“While I’m no Elle Macpherson, I’m tall, slim, blonde and, so I’m often told, a good-looking woman. I know how lucky I am. But there are downsides to being pretty — the main one being that other women hate me for no other reason than my lovely looks.”
So writes columnist Samantha Brick in the U.K.’s Daily Mail and the column — which has kicked up a bit of a storm — is hardly out of place in the often sensational newspaper.
“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. If their partners dared to actually talk to me, a sudden chill would descend on the room … And most poignantly of all, not one girlfriend has ever asked me to be her bridesmaid.”
Reaction to the column, mostly negative, was swift. On Twitter, users were obsessed with posting as many unflattering pictures of Brick as could be found on short notice and even Angelina Jolie’s Leg (@Angie’sRightLeg) commented on the controversy:
“Samantha Brick says people hate her because she’s too beautiful. That’s like me saying I’m hated because I’m too fat.”
Most comments were a bit more mean-spirited, a la:
“Not saying I’M a looker, but if I resembled a bulldog chewing a wasp in a blonde wig, I’d refrain from ‘I’m so hot’ articles.”
But, was the woman who says she’s so pretty she never has to pay for her coffee at Starbucks for real or did she just hit upon a clever way of drumming up some serious attention?
Lindy West, writing for Jezebel, is convinced the column was meant to incite controversy, but that it was the Daily Mail editors that let Brick hang herself with her own rope:
“The Daily Mail is a large-scale professional troll, and this article is troll-bait of the highest order–a master stroke of carefully orchestrated misogyny. It basically screams, “HERE, TROLLS! DON’T YOU HATE THIS AWFUL B****? LOOK, SHE THINKS SHE’S BETTER THAN YOU BUT SHE ISN’T EVEN PRETTY!”
The Guardian’s Hadley Freeman agrees:
“The Daily Mail uses its female writers in precisely the same way it uses its female readers and celebrities: frequently, centrally and, always, cruelly. Like an abusive husband, the Daily Mail courts women and needs women, but will always turn around and punch them in the face. Because the Daily Mail hates women.”
What do you think? Is the Daily Mail at fault for publishing Brick’s column or did she open herself up to large-scale Internet humiliation?