Proof You Should Never Judge A Book By Its Cover

Here are some stories that prove you should never judge a book by its cover!

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They say, “never judge a book by its cover”. But even the best of us are prone to judging people based on their appearance, wealth, or societal status. Because of this, people sometimes hide these things or even downright lie about them!

From a secret millionaire who pretended to be poor to a cop who pretended to be a disabled homeless man, here are some stories of people who received very different treatment once they disguised themselves, and the weird and wonderful reasons why they did so.

Rich Man Pretending To Be Poor To Find True Love

If you’re talking to someone you’ve only met online, there’s always a risk that they’re not quite who they appear to be. But when Vietnamese woman Nguyen Van Anh got talking online with a man she’d met through Facebook, she could never have imagined what would happen next.

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Like many of us, Nguyen had always dreamt of meeting the perfect person to share her life with. Yet she’d stayed single through all of her college years. It wasn’t for lack of attention, a whole ton of guys had tried to pursue her. Even so, nobody felt right for Nguyen. After graduating from college and securing herself a good job, she was still no closer to getting a boyfriend.

But love comes around when you least expect it! One ordinary day back in 2016, Nguyen was scrolling through Facebook when she came across a picture of one of her favorite celebrities, standing with another man she didn’t recognize.

The stranger was tagged in the photo, so out of interest Nguyen clicked through to his profile, he just seemed like a normal guy. Maybe he knew her idol and would be able to set her up to meet him! She excitedly messaged the man to ask, and he responded almost immediately.

His name was Dang Tuan, and he was from Vietnam too, though he was currently living in Russia. Unfortunately however, he didn’t know Nguyen’s celebrity idol. Despite the disappointment, she ended up chatting to Dang Tuan some more, and the conversation evolved onto all kinds of other topics.

Dang was far from what other girls she knew wanted. He didn't spend much, wore plain clothes, and seemed relatively poor. But that didn’t matter to Nguyen, she wanted someone for more reasons than material wealth. Weeks went by, and the two ended up in a whirlwind romance. Before she knew it, Nguyen was spending hours chatting to Dang every day! After six months, the pair called it official, and went on their first proper date.

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And only a few months after that, they decided to get married, even though they’d only met a couple of times in real life! Unsurprisingly, Nguyen’s parents didn’t approve of this one bit. How could the couple be so sure they loved each other when almost their entire relationship was based online?

Disheartened at this, Nguyen told Dang about her parents’ opinion. So, eager to prove his love for their daughter, Dang booked a plane and flew to Vietnam to meet them! It took a bit of convincing, but they eventually came around. As far as they could tell, he seemed completely legitimate.

Once Nguyen’s parents had given their blessings, the excited couple started planning the wedding. Nguyen was prepared for a simple wedding; it was clear Dang didn’t have a lot of money, and she didn’t need anything grand.

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But when it was Dang’s turn to voice his opinion, she was shocked. He insisted they needed all the works, including a lavish five-star hotel to stay in afterwards. It didn’t make any sense as surely a big event would be wildly out of their price range. But then, Dang told her something that gave her the biggest shock of her life.

He was actually an extremely wealthy businessman and the manager of an international fashion brand! In other words, she was marrying a millionaire! As Nguyen struggled to come to terms with this, Dang explained that he’d purposefully hid his wealth from her because he hadn’t wanted it to affect their relationship.

If he hadn’t concealed his money, he’d never have known if she loved him or just his cash. Now, he could be sure. Though still stunned, Nguyen accepted everything Dang said, and in April 2017, the happy couple finally tied the knot, in serious style. Today, they live together with their son, and the family couldn’t be happier!

Social Experiment With Tattoos

Tattoos tend to split opinions, you either love them or you hate them. So, if you love them enough to cover your entire body in them, some people will inevitably be pretty judgmental of you.

Jason, a heavily tattooed Brit, knows this all too well. In fact, he once found himself a prime suspect in a kidnapping case that he had nothing to do with! Certain he was being persecuted for his tats, Jason decided to take part in a social experiment to find out how judgmental people really are.

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He got a note and stood in the street asking if anybody could swap him change for it. Almost every passer by ignored his question. One man even asked if he was about to be mugged! Then, Jason covered all of his tats with skin colored makeup and went out, note in hand, once more.

This time, it went very differently. People happily stopped to help, and treated him with way more kindness than they had before, even though Jason had acted exactly the same! So, yes, the tats really did make a big difference.

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Joe Johnson, The Secret Millionaire

People do crazy things for love and money. But, as we’ve already seen, this can make the quest for true love pretty tricky if you’re wealthy. Ordinary Londoner Joe Johnson found this out the hard way. Back in 1998, Joe couldn’t believe his luck when he won a staggering jackpot of over $12 million in the lottery, that’s over $21 million today!

He bought the best cars, splashed out on the most grandiose properties, and it seemed like he could get any girl he wanted! Joe felt like he had it all. But fast forward just a short time and he’d spent almost $2 million of his winnings on women that had gone on to dump him.

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Joe felt used. His money might’ve brought him material wealth, but it sure hadn’t made him happy. So, he decided to do something drastic: he’d pretend to be dirt poor to the next woman he met.

One day as Joe was enjoying a coffee at his local café, he got chatting to a blonde waitress that worked there. Her name was Lisa, and Joe decided to ask her out on a date. Delighted, she accepted his offer, expecting a romantic dinner in some fancy restaurant. What she got was pretty different.

Before meeting Lisa, Joe donned his shabbiest clothes. Then, he took his excited date to a cheap noodle bar, and despite its cheapness, he even insisted on splitting the bill with her! Joe knew he was pushing his luck, but incredibly, Lisa didn’t seem to mind. In fact, she said she had a great time!

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So, the two carried on dating, and Joe kept up his façade. For their first vacation together, he took her to a two-star hotel that turned out to have cockroaches! Amazingly, Lisa still didn’t complain; Joe was poor, but she’d fallen in love with him.

A year later, Joe proposed, and Lisa, over the moon, said yes. Joe knew it was finally time to be honest. So, he sat Lisa down, took a deep breath, and revealed the truth. Far from being overjoyed at her partner’s immense wealth, Lisa was devastated; the past year had been nothing but a lie!

But when he explained to her why he’d done it, she eventually understood. He’d been used so many times for his money that he needed to know for sure if someone liked him for who he truly was. Crazy as it sounds, the women that knew Joe was rich had ended up rejecting him, but the one who thought he was poor, didn’t.

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Joe didn’t waste any time before making it up to Lisa. The very next day, he took her on a designer shopping spree. Then, he whisked her off to the Ritz, where he proposed again! Not long after, they got married in Mauritius, and the couple now have a son together. But talk about playing the long game. If I was Lisa, I’d have left after the cockroaches!

Carlsberg Stunts With Bikers In Cinema

What do you think people find scarier than a heavily tattooed man? A bunch of heavily tattooed bikers, of course! In an amusing social experiment by beer company Carlsberg, just such a group of bikers were told to occupy all but two seats in a cinema screening.

Staff led unsuspecting couples to the same screening and when the couples entered the room, the results were as you might expect. But not everyone was so judgmental! And those that did sit down got a pretty warm welcome. The ruse was designed to discourage people from being so judgmental and it clearly worked!

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Priest Disguised As Homeless Man

It’s often said that in life, “you get what you give” and one Catholic priest from Lexington, Kentucky, set out to prove this saying in a very novel fashion. One day in December 2015, Father Jim Sichko tossed away his gown and donned shabby clothing instead. Then, he made a cardboard sign asking for change, and proceeded to wander the streets as if he was homeless.

Unbeknownst to passers-by though, the priest actually had a tasty sum of money hidden away in his pocket: 5,000 dollars! Every time some generous person stopped and offered him money, he’d refuse and hand them $100 in return! Thus proving that you really do “get what you give” and much more!

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Astonishingly, one of the people who offered Father Jim change was actually homeless himself. When the priest rejected his selfless gift and handed the homeless man $100, the man was almost brought to tears. Which just goes to show, even when we’re at some of our lowest points, humans still have a remarkable capacity for compassion.

Dr James Barry, The Secret Woman

Nowadays, many of the world’s best doctors are women. But back in early 19th century Britain, a female doctor was completely unheard of. So, when Margaret Anne Bulkley decided she wanted to pursue a career in medicine, she knew she’d have to go to extreme lengths to make her dream a reality.

For the next 56 years, she’d become James Barry, and adopt all the characteristics, dress sense, and mannerisms of a man! But surely nobody could get away with disguising their voice, figure, and everything about them for so long without being caught, right? Well, remarkably, wrong.

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Margaret, now James, successfully applied for medical school with her false identity. And while her classmates suspected something was off, the rumors centered on her being a super-intelligent pre-pubescent boy. Not for a second did they suspect that James was actually a woman; the idea of a female doctor was so absurd it never crossed their minds.

Successfully fooling classmate and teacher alike, “James” swept through her exams, and after graduating, went on to enlist as a top surgeon within the British Army!

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She even performed the first recorded cesarean section by a European in Africa where both mother and child survived. And James took her gender-bending secret all the way to the grave, the truth was only discovered post-mortem! I can only imagine the shock that must’ve been for whoever made the discovery.

Undercover Operation Wheelchair

Sometimes, police come up with some pretty unconventional ways of tackling crime. After hearing a number of disabled people had been attacked in Vancouver, the local police department had a pretty wacky idea to catch those responsible.

Their plan was to dress a cop as a disabled homeless man, position him on a street corner, and hope that the criminals would take the bait and attack him. Then he’d jump up out of his wheelchair and arrest them. The police officer picked for the job was Sergeant Mark Horsely.

He dressed the part, got in the wheelchair, and, to appear more convincing, spoke with passers-by about his apparent situation. But in doing so, he realized a startling truth. Far from trying to attack him, people were overwhelmingly kind to him! As well as giving him change, one man even prayed for him.

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Leaning into the role more, the undercover sergeant began asking people if he could buy their food or cigarettes for what little change he had. But he also told them he couldn’t count, fully expecting them to short-change him. To his surprise however, not a single person did; in fact, some even charged him less!

By the time Horsely left the wheelchair, he was no closer to catching the criminals, but he’d learned a lot about human kindness. He may not have caught the bad guys that day, but he definitely crossed paths with the good ones!

The Lost Child Social Experiment

It goes without saying that everyone deserves to be treated equally. But unfortunately, what we deserve isn’t always what we get, and sadly, that applies to children too.

In a social experiment held in Georgia, US, a six-year-old child actor called Anano got dressed in clean, expensive-looking clothes and then stood in the streets, apparently alone. When she dressed well, people stopped and concernedly asked where her parents were. Some even offered to call for help.

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But then, the same actress dressed up in ragged clothes and smeared dirt on her face before going back to the same spot. This time, no one even looked at her, never mind stopping to help! And it only got worse when the experiment was trialed in a restaurant.

When Anano entered the eatery dressed in clean clothes with her hair tied in a bun, people greeted her warmly as she wandered through. But later, when she returned disguised as a homeless girl, visitors didn’t want anything to do with her! She wasn’t just ignored either, diners literally shooed her away. The only difference? The way she looked.

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The Brontë Sisters

Victorian England was a man’s world. Back then, society saw women as weak, passive, and less intelligent than men. So, if you were a woman with aspirations beyond trying to secure a husband, you had a steep hill to climb. But three 19th century women were willing to climb it: The Brontë Sisters.

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As well as being sisters, they were also incredibly talented writers. There was just one problem, publishing houses were prejudiced against women. So, the sisters just had to pretend to be men!

Luckily, that didn’t mean dressing in suits and wearing fake beards. They simply ensured they only corresponded with publishers in writing! So, by going under the male pseudonyms Ellis, Acton, and Currer Bell, they fooled publishers into thinking they were male. It worked, and all three sisters got the green light!

Charlotte Bronte, AKA “Currer Bell”, was particularly successful, with her second novel, ‘Jane Eyre’ becoming an instant best-seller when it was released in 1847. Despite this monumental success though, it wasn’t until three years later, in 1850, that Charlotte would finally tell the world the truth, to great shock.

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By this point, both her sisters had sadly passed away so there was no need to hide their identities any longer. And just five years later, Charlotte passed away too. But though they might be gone, the Bronte sisters are certainly not forgotten. To this day, all three sisters’ works are still studied and admired all over the world!

Police Impersonate Rap Label

As everyone's grandma will tell you, rap music is about gangsters, violence, and not much else. Of course, that’s not actually true, but back in 2010 this outdated stereotype helped the police catch a whole load of criminals by setting up a fake record label!

The cops, based in Washington DC, named the so-called ‘label’ Manic Enterprises, and they pulled out all the stops to make it seem real. That meant having a custom recording studio built with all the bells and whistles, then dressing up in disguise and staffing it themselves!

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Sergeant Dale Sutherland posed as rap label owner ‘Ritchie Valdez’, while the other officers pretended to be his girlfriends and bodyguards. But how does all this have anything to do with catching criminals?

At first, Sutherland invited local musicians to the studio, shared expensive tequila, and pretended he was a criminal kingpin to gain their trust and respect. Soon enough, word spread, and real criminals began visiting the studio, looking to sell all kinds of things from firearms to illicit substances.

As soon as they began showing off the goods though, they got a rather arresting shock! Sutherland and his squad quickly revealed themselves and put the offenders in handcuffs. Ingeniously, they didn’t even need to hide their surveillance equipment, they were in a literal recording studio!

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The Operation Manic Enterprise proved to be a roaring success, and they even managed to catch members of Mexico’s ‘La Familia’ cartel, one of the country’s biggest criminal organizations! Though, not all the crooks they caught were so big-time. One local criminal accidentally butt-dialed one of the undercover officers while planning to rob the swanky studio, and the police caught the whole conversation over the phone!

In total, 70 arrests were made, and a colossal $7 million worth of illegal items were confiscated. And all thanks to a wacky idea and some convincing costumes. It’s safe to say those criminals won’t be spitting bars anytime soon, but they will be locked behind them!

Man Disguises As Doctor To Care For Grandmother

The COVID 19 pandemic put a huge strain on hospitals and medical staff worldwide. So, when Siberian Sergei Samborsky suspected staff of neglecting his ill grandmother, he decided to take matters into his own hands.

Sergei’s grandma had Alzheimer’s and had been taken into hospital the day before, after her health had taken a turn for the worst. But when Sergei visited, he was told he couldn’t see her! So, he got the number of the patient in the bed beside hers and called the following day to ask after his ill relative. When he did, he found out some unbelievable news. Apparently, nobody had washed her, tended to her, or even fed her.

Without hesitation, Sergei rushed straight to the hospital, but the no visitors policy meant he wasn’t able to get inside. So, he walked up to a parked ambulance and, incredibly, persuaded the drivers to sell him some protective clothing. There was no security on the door either, so once he’d got into the gear, he strode straight in!

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He headed through to his grandmother and was shocked. She was tied to her bed, covered in bruises and filth. Why had anyone thought the 84-year-old needed to be restrained? Still disguised, Sergei untied her and began tending to her properly. And for three whole days, he got away with it! But eventually, his luck ran out. Hospital staff grew suspicious, and Sergei knew he had to flee.

Before he did though, he revealed himself to his grandma, and despite her Alzheimer’s, she recognized him for the first time in three years. Then, Sergei left and some time later his grandma passed away. But he never forgot, and has since worked tirelessly to expose the terrible conditions his grandmother had been living in.

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Zou Yaqi, China's Fake Socialite

Who hasn’t dreamt of being rich and famous? They’ve got it easy and 23-year-old art student Zou Yaqi, from Beijing, decided to prove just how easy. Her idea consisted of ditching her normal get-up and posing as a wealthy socialite! Then, she’d see if she could live in Beijing for three weeks without spending a dime.

Instead, she’d rely solely on her perceived societal status to net her enough freebies to live on. For the look, she bought a fake Hermes bag, a fake Vivienne Westwood necklace, and even donned a faux-diamond ring, worth a whopping $3.

Then, once she was fully kitted in her counterfeit costume, she headed to the local airport, where she used a forged pass to get into the VIP lounge! The pass was only valid for three hours. Due to her extravagant outfit however, nobody questioned her for three whole days.

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During that time, she gorged on complimentary food, slept on the plush couches, and stocked up on snacks before leaving and heading for a high-end hotel. She easily got in there too and used the private sauna without anyone batting an eye! And after that, she spent over two more weeks going from place to place living the high life.

She attended exclusive jewelry auction parties, talked her way into free food at fancy restaurants, and all-in-all netted almost $1,500 worth of free products and services! Because of her fancy get-up, nobody questioned her once. And when the three weeks were up, she turned her whole experience into an exhibition, designed to show just how much preferential treatment you get the higher on the social ladder you are.

Would Zou have gotten away with any of her wild antics without her faux-socialite status? She certainly doesn’t think so. So, I’m off to get myself one of those fake designer bags; I could do with a spa day!

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