Friday, 13 April 2012

Samantha Brick

Samantha Brick, writer for the Daily Mail, was a fairly unknown name, even to myself as a frequent reader of the British newspaper. That was until last week of course, when the media went crazy for the scandal that was Brickgate.

Whilst doing my usual scan through the paper on April 3rd,pre-media hype, I noticed the infamous article title and broad smiling face, but browsed past after a small scouff and mental note to read it later.  Little did I realize how the world was going to react to the article, entitled:

A woman who is confident about who she is and her appearance, a rare media occurance, which has actually turned rather ugly.

Samantha wrote about her experiences of being a beautiful women; men paying her travel fares, sending her complimentary drinks and female acquaintances not approving of their partners fancying fair-faced Samantha. The feedback on her article grew fast, spreading worldwide like wildfire through twitter as well as on Radio and TV, and the majority of the backlash was horrid.
However the way Samantha wrote her article unfortunately portrayed herself as an arrogant women bragging about the men who fall at her feet(none of them actually being her husband). And this is why she has suffered with so many negative comments, and will continue to do so for many weeks, or even months, to come if she doesn't change things pronto. Whilst I think that Samantha is a pretty women, she has tried to be too honest and writes about experiences not many women can actually relate to. I certainly do not know many women that have had an unknown man be so gentlemanly and kind as to pay for train tickets or to send them a bottle of champagne on a flight. One flaw which nags at me is that Samantha fails to acknowledge the beauty of others, and that it takes more than beauty to make a person human. What she discusses is being treated a certain way because of the ways she appears, which could suggest that men are trying to buy her affection and win her over(reminding me of Robert Redford in Indecent Proposal.)

After less than 24hours after the first article was published online, Brick retaliated to the thousands of tweets, comments and emails that filled her Blackberry phone. However, I think some of the comments she makes towards her fellow womankind are out of place and not doing herself any more favours. Some key quotes:

'While I've been shocked and hurt by the global condemnation, I have just this to say: my detractors have simply proved my point. Their level of anger only underlines that no one in this world is more reviled than a pretty woman.'

They do not hate you for being pretty, they hate you for showing off that men grovel at your feet. Real working class, everyday women cannot empathize with a woman who is showered with presents from complete strangers for no reason. At a recent wedding I attended, a friend was over-whelmed by the kindness of others with weddings gifts, given to her for being a kind and great sister, daughter and friend; presents were not bestowed upon her just because of her beauty, but deservingly as a beautiful person.

Without doubt, this is a gender issue. For not only is it mostly women who are attacking me, it is also because I am female that I am being attacked for acknowledging my attractiveness.

I agree that she is being attacked for acknowledging her attractiveness, but it is because she has presented herself in the wrong way for people to empathize with her. We live in a culture where women of all ages hate their bodies- from their spots, breasts, height, wobbly bits, sagging bits etc- and for someone to write about their beauty without any mention of negative thoughts towards themselves comes across as unnatural in our media today. We all have parts of the body we dislike, even hate, and it seems so bizarre for a woman to stand forward to claim men fall at her feet and not to share her secrets of her cellulite rump or sagging breasts. There is a slight lack of humanity.

I'm the first to give out compliments when someone I know looks good or has made an effort. I don't understand why other women don't do the same.

We do compliment each other. And if we don't, it is because we are too worried about our own body and image imperfections to compliment others on their beauty.

While I was tearfully dealing with the emails and calls outside the supermarket, a young man approached me, offered to park my car and even get me a coffee.
He could see I was having a tough time — and yes, my looks had helped me out again.

There is such a thing in this world called being kind. This gentleman helped a very distressed woman, irrelevant of what she looked like. The hatred that Samantha has attracted has been because of statements similar to these, where she cannot acknowledge that some people are kind to others no matter who you are; there are more important things than being seen as pretty or beautiful.

Today, Samantha wrote another article, again about her beauty and why she has such confidence in herself- all thanks to 'Daddy'. Her understanding of why she stands tall and proud is thanks to the praises of her father from her childhood and growing up as being his no.1 girl(of 5 daughters). I think this article is just dragging out the media sensation that was scandalous arrogance and self acknowledgement and most likely her career peak.

I admire her courage to talk so confidently about being 'pretty', but lets face it, we live in a society where we would rather she moaned about her sagging breasts and muffin top. If Samantha carries on to acknowledge herself only by her appearance('beautiful' and 'pretty'), she will continue to receive nasty comments from people. She is obviously a somewhat smart woman who unfortunately does not realise there is more to life than having a pretty face; a personality, kind nature and a sense of humour always win the hearts of women and men alike.


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