Being beautiful is a burden, revealed journalist Samantha Brick in an article on the Daily Mail website the other day. Her piece was headlined: ‘There are downsides to looking this pretty’: Why women hate me for being beautiful.
Having read this, I eagerly scrolled down to find a picture. Now. I’m no model myself and, yes, Brick is alright looking, in a kind of pale and potentially-interesting way, but she ain’t no Miranda Kerr which, owing to the build-up, is the least I was expecting.
Throughout the article, she mentioned the various things that her good looks have made men do for her. She was on a plane; the pilot gave her a free bottle of champagne (pilots do this…? Who on earth was she flying with?) She went up to the bar in a club to pay for a round of drinks; the barman discretely shooed away her credit card. Not even France is safe – she hopped in a taxi a la Paris, and a ‘charming gentleman’ paid for the journey. Yes, I bet he was charming. As strangers often appear to be when they have just paid your cab fare.
We were then treated to lots of photos of Samantha in various poses, as well as pictures of her with her husband. It is crucial to note here that her husband is not Mr Universe as this shows that Samantha is *cough* a Non-Judgemental Person.
No, no. But that’s exactly what the rest of the female population are, however – the women who jeer at her in the street, the neighbours who ignore her friendly waves as she drives past them. The sisterhood has cast poor Samantha out, simply owing to the fact that she is too good-looking. As well as that, ’most poignantly of all, not one girlfriend has ever asked me to be her bridesmaid.’
I didn’t like Samantha’s article.
I mean obviously, I’m jealous of her looks so am inclined to dislike it by default. But I find her brand of sexism offensive – no one is safe from her stereotyping. Men are too stupid to do anything other than slobber over her (albeit in a far classier manner than the normal wolf whistles and leery comments that most of us have endured at one point or another), whilst women are too narrow-minded and jealous to see anything other than a rival in a dress (and not just any dress: ‘It was the height of summer and I’d opted to wear knee length, cap-sleeved dresses… But my boss pulled me into her office and informed me my dress style was distracting her male employees. I didn’t dare point out that there were other women in the office wearing similar attire.’)
Naturally, the article has sparked an international backlash. Everyone has an opinion on the piece, and even the slebs have waded into the debate: Derren Brown, Kirstie Allsopp and, er, Duncan Bannatyne were amongst those to take to vent their spleen about the piece. And you know a story has truly gone global when it has its own parody Twitter account (@la_brick if you’re interested – ‘I follow @heidiklum, but she doesn’t follow me back. I think that tells you everything you need to know’ and so on).
In her response piece in today’s Daily Mail, she says that this massive reaction has proven her point exactly. ‘Is it any wonder Victoria Beckham has decided to stay put in LA, rather than move back to Hertfordshire?’ she simpers. ‘She knows better than anyone how your looks can be used against you in Britain.’ This is then slightly cheapened by the handy box the DM have provided underneath, containing comments from readers across the globe, many far from complimentary. Oh. So not just Britain then. (Just FYI, my favourite part of her response piece was the photograph of herself with her husband, where he is wearing camouflage gear and casually holding a massive gun. Perhaps he’s now there to protect her from her new, er, fans.)
As NotRollerGirl points out in her brilliant post, we all have gorgeous friends. But, rather than envy them for their oh-so cute dimples or glossy hair, we love them for who they are. Not what they are. Looks are immaterial, and it’s only a truly shallow person who thinks otherwise.
Obviously, I don’t know Samantha Brick. In fact, I’d never even heard of her, or read any of her other articles, prior to yesterday. But taking things at face value (chortle) and judging by the article, whilst she might be convinced of her own beauty, in my opinion it takes a pretty ugly person to write a piece like that.
Katie is the founder of The Young Creatives, which I suggest you check out immediately. She’s an NCTJ student and she interns at The Lady, which is possibly the loveliest magazine in the world. She makes a mean fishfinger pie. Follow her on Twitter.