April 5, 2012

It's not easy being ... err ... really average looking

So as not to be thought of as an intellectual snob or elitist, I like to occasionally jump on the bandwagon of viral interweb outbreaks.  One such outbreak relates to a UK journalist, Samantha Brick (now that's a heavy moniker), writing about the burdens of being a beautiful woman and generally banging on about why other women hate her.

First (because it's more deserving), some local Oz commentary from Jacqueline Maley:
For it hurts me deeply that other women don't seem to like me, which is why I have written an article asserting my innate superiority over them and at the same time insulting them for being so petty-minded that they cannot get over themselves and just, for the love of God, see past the dazzle of my looks to my lovely personality.

My friends (all male, of course, and one or two lesbians - they, too, are helpless to resist my charms) have given me some interesting feedback on my plight and that of Samantha Brick.

Maybe, said one, Samantha's beauty is matched only by her instinct for self-promotion.

In one 24-hour period, she has managed to become a global sensation, spawning homages and earnest think-pieces on why women are so unkind to each other.

Her original piece, for Britain's Daily Mail, attracted more than 4000 online comments, untold amounts of traffic for the website and no doubt sales of the paper, which featured a follow-up story in which Brick conveniently argued the vitriol just proved her original point - that all women are eye-scratchingly jealous of each other.

Maybe, said another, the reason other women don't like Samantha is just the usual reason women don't like other women - coz she is not very nice.

Both these explanations I dismissed out of (exquisitely manicured) hand.
It ain't easy bein' pretty as a brick 

Of course, I HAD to click the story, mostly to see a picture of Brick.  Well, she must be gob-smackingly gor-ge-arse, mustn't she?  *Sigh*  She's not.  What a let down.  Ordinary, nicely groomed, dyed blonde on regular basis, around 40 years old, probably older, but well preserved.  (My guess, prior to reading the piece by Brick.) 

While I presume Brick hasn't made up her lifetime of anecdotes, and sure, one could accuse her of being "brave" or "honest", I can't imagine meeting her (at any age - hers or mine) and feeling snitchy and bitchy about her.  She looks like millions of other women, none of whom I'd give a second thought - unless they were memorable for being charming, friendly, witty or exceptionally talented and smart, all of which would be delightful.  Perhaps Brick has a captivating personality. That's all I can think that might explain her strange belief that other women hate her for her beauty. Although she only lays claim to beauty, not other enviable attributes.

That we're well into the 21st century and crap like this is published disturbs me greatly.  I wouldn't mind if there were serious articles by men - "Why other men hate me in the gym / for being rich / for my big cock / for changing nappies / for my beard", etc, etc, so that it was equal opportunity trashing of the genders - but it's only ever women dumping on other women over personal matters (and don't men love the spectacle of women bitching about each other, all the energy that goes into that activity, instead of taking over the world?).  
I say the same about the endless women-bashing via breast feeding, or child care, or what age to breed, or when to give up wearing skirts above the knees, and on and on and on it goes.  What women can and can't do, is always up for a bitter, nasty public fight.  There is no equivalent ongoing public debate about men.  When, oh when will this stop?

Tim Dowling has fun at Brick's expense with his piece, but that's point - it's FUN.  He's satirizing.  No man would be stupid or asinine enough to seriously write about how ridiculously good looking he is and how his life has been blighted by other men hating him because of it.   The Dowling response merely proves why the Brick piece should never have been published.  It doesn't deserve our time - yet I am giving it time, yes
If you're a man, on the other hand, you've doubtless already formed an opinion about me. You almost certainly find me a threat – a threat to your career, your relationship, your masculinity. It's not something many men will dare to speak publicly about, but being terribly, terribly handsome is a double-edged sword. For every female Starbucks employee who made it her business to remember my name, there was a male employer telling me to do up my top three shirt buttons in the office. I can't tell you how many male acqaintances have stopped speaking to me over the years for petty "reasons" (unpaid debts, being alleged source of unpleasant rumour, refusal to appear as character witness), when jealousy is the transparent cause. I'll probably never know how many women have been too intimidated by my looks to talk to me, but I know exactly how many men have been angered enough by my face to try to punch it.

I don't invite the attention. I've come to dread the sarcastic, whispered comments in the gym about my physique, my chiseled jaw, my loose-hanging tank tops. At times I've found it so stressful that I've even taken steps to play down my physical beauty. I tried wearing a hoodie all day, but they wouldn't let me into Harrod's food hall, where the lady at the cheese counter sometimes gives me free samples, even though I hardly ever buy anything. More recently I decided to grow a beard, just to blend in with "normal" men. It helps a little, but there are only so many parts of a face a beard can cover. You can't grow hair on soulful, beseeching eyes, for example. Also, stuff gets caught in a beard – food, small leaves, postage stamps – which just gives women another excuse to strike up a conversation, and their jealous partners another reason to roll their eyes.

I know some people (men) will feel obliged to cast aspersions on my looks – believe me, I've heard it all before – but I won't apologise for the truth. I can already anticipate the global backlash my courageous honesty will generate: the nasty tweets, the threatening emails, the bad-mouthing from Jeremy Vine (it's beneath you, Jeremy, it really is). That won't stop me. I'm prepared to meet my critics face to face, on social media, to put my case. I've dug down and exposed an issue very few gorgeous men are prepared to talk about. And I intend to keep right on digging. After all, your hatred only proves my point.
"Oh Lord it's hard to be humble, when you're perfect in every way.

I can't wait to look in the mirror, 'cos I get better looking each day...."


  1. Thick as a brick!
    I cringed when I read this (average looking)narcissistic woman's piece of crap.

    Never should have been published I agree, Caz.

    Lol, and yes men seem not to concern themselves with such trite and trivial stuff.

    Perhaps that's why men are builders of civilizations. The explorers the discoverers the scientists the great music composers, poets, artists etc..

    Sadly, Brick's article is a good example of why some women should just be left in the kitchen barefoot and pregnant.. There at least they will be engaging in something useful and productive. ;)

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha...

  2. "Throughout my adult life, I’ve regularly had bottles of bubbly or wine sent to my restaurant table by men I don’t know. Once, a well-dressed chap bought my train ticket when I was standing behind him in the queue, while there was another occasion when a charming gentleman paid my fare as I stepped out of a cab in Paris.

    "Another time, as I was walking through London’s Portobello Road market, I was tapped on the shoulder and presented with a beautiful ..."

    Ahuh. I don't believe a word of this.

  3. Geoffff - It does stretch credulity, doesn't it.

    I found it difficult to believe, given her nice grooming, but average, non-symmetrical looks, and the average, non-symmetrical body. Nothing wrong with being average, but doesn't usually induce normal men to swoon and pay for stuff for strangers.

    I've occasionally had men stop me in public to remark on how nice I smell. Does that count? Do other women hate me, do you think?

    Other than that, the only men who've ever bought me drinks or flowers are men I know.

    No man has ever paid my train fare!

    I continue to be flabbergasted that she wrote such tripe, and allowed herself to be used and ridiculed (not hated; I don't think women hate her) all because a bunch of editors imagined (correctly) the page hit going through the roof. Plus, a bunch of men like nothing more than a meaningless bitch-fight among women, for their own amusement, nothing more.

    Given she did write it, and willingly left herself open to extreme ridicule, I can only figure she believes her own drivel.