Bricking it…

Yesterday in the Daily Mail, a woman called Samantha Brick wrote an article bemoaning the cruel hand that fate has dealt her. She suffers from discrimination, the target of an orchestrated and institutionalized hate campaign. That’s right: Samantha Brick is hated by women, “for no other reason than my lovely looks”. That’s right. Samantha Brick has bravely opened the debate on the jealousy that women have for more attractive members of their own gender.

You can read her article here:

This woman deserves your pity.

Twitter almost literally exploded. An outpouring of anger, hate and vitriol was aimed at this poor woman all day yesterday, just for having the courage to raise her beautiful, blonde head above the parapet. Some of the hateful rhetoric hurled at her is unforgivable, fueled entirely by base, petty jealousy. These hideous trolls should crawl back underneath their bridges and comb their matted beards. We don’t want to hear from these deformed gorgons, only pretty people should be allowed to voice their opinions.

The lovely Samantha assures us that “I’m not smug and I’m no flirt”, before going on to list occasions where female bosses have singled her out for her attractiveness or the clothes she wears. With male bosses it’s different, of course: “I have flirted to get ahead at work, something I’m sure many women do.”

So…she’s not a flirt, but has flirted to get ahead? I think we’re beginning to close in on the real reason that she has been treated badly. She appears to be a smug, self-centered hypocrite. She is claiming that anyone who doesn’t automatically like her is jealous of her looks. I’m not sure that is the case. In fact, I suspect that if you were to read the articles without seeing the (many) photographs of the “tall, slim, blonde and, so I’m often told…good-looking woman” you would form a distinct impression of her as being really quite objectionable. I’m sure many of us, as much as we would not like to admit it, do judge people on their appearance in the first instance, but I am also sure than many of us are also aware of this, and do our very best to move beyond this snap judgement and base our impressions of people on what they are like, not what they look like. Most of us understand the phrase “beauty is only skin deep”, even if we still like a pretty woman or attractive man. It’s why Hollywood doesn’t have that many ‘normal’ looking people in its films.

Ok, so there are exceptions to every rule.

Samantha Brick laid out her case in the Daily Mail and immediately found herself in the middle of a row, with celebrities and ‘ordinary folk’ alike throwing their hats into the arena. The MailOnline website received a veritable shitstorm of hits and comments (well over 4500 before they disabled the comments section of the web page), earning a nice pot of advertising revenue in the process. They were obviously so pleased with this result that they got Samantha to write a follow-up article, which, at time of writing, had already racked up over 600 comments before the option was again removed. So congratulations, Samantha. Over the last two days you have probably earned the Daily Mail the equivalent of the salaries of half a dozen NHS nurses. You must be very proud.

Her follow-up article can be found here:

If one were feeling harsh, one could ask if a woman who was truly secure in her attractiveness would include thirteen photographs of herself in two articles. Seriously. Thirteen photographs spread across two articles totaling only three thousand words. That’s one photograph of herself every 230 words. That’s a level of narcissism that we mere mortals can only dream of. Way to raise the bar, Samantha.

Her follow-up article addresses the feedback she received on her first article, outlining the trending on Twitter, the responses of “women I know well enough to call friends” on Facebook, the “countless so-called comedians [that] have written unprintable things” about her. The comment printed from her ‘friends’ on Facebook is perhaps the most revealing: “What the hell does Sam think she’s on?” Yes, even her friends think she’s lost the plot. Far be it for me to denigrate someone’s looks (I’m no oil painting myself, believe it or not), but she isn’t actually all that stunning. Good looking, yes, in a slightly-above-average way, although that forced grin of hers does rather put me in mind of dour ex-PM Gordon Brown.

The demented smile of a child killer.

The majority of comments about Brick’s article seemed to focus on this point: why does she think she is so beautiful? Let’s be honest, beauty is a relatively subjective thing – what one person finds attractive isn’t necessarily the same as the next person. I, for one, believe that Cate Blanchett is a stunning woman, but Kim Kardashian* leaves me cold (and flaccid). Many would disagree, and that is their right. And confidence is an extremely attractive quality for anyone, male or female, to possess. But what Brick (and I must stop calling her that – it makes me think of the Fantastic Four’s strongman) is displaying isn’t confidence – it’s arrogance. It is the assumption that people dislike her because “women find nothing more annoying than someone else being the most attractive girl in a room”, pasting herself in the role of “the most attractive girl in the room”. Leaving aside the slightly disturbing connotations of a 41-year-old woman referring to herself as a ‘girl’, she is arrogantly assuming that everyone else is as shallow as her, that every problem she has faced in life – be it from co-workers, bosses, people on the street – is the result of the failings of others, the pure jealousy caused by her natural beauty. She suggests that if Brad Pitt referred to himself as good-looking, everyone would agree, but if Angelina Jolie did the same there would be a similar outcry as she has experienced.

No. Not true. I reckon that if Ms Jolie were to suggest that she was good-looking, most people would call her arrogant for saying so, but wouldn’t bother arguing that point with her because it is so self-evidently true. However, the point remains that Ms Jolie hasn’t said that, presumably because she knows it would be a hideously arrogant thing to say. Do you see my point here, Samantha? The same goes for many other women: Anne Hathaway, Aishwarya Rai, Charlize Theron, Monica Bellucci, Zoe Saldana, Sophie Dahl (before she lost the weight). None of these women have stood up and blamed everyone else’s jealousy for holding them back.

Compare Ms Dahl...

Or Ms Rai...

...with Ms Brick.

But she didn’t stop there. Oh no. The comments that she received after her initial article had one result: “my detractors have simply proved my point”. Wow! Chutzpah much? Yes, indeed. All you people who tried to point out that she was arrogant, or crazy, or misguided, no matter how rational and well formulated your response was, regardless of your level of intelligence or position in life, if you disagreed with her, you were jealous of her unmatched beauty. This really takes some balls. Samantha Brick singled out Lauren Laverne, BBC Radio DJ and presenter of Channel 4’s 10 O’Clock Live, for her Twitter comments about the article, including “Why do people WRITE articles like this? And why am I reading it?” The article suggests that Laverne was Tweeting about it all day, but as I follow her on Twitter, I can categorically say that this wasn’t the case at all. She certainly responded to the Tweets of others on the subject, but she seemed far more interested in the sex lives of the pandas at Edinburgh Zoo than Samantha Brick’s self-obsessed rantings (and who wouldn’t be? Pandas really are cute!)

To wrap up this little rant, I would like to say a few things. Firstly, I don’t care if Samantha Brick believes she is the most beautiful woman in the world. Seriously. Good on her for having that level of self-confidence in such an appearance-conscious age. But don’t assume that everybody shares this view. That’s just arrogance.

Secondly, don’t personally attack her looks if you are going to disagree. She isn’t ugly, let’s be fair. She may not be ‘your type’, but objectively speaking she’s closer to Angelina Jolie than Joseph Merrick. Call her arrogant, call her narcissistic, call her deluded, but don’t bother calling her ugly: you’re damaging your own argument.

Thirdly, I have included the links to the two MailOnline articles out of obligation, but I urge you not to visit them! Don’t give that fascist rag the satisfaction or the money. If you wish to check the quotations I have used, then on your own head be it!

That’s it. I’ll climb down from my soapbox now.

Have a nice day!

*I don’t even know who this person is!


18 responses to “Bricking it…

  1. Being attractive is so hard work. Everyday I’m fighting off hundreds of followers and admirers. I have a special big stick for them…

    Seriously, I know I am attractive to some people at the same time I know I am not to others. My kids find it not only unbelievable but hilarious that anyone would willing want to spend time with me. I have some sexy pictures of me, but they are all a bit tongue in cheek (why did not you use them in your blog? I’m gorgeous! 😉 ). I am not sexy in my dressing gown.

    I have flirted to get my own way (police men are very open to this when you get stopped), but generally as a opening to get someone to talk to me when I need to talk to them. I smile and make eye contact, is that flirting? I suppose it could be.

    Beauty is transient. It wont last forever and maybe right now when I don’t need to worry to much about my looks fading (but it is happening!) I can say with great confidence I am way more worried about my brain. I would rather be thought of as ugly rather than stupid. I worry more about being taken for stupid rather than ugly. I don’t wear make up everyday, but I do cleanse, tone and moisturise. Perhaps I can say that because I am not ugly.

  2. Yeah, I wish people wouldn’t criticise her looks. It’s her personality that’s the problem. And i’ve had female managers sabotage me before; it’s rivalry, not envy ffs. People in the corporate world backstab each other all the time.

  3. “Some of the hateful rhetoric hurled at her is unforgivable, fueled entirely by base, petty jealousy.”

    No, I think you are definitely wrong with this one. A lot of people can be very nasty, but why on earth would they be jealous of her. She’s just plain average, maybe slightly attractive. And she looks older than her supposed age…

    Now if you are referring to all the gifts that she gets for no reason, then yes, some people are probably jealous.

    • Um, did you read the rest of the article? I would respectfully suggest that you have failed to spot the inherent sarcasm in the opening paragraphs.

      But thanks for commenting, I appreciate it.

  4. I think the DM got so much internet traffic from it I’d say they clearly achieved their objective!
    & well done, you totally got a snarky trollish comment, it’s like blog levelling! xx

  5. As someone who doesn’t read newspapers or watch the news, if it wasn’t for blogs like this and the occasional Facebook status, I wouldn’t have a blinking clue what was going on in the world.

    So, some woman actually took the time and trouble to phone the Daily Mail and tell them she’s so beautiful she needs an article written about her? And they agreed? I guess they must have seen her photo first. Talk about a slow news day!

    They love doing things that rile people up don’t they, that’s what generates the traffic. It bloody well worked that’s for sure, there’s nothing like getting some frumpy middle aged woman standing on a soap box squealing “don’t hate me because I’m beautiful” to get the crowds moving.

    Kudos on landing a troll with a short attention span, but big congrats for having Lauren Laverne get in touch with you. Awesome, awesome win.

  6. This women is truly DELUSIONAL! She must have lost her mind. Her looks are average at best. And judging by her article her insides are just as ugly as her outside. And honey the reason why you don’t have any friends and nobody has ever asked you to be a bridesmaid is because your attitude stinks you arrogant prick! Nobody is jealous of you they probably feel sorry that you would most likely go through life all ALONE! And the reason why your getting wined and dined is probably cause your a dirty little slut who sleeps around for just dinner and drinks. Tip: GET A MIRROR AND AN STD CHECK YOU DIRTY WHORE!!!!!

    • The trouble is that comments like this are just feeding her delusion. Her response would be that you are just jealous. A better response is pity, because she truly cannot see that her attitude is the reason that people dislike her.

  7. Seems in todays daily nazi rag theres another follow by the husband. I ignored it. Cos its in the maip. And i cant stand that fucking evil nasty hate filles rag

  8. Maybe on a celebrity scale she isn’t anything extraordinary but in everyday life and especially in her 20s and 30s she must have been a real head turner. What those pictures don’t show is how tall she is – nearly 6 feet – as well as her well-proportioned body. In my experience a tall blonde woman with even an average face gets attention. Once at my local fruit shop, the Italian owner gave a woman in front of me a freebie. She was at least 15 years older than me (and I’m overweight but quite attractive) but tall and blonde. And I have to admit, much as I hate to, that I became jealous. I wondered why she should get the attention just because of her height and hair colour??

    • I agree. I called her slightly-above-average in the article because she is. And I’m not suggesting for a second that this favouritism doesn’t exist, just that she is extremely arrogant in the way that she has approached the subject. In both articles she suggests that people are jealous of her looks, and I don’t believe (cynical as I am) that everyone is that shallow. I find it far more likely that the reason that friends and co-workers turn on her is that her attitude stinks!

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