Some textbook link-baiting trolling has been occurring over at Daily Mail towers these last few days. “Journalist” Samantha Brick has written a piece entitled “THERE ARE DOWNSIDES TO LOOKING THIS PRETTY: WHY WOMEN HATE ME FOR BEING BEAUTIFUL” [clean link]. In it, Brick describes at length how pretty she is, and how nicely the world treats her: she is the very embodiment of Hakim’s thesis that “the world smiles at attractive people, and they smile back“.
But wait! As I am sure the title signified, it is not all farting rainbow kittens when you look like Samantha Brick. See, other women hate her. They see her as a threat, a great big husband-stealing threat. Daily, Samantha Brick receives animosity, and it must all be because she’s pretty.
Well, no, not exactly. Firstly, it’s probable that at least some of the scorn she receives is due to the fact she’s a fucking Daily Mail journalist. While some people are fascist scum who enjoy reading poorly-written tabloids, many are not. Without even seeing a picture of a Mail journalist, I know that I probably hate them just a little bit, as their continued existence in their professional capacity makes the world a significantly worse place.
As for the rest, Brick seems to have missed the point entirely. There are two large problems she outlines, and neither are explored adequately as instead the piece consists of a repetitive litany of “I’m so pretty and they’re all so mean”. The first problem is benevolent sexism, which Brick receives frequently in the form of freebies from men. She is clearly moving in circles wherein benevolent sexism is more widely accepted, and does not see a problem with it. Unfortunately for Brick, it is a massive problem for her, creating a feedback loop where she can only be judged for the fact that she is a good-looking woman.
This problem can easily be solved by Samantha Brick living up to her name and throwing bricks at sexists.
The other problem Brick highlights is hegemonic heterosexuality. In Brick’s world, heterosexual monogamous relationships are the only possible way to be with people. “A catch” in this system becomes a scarce resource: if you’re lucky, you’ll get one partner; if you’re really lucky, they’ll be a good one. This feeds competition and jealousy, when everything could quite nicely be solved by everyone chucking their keys in a bowl and having a nice orgy over a selection of hummus dips.
Brick’s experience further ties in with the class structure we inhabit: she is reasonably well-off, and therefore can afford good clothes, good make-up, good self-presentation. This luxury may not be available to her neighbours. Again, in this kyriarchical minefield, envy rises and animosity is fuelled.
So, ultimately, all of Samantha Brick’s problems would be solved if she grabbed some bricks and effected a revolution.
Of course, this is not the course Brick chose to pursue. Today, another Mail article appeared: “THE I’M SO BEAUTIFUL BACKLASH… THE BILE JUST PROVES I’M RIGHT“. Er, no it doesn’t.
In this piece, Brick reiterates that women are just nasty, jealous bitches (for some reason, the criticism she received from men is ungendered: presumably this conflicts with her thesis that it’s just horrid, horrid women).
Once again, there are a few good points in the article, which Samantha Brick misses entirely. She is right to point out that much of the backlash levelled at her was “well, she’s not really that attractive”, and that is rather nasty. What she ignores, though, is that this is indicative of a system which is radically in need of bashing in with bricks, and that her looks should be completely irrelevant.
Samantha Brick is both a victim and a perpetrator in this system. Assuming what she has written encapsulates her true experience rather than sensationalist Daily Mail drivel, she has stumbled on a whole host of problems for which she chooses to lash out at her peers and shift the blame onto individuals. Yet it is not a problem of personal meanness, or spite. It is a cluster of symptoms of system which needs destroying.
Samantha Brick, live up to your name. Bring bricks. See you on the barricades.