On 3 April 2012, an article was published on the Daily Mail website entitled: “Why women hate me for being beautiful”. Within hours, over four thousand people had spoken out online in regards to journalist Samantha Brick. At the time, I had read the article and not really thought too much about it, it seemed like a bit of a publicity stunt to me. But this week, when Samantha Brick entered the Celebrity Big Brother house (and I write the word “celebrity” begrudgingly) I sat and read the article over again, and honestly, it’s hilarious.
I can only assume that when Brick sat down and wrote the article, she knew the controversy and outrage she was about to spark. There was no way she wouldn’t of. She tells us in the article that “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”. Now, immediately with this, I didn’t believe her. Unless she was fiddling around in her purse in this train ticket queue, to the point where the “well-dressed chap” got so annoyed with waiting behind her, he threw a fiver at her and told her to hurry up, this didn’t happen. Then there’s the taxi fare. I know Paris is the city of love and romance, but it is not the city of “let’s give this middle-aged average looking woman her taxi fare, so she’ll refer to me as a charming man in a future feature”.
As the article goes on, Brick says how her credit card is turned away by bar tenders when she attempts to pay, and random bunches of flowers are given to her around London. Before I even had chance to imagine why this happens, Brick answers for me: “My pleasing appearance and pretty smile made their day”. Of course it did, my apologies.
Without sounding shallow or judgemental, I instantly went to Google images after reading this article, and looked through photos of Samantha Brick. Why? Because honestly, I was expecting to see some kind of Mila Kunis / Megan Fox sort of woman. But I was left disappointed. Not unattractive, but not over-attractive, Samantha Brick was just an average looking middle-aged woman. I think this is what made the backlash from the article so much worse. The female readers were angry at Brick, for creating this sense that females of the world think like this. I’m sure there are some women who read this article and thought “she has a point, I remember when that bloke brought me a drink in that bar and said I was beautiful”, but the majority of the readers were appalled at Brick’s words.
This made me think, is Samantha Brick really this shallow and conceded, or just extremely clever? All journalists write for a reaction, otherwise they wouldn’t bother publishing their work. But this reaction was more than Brick could have hoped for, surely. After thousands of tweets and plenty of interviews, a few months down the line, and she’s sat in a house being watched by over half the UK. All because she spent half an hour writing about how attractive she thinks she is.