Wednesday, 4 April 2012

The ugly face of Beauty: Samantha Brick

I'll go ahead and say it. I was an ugly child. I improved a little, as you can see- still a bit rough around the edges and carrying a few extra pounds I'm desperately trying to shift- but a vast improvement on my teenage self. If I'm honest, my own appearance has always been something that consumes me- I think, however, that this is true of most women. If we're not tanning ourselves, crash dieting and moaning about the size of our calves, we're taking more serious measures in the form of plastic surgery or gastric bands. Admittedly, the media's portrayal of celebrities has a lot to do with it. Has anyone ever noticed that newspapers such as The Daily Mail and The Sun describe women more often that not by their dress sizes? Usually regardless of what the article is about. With celebrities plastered on the front of magazines, slated for being 'too fat' or 'too skinny', it is clear that a woman's appearance has never been more discussed.

Which is why I was shocked on Monday morning to be faced with this article. Entitled 'Why women hate me because I'm beautiful', the sensationalist headline spoke for itself. Written by Daily Mail journalist Samantha Brick, the article read like a life story one might find in the 'Tragic lives' section of WHSmith. Only Samantha wasn't claiming to be psychically abused or reviled, instead she was expressing her heartache at what she considered to be her 'pleasing appearance' and how this had affected her life- i.e: it had caused her no end of hardship.

Inexplicably, this woman seemed to think that it was her 'attractive' appearance that led her to have little or no friends, rather than her unpleasant manner and shocking arrogance. It is not surprising that the feature was inundated with comments- most harshly directed at her- and that even twenty-four hours later, her name is still trending on Twitter. Even celebrities and well-known names have directed their anger at her- with Lauren Laverne tweeting ' Why do people WRITE articles like this?'  and Derren Brown stating that 'I wish I had such an inflated view of my looks!' 

I think it is fair to say that British women are notoriously self-deprecating. Tell the most beautiful woman in the world what she really looks like and she'll refuse to take the compliment, muttering away about her imperfect thighs or the fact her eyelashes are shorter than she'd like. From this angle, it could be thought that Samantha Brick's perception on her own appearance is refreshingly positive. She works out, looks after her body and is confident in herself. However, whilst confidence is attractive in anyone- arrogance is not. Whilst Samantha is entirely obsessed with her own appearance, she seems to have a very low opinion of others. Yes, she is delusional (for someone claiming to be the most beautiful woman in the world she leaves a lot to be desired), but that is by the by. What is really important is that the 'sisterhood' that she so frequently rants on about is almost non-existent in her world. Because she doesn't behave in a sisterly manner whatsoever. Perhaps instead of harping on about her perfect appearance, she ought to gain a sense of perspective and become a little more down-to-earth. If she's lucky, she might even gain herself some friends.