Being beautiful is a hard cross to bear, says Samantha Brick. Brick wrote an article for The Daily Mail this past week lamenting the hardships she’s been forced to endure as a freakishly beautiful woman. The response has been a media onslaught of negative attention, with an unprecedented number of web hits and readers’ comments. So why are people hating Brick so much?
Brick’s Initial Article
The gist of Brick’s article is that her great beauty has led her to lead a simultaneously charmed and tortured life. On the one hand, all men want her, she suggests. Everywhere she goes, strange men pay for her taxis and trains, send her bottles of bubbly or present her with bouquets of flowers.
The rub, Brick claims, is that women hate her guts because of her looks. Other women are jealous and view her as a threat, dropping her as a friend and not letting her anywhere near their husbands. She provides a litany of examples from her life, from insecure female bosses who barred her from promotions, to friends who won’t let her near their husbands, to friends who won’t ask her to be a bridesmaid in their weddings. Accompanying the approximately 1200 word article are seven photos of Brick. Check out a few more:
Readers were outraged. They hated Brick for being so arrogant and full of herself, and suggested her personality was the real reason women didn’t want to be around her. Women denied and were offended at the notion that women as a whole hate other women for being beautiful.
They also scrutinized the pictures of Brick and said. “Her? Really. She’s not all that.” The general consensus has been that she isn’t attractive enough to have had the experiences she’s claimed and that she’s not entitled to the self-important attitude she has. So people started trashing her looks, ripping her to shreds.
Jezebel.com suggests that Brick was set up by the Daily Mail to be a troll. By posting all of those pictures, the Daily Mail threw Brick to the vultures to tear apart her looks. Basically, they set Brick up to be called ugly. And those “jealous bitches” (as Jezebel puts it) provide fodder for Brick’s argument and sidestep the real issue. Because there are different types of beauty. And whether or not you consider Brick to be attractive is not the point. She has every right to love herself and her appearance. She doesn’t have the right to make assumptions about what other people are thinking and assuming all other women hate her because of her appearance. Jezebel.com is right. This article brought out the worst in people.
Brick Lashes Back At Her Haters
Brick agreed that the negative public sentiment proved her theory. In a second article, she declared that:
While I’ve been shocked and hurt by the global condemnation, I have just this to say: my detractors have simply proven my point. Their anger underlines that no one in this world is more reviled than a pretty woman.
Our society encourages women to be humble, to eschew the idea that we might be beautiful and worthy of admiration just the way we are. I hate that. We need to be confident in and celebrate our appearances. Then again, there is a difference between confidence and cockiness. Arrogance and airs of superiority are obnoxious in both men and women. I say, love the shit out of yourself and your looks. But I draw the line when you start hating on other women. Or when you become obsessed with your appearance above all else.
The problem with Brick is, she thinks everything in life is attributable to how beautiful she believes people think she is. She subscribes to the notion that beauty trumps all of our other attributes and is at the forefront of our every thought and motivation. This diminishes women, which I have a huge problem with. And for all she talks of “sisterhood” and lamenting that women don’t support each other, by assuming we all think like her, she’s selling us all short. We’re not all that small-minded.
Brick Goes On British TV
Brick went on to make television appearances both in the U.K. and the U.S. Yesterday, she went on a British morning talk show which you can watch here. For the most part, she stuck to her story and was unapologetic. Watchers got a sense of just why people might really be eschewing her as she was slightly overbearing, and continuously cut off the psychologist guest and show’s hosts. She backpedaled a bit and admitted that the events she spoke of were stretched out over a long period of time. When asked if the treatment she described (both positive and negative) was perhaps not as pervasive as she originally made it out to be, she admitted that there were “shades of grey.”
When the host asked her if she thought she was beautiful, she wavered and said she believed in peoples’ “perception of her.” Meaning she believed people thought this of her, so she attributed it to herself. This hits home how invested Brick is in what other people think of her and how her esteem is attached to their opinions. She did rally later on to say that she believed herself to be beautiful and that in a room of ten men, all of them would find her attractive. Both the female psychologist and the female host firmly but respectfully told her that it’s not that she thinks she’s attractive that they had a problem with, but her assumption about them as women that they wouldn’t like her. When the psychologist suggested that maybe she was giving off an air of superiority that perpetually alienated her from other women, Brick summarily rejected that notion. The segment concluded with Brick reiterating she was happy she’d written the article and that her point had been proven.
Brick’s Appearance on the Today Show
Next, Brick appeared on the Today Show today and was interviewed by Ann Curry. Brick was slightly more subdued and Curry went on the offensive immediately. She asked Brick incredulously if she was serious. Curry said she assumed when she read the article that Brick was tongue in cheek but when she used “I” 60 times in the short piece, she thought that Brick was narcissistic. Brick, who previously claimed that women eschew her, now said she had a wonderful group of girlfriends and is a girl’s girls. This directly contrasts her idea that the “sisterhood” is judging her harshly and snubbing her. Not much was accomplished in this interview but to watch Curry try to make Brick look stupid and cower. I wasn’t impressed. At least with the British interview, there was a genuine attempt to understand Brick.
So who is Samantha Brick, Really?
According to her website and articles she’s written, Brick is a journalist with 20 years of television production experience. Currently, she’s a housewife in a small rural French village.
Her other articles on The Daily Mail are telling. It surprises me that her particularly brand of anti-feminist, backward way of thinking hasn’t gotten more attention before. Continue reading