The controversy over humblebragging world champion Samantha Brick and her odious Daily Mail piece on how horrible women are horribly mean to her all the time simply because she is gorgeous and not because she is a self-aggrandizing modern-day Narcissus has been an frequent talking point in an otherwise quiet week on the web news front, and we’d be remiss not to cover it, as loathe as we are to give the trainwreck any more attention.
If you’ve not seen Samantha Brick’s allegedly heart-stoppingly breathtaking visage yet, you probably will. (Or just scroll up.) Brick’s Daily Mail FeMale feature “‘There are downsides to looking this pretty’: Why women hate me for being beautiful” is possibly the Daily Mail-iest article ever written, a terrible treatise pitting females against females in a beauty privilege reinforcement piece wherein the greatest irony is that the woman who wrote it is very, very painfully average. And I am being incredibly charitable there.
The piece has traveled far and wide on the web and on TV on both sides of the pond, and in it, Brick claims that no women will be friends with her because of her stunning looks and nearly goddess-like hotness. When I read the piece before I saw her, I was expecting a glossy-and-pouty lipped, bronzed and perfectly coiffed Adriana Lima-lookalike- I really was. But despite a very everywoman appearance- and beauty takes many forms, of course- Brick claims the benefits of her good looks are legion, if negated by alleged shoddy treatment by jealous other females:
“On a recent flight to New York, I was delighted when a stewardess came over and gave me a bottle of champagne… You’re probably thinking ‘what a lovely surprise’. But while it was lovely, it wasn’t a surprise. At least, not for me.”
“Another time, as I was walking through London’s Portobello Road market, I was tapped on the shoulder and presented with a beautiful bunch of flowers. Even bar tenders frequently shoo my credit card away when I try to settle my bill.”
The downside, as described by Brick:
“I’m not smug and I’m no flirt, yet over the years I’ve been dropped by countless friends who felt threatened if I was merely in the presence of their other halves. If their partners dared to actually talk to me, a sudden chill would descend on the room.”
It’s disheartening and awful that the piece is likely to only have gone viral not due to Brick’s “hotness,” but rather her clearly inflated assessment of her own looks- the Mail knew full well what type of response the piece would invoke, trolling readers, the media and Brick in the process. The exploitative paper is taking full advantage of the looks-related prejudice women alone face in their characteristic way, reinforcing both the unspoken code as well as women’s ugly ideas about one another. Not cool, Daily Mail.
Still, the ensuing backlash- Twitter is awash in Samantha Brick jokes- was no detriment to her self-image. When asked in an interview after the story blew up about her looks, she downplayed her stories in the piece but conceded she believed that “ten out of ten” men at a dinner party would want to get into her supposedly hotter than average pants.