April 3, 2012 at 6:01 PM ET
Remember when supermodel Gisele Bundchen made women everywhere seethe when she said many moms-to-be turn their bodies into “garbage disposals” and noted how easy it had been for her to lose weight after her pregnancy? Well, this is kind of like that, only weirder.
Samantha Brick, 41, a British freelance journalist who lives in France, is gaining notoriety for an essay she wrote for the Daily Mail. The headline? ‘There are downsides to looking this pretty’: Why women hate me for being beautiful.
It goes without saying that the essay’s premise — author faces hardships and unfair treatment from other women because she’s stunningly gorgeous — is asking for trouble. But ... WOW. Samantha Brick created so much buzz that she practically broke the Internet. She became a trending topic on Twitter and generated thousands of comments from readers over what BuzzFeed described as “quite possibly the least relatable essay ever written.”
Much of the backlash seems to center on the idea that Brick’s opinion of her looks is — to, ummm, put this as delicately as possible — disproportionately positive. The Daily Mail piece ran with seven photos of Brick, which elicited these sorts of comments and tweets from readers:
“I’m obviously missing something....”
“This is so ridiculous I still can’t quite stop laughing. Thank you — you’ve made my day!”
“I just went to get chocolate & I was made to pay for it. Might’ve been a different story if I was Samantha Brick.”
The backlash gets meaner than that — much meaner — as noted in a thoughtful post by the Telegraph’s Brendan O’Neill headlined “The Twitterstorm against Samantha Brick is infinitely uglier and nastier than the article she wrote.” In short, it seems that the wolves couldn’t resist the red meat dangled before them when those seven photos were juxtaposed alongside Brick’s lamentations. Here are some excerpts from Brick’s essay:
“While I’m no Elle Macpherson, I’m tall, slim, blonde and, so I’m often told, a good-looking woman. I know how lucky I am. But there are downsides to being pretty — the main one being that other women hate me for no other reason than my lovely looks.”
“It is not just jealous wives who have frozen me out of their lives. Insecure female bosses have also barred me from promotions at work. And most poignantly of all, not one girlfriend has ever asked me to be her bridesmaid.”
“You’d think we women would applaud each other for taking pride in our appearances. I work at mine — I don’t drink or smoke, I work out, even when I don’t feel like it, and very rarely succumb to chocolate. Unfortunately women find nothing more annoying than someone else being the most attractive girl in a room.”
“So now I’m 41 and probably one of very few women entering her fifth decade welcoming the decline of my looks. I can’t wait for the wrinkles and the grey hair that will help me blend into the background.”
OK. So. What do you think about all of this? Is it a freaky example of oversharing? A commentary on how women treat one another? A slightly belated April Fool’s joke? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.