I'm going to start off by saying I'm a little angry with myself for writing this blog. Angry because I'm giving The Daily Fail more attention than it deserves and angry because it's a rather predictable response to something that was probably only ever intended to cause a reaction like this in the first place. But here goes anyway...
In Yesterday's Daily Mail newspaper, there was an article written by a lady named Samantha Brick. I don't really wish to link to the article, because according to whispers from The Internet People (by which I mean, "I read this on Twitter"), The Daily Mail have already made a whopping £30,000 in revenue from the surge of people rushing to their website to read Ms Brick's offending article and I sure as Hell don't wish to line their (or her) pockets any further. But do a little Googling and I'm certain you'll find the piece in question - and probably a zillion blogs and responses just like this one, too.
For those of you who live overseas, or who haven't seen the article, however, I will explain it here, in brief.
Samantha Brick, you see, is beautiful. She is so stunning, that wherever she goes, men shower her with free drinks, compliments and attention. When she's out and about, blokes rush to help her with her shopping, so overcome are they by her good looks. She has doors opened for her so often that she doesn't actually know how to work them herself. I may have made that last bit up. The trouble facing poor Sam, is that being so utterly gorgeous isn't an enjoyable experience. Why? Because women are so disgustingly jealous, that they make life rather unpleasant for her. The poor love has never been a bridesmaid at any of her female friends' weddings. All the ladies she knows are paranoid that she might steal their husbands, so don't invite her anywhere, lest their other halves are overcome with sheer desire and no longer fancy them, due to their utter plainness in comparison. Life for Samantha Brick is, she tells us, horribly difficult. Because she's JUST SO BEAUTIFUL and it's JUST NOT FAIR.
Oh, by the way, this is Samantha Brick:
Get on your knees and worship her, you ugly fools!
Now I have several problems with Brick and her article. I'm about to list them and I'd better do it quickly, because I'll be honest, staring at that picture is difficult; she's so stunning I think I'm about to turn gay...
Lets start at the very beginning, shall we? It is, after all, a very good place to start.
Samantha Brick begins her article by telling us she "frequently"has bar tenders "shoo away" her credit card when she tries to pay her bill at the end of an evening out. First of all, how often is "frequently?" She "frequently" has strangers hand her bunches of flowers in the street, or offer to buy her train tickets for her. I don't know about you, but I find this a little hard to believe. You might be asked out on a date one week, have someone happen to send a drink to your table whilst you're out and about the next and be complimented on your attractiveness the following. Does that count as "frequent?" Maybe, but what about the weeks during which Samantha Brick doesn't have a "smartly dressed gentleman" buy her train tickets for her? She neglects to mention those, of course. Or perhaps she literally never has a week go by without something happening as a result of her "lovely looks."
Secondly, Samantha doesn't say whether free drinks are given by the bar staff at ONE bar or EVERY bar. Now, I've had people knock money off for me. I've had the guy at the local Chinese takeaway throw in free prawn crackers on more than one occasion. Because I'm gorgeous? Nope, because I'm local, he recognises me from previous visits and is grateful for my ongoing custom. If it's a local bar, is there not a teensy chance that Samantha Brick is known, recognised as a "journalist" (I'm sorry, but the quotation marks are necessary) and the bar tenders are thinking: "Best keep in with this one?" After all, she seems the sort of woman who rather likes (positive) attention and that kind of person is more likely to visit somewhere where she has had that sort of reception before.
Now before you all cry out: "But she's STUNNING! THAT is why she gets free stuff and compliments everywhere she goes! Why can't you accept that and stop being so jealous?!" I must point out that a) That's precisely the reaction Samantha Brick both expects and indeed wants from her article and that b) I am in no way jealous of her.
It would be really easy for me to mock Samantha's overly large forehead, snub nose or the fact that her teeth don't seem to fit right. But in doing so, I'd be nothing more than a bully (which regular readers of this blog will know I am not and never will be) and I'd be falling squarely into the trap Samantha Brick has set for her readers as her article continues...
"Other women hate me, for no reason other than my lovely looks...Women find nothing more annoying than someone else being the most attractive girl in the room."
I'm going to say something now and if she reads this, she'll laugh and tell me I'm being stupid, but my friend Kirstie is, in my view, exceptionally pretty. When I'm with her, I know she's better looking than me. In many rooms we've been in, I've looked at her and thought: "Yep, she's the prettiest person here." And you know what? I don't hate her for it. I don't think: "What a bitch. I will never introduce her to any future boyfriends I have, lest they prefer her to me. And she will NEVER be a bridesmaid at my wedding!" In fact, I'm oddly proud of her. Because Kirstie is not only attractive on the outside, she's rather lovely on the inside too; never coming across as arrogant and never snubbing anyone for being less pretty than she is (Samantha Brick makes references in both the original article and today's online defence of it, to women who "don't make an effort" with their looks and even goes as far as to criticise women who "comfort their friends when they're having a "fat day."" Thus implying that we should instead tell them to shape up and stop looking so grim, which seems to be just as bad as what she claims women are doing to her).
I could stretch this out to my circle of friends as a whole. I envy my adorable best bud Lydia for her gorgeous hair. I admire Lizzie's slim figure. Clare has a very sweet smile and infinitely better teeth than I do. Kate is just that little bit taller than me and I envy those extra inches!
Samantha Brick implies that all women loathe her because she's "beautiful." Even her friends, who wont invite them into their houses in case their husbands are tempted to stray. She believes that the reason she has never been asked to be a bridesmaid is most likely because of her beauty.
Let me just clarify, in the extremely unlikely event that Ms Brick is reading this: Aside from Pippa Middleton and her world-famous arse, when people go to a wedding, they're there to look at the BRIDE, not the bridesmaid. Wouldn't matter if you were Angelina Jolie, or someone considered to be equally gorgeous (for the record, I don't think Angelina's that beautiful either - shock, horror, personal opinion!): The people in the church/registry office/wherever-the-Hell-the-wedding-is are there to see a couple get married. They want to see how good the bride looks. And with only very, very few exceptions, a bride always looks stunning. More so than the bridesmaids! Okay, so come the evening reception, some of the blokes are getting merry and thinking: "Cor, that bridesmaid's a bit fit," but unless said bridesmaid decides to get down and dirty with a bloke on the dance floor in front of the bride's Granny, she's still not going to take attention away from the happy couple. The bride will still remain the centre of attention. I would therefore hazard a guess that none of Samantha's friends have asked her to be their bridesmaid because they don't consider her to be a close enough friend to fulfil that role. Oh and then there's the fact that she seems to openly assume that every woman she meets has a husband who's so attracted to her that she is deemed "a threat." I'm a woman and I can safely say, the only friend I considered a "threat" to any of my exes was deemed so because she was a flirtatious, nasty, arrogant little madam who tried it on with everyone. She was also anything but particularly attractive, yet put it on a plate so readily that men were often tempted to take it "because it was there," as my last ex put it. If you're deemed a "threat" by your friends, it might not be because they think you're especially beautiful. And you might not even be deemed a threat. You might just think you're a threat, which comes from a rather arrogant, unpleasant place, which I'd imagine your friends don't particularly appreciate and would be unlikely to lead to them rushing to get your measurements for the bridesmaids outfits...
As a woman, I personally find the idea that we, as a sex, can't stand beauty in another female, rather unkind and over exaggerated at best. Yes, women can be bitchy. I'm just as guilty as anyone else of making a barbed comment here and there, or of looking at a woman and making a snap judgement. What I don't do, is hate a woman purely because she's prettier than I am and nor do I know any girls who do. Woman are notorious for whispering about the shortness of a skirt, or the orange-ness of a fake tan, but we generally applaud women who are attractive, particularly if they're nice with it. There are makeover shows on TV and beauty guides in magazines... Would we be encouraging each other to look as good as possible, if we secretly wanted everyone to be less attractive than ourselves? I will agree that there is a grain of truth in Ms Brick's comments about women having the capacity to be bitchy, but I will never agree that we universally condemn other females for having the audacity to be good looking.
Then I come to a point that may sound a little whiny, but which I still believe needs to be made.
Samantha Brick ends her article by saying she can't wait til she starts losing her "beautiful" looks and begins to age, so that she can "blend in." Presumably, she means "blend in with all you ugly folk," although she doesn't go quite that far. That way, her Hellish life will finally become normal again and she won't have to "suffer" anymore.
So let me get this straight. Your average-looking person (which is precisely what Samantha Brick is, but lets not even go down that road) and of course, ugly people, are blessed because they don't have to "put up with" the kind of things that poor Samantha deals with so very "frequently?" I can't be the only person who has been through bullying who finds that pretty abhorrent?!
I open magazines and newspapers every day and I'm confronted with images of perfection that I will never attain. I look at myself in the mirror and I have days where I could cry, because I still see the twelve year old girl the school bullies used to spit at and wish death upon, based only on my unappealing facial features. I have a pot belly, which doesn't budge with any great ease, even when I make an effort to eat healthily and get more exercise. And I'm supposed to be grateful for this?! Does Ms Brick have any idea as to just how many weddings most "ugly" people would gladly sit at the back for, rather than stand as a bridesmaid, just for the chance to have someone call them "beautiful?" Does she have the faintest clue as to how often "ugly" people come across so-called attractive women, who make it very obvious that they're looking down on them for not being visually acceptable enough?! And yet she paints herself as the poor little victim - none of the bad experiences that come her way could possibly be her fault (reminds me of my ex, to be honest), it must just be because she's so damn beautiful that people can't handle it!
Beauty, as I have said so many times before, comes from within. It's not just about having a killer figure, or the perfect hair, or legs that go on forever. It's about behaving with dignity and kindness. It's about showing warmth and respect for others. It's about carrying yourself with a little class and poise. It's about having just a shred of humility. Something which I'm afraid Samantha Bricks' article (and her online defence of it today) shows she lacks.
Confidence is a wonderful thing. We should all be able to look at ourselves and say just with just as much certainty as Ms Bricks: "I am beautiful." Human beings come in all sorts of colours and shapes and sizes. That's what makes the world so fascinating! How dull would it be if we all looked the same? Everyone is beautiful in their own way and should be encouraged to see themselves as such. But when we assume that we're prettier than everyone else around us, or we blame our beauty for all the bad things that happen to us, in the manner of a small child stamping her foot, or when we throw a blanket judgement over all the people we clearly view as not being as attractive as we are? I'm afraid that's when we become very ugly indeed.