society

Study: Millennials Lean Left But Reject Labels

Unattached to party and religious labels, millennials are forging a unique identity for themselves in adulthood

The so-called millennial generation is one of the most independently minded in recent U.S. history, according to a new study.

Millennials, those born after 1980 and who represent the most racially diverse generation in America, are more detached than previous generations to institutions of religion, politics and marriage, but more digitally networked, according to the Pew Research Center survey released Friday. And while many millennials voted for President Barack Obama and are politically left-leaning, relatively few are attached to the Democratic Party. Millennials recorded one of the highest levels of institutional disaffiliation for any generation in the two-plus decades Pew has been polling on the issue.

Millennials, who make up 27 percent of the adult population in the U.S., are more likely than previous generations to say there isn’t a great deal of difference between the Republican and Democratic parties. Over half of them choose not to identify with either political party. Yet millennials continue to view the Democrats more favorably than the Republicans, standing out as the only generation in which conservatives do not significantly outnumber liberals, according to Pew.

TIME

Nissan’s Ugly Little SUV: Now Uglier Than Ever

New Nissan JUKE: Designed to thrill
Nissan—Wieck

What does an automaker do when one of its cars is bashed as hideous? Well, Nissan decided to accentuate the features people hated to make the car stand out even more from the pack.

Introduced in the 2011 model year, the Nissan Juke has quickly ascended to the top of many automotive enthusiast lists. Not in terms of reliability or fuel economy or value—but for sheer ugliness.

Readers at Car Throttle voted the Juke into its “Top 10 Ugliest Cars Ever Made” lists, and a Motor Trend forum gave the Juke the Ugliest Car Award. While not at the very top of Edmunds “100 Ugliest Cars of All Time,” the Juke did get bashed by editors thusly: “It has at least six headlights and fenders that seem tacked on as an afterthought. It’s proudly peculiar and un-pretty.”

Nissan has good reason to embrace the Juke’s peculiarity, however, even if its most unique attributes are considered unattractive by the masses. For all the criticism, the vehicle has been a sales success. The automaker has sold 420,000 Jukes worldwide in less than 40 months, including 135,000 in 2013. Nissan will take those kinds of results over a “pretty” car that’s a sales dud any day.

(MORE: Selling Cars to Millennials: Quirky Models, Flashy Colors Aim to Get Gen Y Out of Neutral)

Now, Nissan is pushing the peculiar angle even further. This week at the Geneva Motor Show, the automaker announced that the Juke, a “design trend-setter” in its own words, will be redesigned in even more “dramatic” fashion. The new model, on sale in Europe this summer (and perhaps soon thereafter in North America, though plans haven’t been released), is even more angular than its “ugly” predecessor, and its rounded front end features odd pointy lights stretching around the hood.

Clearly, the original Juke was polarizing—hated by many, but purchased and described as “cute” by many others—and the new model will be more so. “Great design often is polarizing,” Nissan spokesman Travis Parman told USA TODAY. “Juke is a fun car that allows for more assertive expression—which is exactly what many buyers want.”

Nissan is hardly the only automaker that’s been toying with design described as ugly or, more generously, “polarizing.” The Kia Soul and Honda Element are among the small SUVs launched in the recent past with distinct—some would say homely—exteriors.

(MORE: Will Millennials Change How Cars Are Bought and Sold?)

More recently, Jeep has redesigned one its crossover SUVs and introduced another that have both been subject to unkind attention due to their appearances. Plenty of hate has accompanied the tweaked new grill on the Jeep Cherokee, described by CNN Money in a mostly glowing review as a “strange look, kind of like it got its nose stuck in a print roller.”

The initial reactions to Jeep’s “crazy” little new SUV, the subcompact Renegade, have been all over the map. Many say it got walloped with the ugly stick, while others love its boxy body, garishly bright exterior colors, and most of all that it’s not just another boring, vaguely CR-V-like crossover. “I think it looks pretty cool,” Karl Brauer of Kelley Blue Book said to MLive.com. “It’s going to be a massive success. That small SUV market … is going to be hot in the U.S. and globally. I think the timing on it is very good.”

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