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Journalist Samantha Brick Provokes Mockery and Anger Over Daily Mail Article on the Perils of Being Pretty

Posted on the 04 April 2012 by Periscope @periscopepost
Journalist Samantha Brick provokes mockery and anger over Daily Mail article on the perils of being pretty

Samantha Brick: Journalist at the center of a Twitterstorm

Journalist Samantha Brick has provoked the wrath of the Twitterverse after writing an article for The Daily Mail claiming other women hate her because she is beautiful. “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,” Brick said. The 41-year-old writer said she had been discriminated against by jealous female bosses because of her looks. But it seems being beautiful does have its upsides: “Throughout my adult life, I’ve regularly had bottles of bubbly or wine sent to my restaurant table by men I don’t know… Even bar tenders frequently shoo my credit card away when I try to settle my bill,” Brick wrote.

Thousands of commenters took to the Daily Mail website to express their disagreement with Brick’s assessment of her looks, before the outrage spread to the rest of the web. The article has provoked a rash of online parodies as well as a spoof Twitter account: “Delivery man took one look at me, burst into tears, pulled off his wedding ring and stamped on it. Awkward,” tweeted La Brick. US media outlets have also picked up the story, with New York Magazine summing up “five of Brick’s most egregious assertions, graded by their outrage-inducing silliness”.

The writer published a response to the shower of jeers: “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,” Brick wrote in The Daily Mail.

But is all the online ire justified? Or does it say more about the commenters than it does about Brick?

Twitter ugliness. “As is so often the case these days, the ugliness of the Twitterstorm against a Daily Mail article has superseded the ugliness of the article itself,” wrote Brendan O’Neill on a Telegraph blog. O’Neill agreed that the article was misguided, but questioned the mentality of the Twittermob: “Never mind asking ‘What kind of person writes an article saying how beautiful she is?’ It would be far better to ask: ‘What kind of people get a kick out of joining a temporary gang of online haters and unleashing nastiness on one woman?’”

Brick has a point. Samantha Brick does make one good point: there are cases when attractive women suffer discrimination because of others’ jealousy, wrote Laura Davis on an Independent blog. “Not all women are jealous of other women. But some are. And sometimes they project their jealous feelings in an ugly way,” Davis wrote. According to Davis, the problem here is the tone of Brick’s writing: “While Samantha Brick’s article reeks of narcissism, I would suggest that it has been cleverly edited this way, adorned with posed pictures purely to amplify her point. Although beauty is of course something found in the eye of the beholder (something very clear from the cruel tweets about the author), not all of her points are unfounded.”

Blame the Mail. Going by the photos that accompany the article, Brick’s looks don’t match up to the claims she makes in the article – and that makes her a figure of pity, wrote Lindy West at Jezebel: “For the Daily Mail to put such an obviously average woman (whose self-regard transcends confidence and becomes something close to paranoid delusion) on display like this, with crazy ideas like this, on a platform like this, feels uncomfortably close to bullying.” West called on other women not to fall for The Daily Mail’s “trollifying”: “It’s a little peek behind the curtain at how the media deliberately pits women against women for fun and profit. F*** that. Ladies, let’s stop biting.”

Women don’t hate beauty. “The truth is, most women don’t actually hate beautiful women. Most people, in fact, enjoy being around pretty people; science even says it’s so!” argued Jen Doll at The Atlantic Wire. The problem with Brick appears to be one of personality rather than appearance: “Most women, however, do sort of hate women who rant on and on about how hard it is being beautiful.”

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