Samantha Brick – a real woman?

You will have had to have lived in a cave to escaped the media storm that surrounded Samantha Brick’s article in the Daily Mail, complete with her follow-up piece a few days later, and her appearance on This Morning after that. I am guessing there are not many people, male or female, who didn’t pass comment in one way or another.  I certainly did. I would like to question, and maybe answer, some of the issues that Samantha raised. For anyone living in the aforementioned cave; the original article is here.

Self-confidence makes the World go round

Samantha Brick claims that she is very attractive. So attractive in fact, that men can’t help but buy her things and women don’t like her. She also makes the sweeping statement that womankind, in general, do not like attractive women.

I’m all for self-confidence. I think it’s great when people have a lot of self-confidence. I think it shows in the way they walk, the way they talk, and how they carry themselves. I enjoy spending time with self-confident people. I like to think that I am a self-confident person.

You don’t have to consider yourself attractive to have confidence. It can come from a genuine belief in what you do, being comfortable in your own skin, having a supportive family and friends, anything. So why does Samantha Brick feel the need to keep mentioning how attractive she is? Is she trying to convince herself, or other people? Or, perhaps, rather sadly; this is the only source of her self-confidence.

Be enough of a woman not to have to position yourself against other women

I think it’s great that Samantha Brick is prepared to hold her hands up and say ‘yes, I am attractive’. Why shouldn’t she think that? Good on her! What I don’t think is great, however, is that she uses this self-confidence to position herself against other women (“women think their husbands fancy me”, “women don’t like attractive women”). Does she genuinely believe that the sisterhood is rejecting her because of her looks? Where’s the girl power? It connotes an air of arrogance and superiority, which people (not just women) are not going to take kindly to.

“You’d think we women would applaud each other for taking pride in our appearances.” I think they generally do. It’s only when “taking pride” becomes vain and arrogant that it stirs up negative feeling toward our fellow female. Vanity, arrogance, self-importance, and other similar traits will provoke untoward thoughts no matter what you look like.

Her mistaking the uproar that followed as “proving her point” only added fuel to the outrage. Is she actually suggesting that all women are so insecure that they couldn’t possibly openly appreciate other women’s beauty? That they are insecure enough to think that their husband fancies every attractive woman he sees?

The Daily Mail knows exactly what they’re doing.

Selling newspapers is what the Daily Mail have been doing for over a hundred years. They are experts in the field; their articles are positioned and edited with military precision in order to generate maximal media response. There’s no such thing as bad publicity, right? The picture that accompanied the first article was not, (in my opinion) a flattering picture of Ms Brick. She is far better looking in real life (in my opinion). But this was all part of the Daily Mail’s publicity plan as it purely amplified the level of outrage and response.   Unfortunately much of the Twitter storm was based upon the fact that the woman claiming to be so enviably attractive was flawed by her founding assertion. One Tweet even claimed that the Daily Mail had obviously put the wrong picture next to the article. Maybe she was asking for it, the Daily Mail certainly was, but I’m not comfortable with people saying cruel things to people about what they look like. I’m not comfortable with people being judged in that way. Besides, this all detracted from the genuine issues behind the article.

Had the Daily Mail chosen a more flattering picture of the author, or no picture at all, would there have been such a storm? I sincerely doubt it. There was, however, a significant portion of the media storm that did focus on what was the real issue here.

We could have had less of the childish digs at her face and more of the questioning what she was saying. But in saying that, isn’t that what Samantha is communicating in the first place? That people are so consumed with the way she looks that they will spend money on her willy-nilly. Maybe the issue is that society as a whole is so obsessed with aesthetics that they fail to concentrate on the words and the real meaning. Maybe Samantha Brick thinks her astounding good looks are genuinely getting in the way of her being appreciated for her intelligence, riveting personality or ability to write a thought-provoking article. Maybe… or maybe she just needs to step back into reality.