Samantha Brick, if you haven’t heard, is a columnist who has almost broken the Internet by writing a super-viral post about how she is universally hated by her fellow women because she is too beautiful. Then, after a worldwide outcry that consisted largely of insults and accusations of vanity, she wrote a follow-up post that garnered even more criticism because it said, essentially, “See? Your vitriolic reactions just prove that I was right. Women do hate me because I’m beautiful.” (I’m paraphrasing, of course). On the off-chance that Samantha Brick ever comes across my site, here is my sincere, heartfelt, and hopefully helpful advice to her:
No doubt you are still reeling from all of the “bile” spewed at you from all corners of the globe. Rest assured that this post will not be yet another attempt to denigrate your looks. Everyone in the world will have a different opinion about that, and that is fine. To my eye, you are a nice-looking woman who obviously takes care of herself. Whether you are as pretty as you think you are is not a subject I think worth discussing.
What I DO want to talk about is the reason why your post bothered people so much, because I think you’ve got it all wrong. Sure, some people were annoyed that you like what you see when you look in the mirror. My guess is that these people are just insecure in their own looks, and so they want everyone else to be, too. To them, I say, “More power to Samantha Brick because she loves how she looks!” I would LOVE to live in a world where every woman looks in the mirror and feels satisfied with her image. Sure, there are some people who just don’t think that you should be so public about how pretty you think you are. They probably think it’s “bad form,” as it were. To them, I say, “It’s not that big a deal. I’ve committed ‘bad form’ a million times in my life, and it’s always a learning experience.”
No, Samantha, I think that the vast majority of women are annoyed with your post because you are using the old, “I can’t get along with other girls because they’re all jealous of me” line. This line presumes to know the motivations of other people, is completely devoid of any self-awareness or self-reflection, and doesn’t take responsibility for your own contribution to being “hated.” I have found that the motives that we attribute to other people are really our own. In other words, the things we say apply only to ourselves, and not to others. Yes, I am saying that it is most likely YOU who places too much importance on looks and that it is YOU who has created your current state of female friendless-ness.
Have you considered the overwhelming importance that YOU place on looks? You have had the good fortune to have your cab and train fare paid, champagne sent your way by airline captains, and flowers given to you by strange men, and you attribute all of these lovely gestures to your “lovely looks.” Of course, many of these men probably were wanting to reward you for being attractive, but have you ever considered that it could have been for other reasons, i.e., these men like your energy, or they were having a good day themselves and wanted to brighten someone else’s, or maybe you seemed like you needed cheering up, or they’re just kind men in their own right doing it just because? In other words, there could be a whole host of reasons as to why these things happen.
Many strangers – male and female – have done kind things for me, and I don’t attribute it to myself, I attribute it to them. A grocery bagger recently let me use his cell phone to call my husband when my cell phone was dead – I attributed this to him practicing excellent customer service. A male co-worker recently gifted me a utility kit for my car – flashlight, seat belt cutter, and glass-breaker – and I attributed this to his innate kindness. Two men came to my aid on two separate occasions when I had a flat tire and was parked on the side of a highway, and I attributed this to their chivalry, or their desire to help a woman in distress, or maybe it was just that I reminded them of their daughter, or sister, or wife. You see? There could have been a whole host of reasons, and yet you attributed all of these to your beauty.
Similarly, you say that the only reason women hate you is that you’re beautiful. They’re jealous when their husband talks to you, don’t want to be in the same picture with you, and have never asked you to be a bridesmaid for fear you’ll outshine them on their wedding day. While there ARE undoubtedly women like this, so deeply insecure that they can’t abide a woman that they consider prettier in their lives, I think they are the minority. I think it’s vastly more likely that you’re disliked for other reasons – and I don’t know you, so I will just posit some common reasons why women don’t like other women: you might be mean, fake, two-faced, pompous, arrogant, insincere, bitchy, boring, needy, selfish, self-involved, or what-have-you. In your specific case, based upon only your column, I would hazard to guess that it is perhaps because you place excessive importance on looks – your own and those of others. And that you’re not self-aware enough to realize it.
Well, I hope this has helped you. I have been down the hard road of self-reflection, and believe me when I tell you that it wasn’t pretty for me either to come face to face with the harsh truths about myself. However, it is so worthwhile that the rewards vastly outweigh the painful process.
Good luck! I hope you figure it out, and that you develop some bosom buddies among your own sex. There is nothing in the world like a true gal pal who understands, loves, and accepts you – for me, the friendship of other women has been one of the most beautiful things about being a woman, and one of the greatest blessings of my life!