A regular reader suggested I write about this so I thought I would give it a shot. Samantha Brick, a columnist for The Daily Mail a newspaper in the UK created a bit of an internet firestorm with her article
I have a lot of mixed feelings on this very topic. For starters I know that women can sometimes be cruel to other women for no other reason than another woman is younger and more attractive. This does happen, and I experienced it when I was a much younger woman. Disney movies come to mind with the perfect and beautiful princess and the older less attractive jealous queen or witch hellbent on destroying her younger rival. The Disney films and many other pop culture references get their inspiration in part to the many of the classic Grimm fairy tales where this plot line is a common one. However I don’t think it is as big as a problem as Samantha Brick espouses and I really don’t buy much of her story.
Too much of anything will invite envy, if someone is too smart, too rich, too physically fit, too confident, too funny, too talented, too lucky…someone will resent them for it. Jealous is unfortunately a part of human nature for all genders and all ages. We can all remember situations from our childhood when we were on either side of that fence. When I was a child I was hated by some my bright platinum blonde hair, while others loved me for it and would make a big deal out of my ice blonde locks. When colored contacts became common I was suddenly constantly asked.
“Are your eyes real?”
Of course my eyes are naturally blue, so this question always confused me. Accused of both dying my hair and wearing colored contacts by people who barely know me, or think they know me well I can feel her pain. What I don’t agree with her on however are some of her wild claims. I won’t break down all of her tales of free alcohol, flowers and gifts from total strangers as they may or may not be true. They do sound a bit fantastical to a taller than average, slim blonde who gets no such perks. Here is one statement she makes in her article that might be the reason she is getting so much hate mail.
But there are downsides to being pretty — the main one being that other women hate me for no other reason than my lovely looks.
Perhaps as this happened to me from my late teens to early twenties. Most of my friends in college were male, but that was only for the first two years or so, once I got more confident with who I was a person I gained more female friends. The men hung around me hoping I would eventually sleep with them or date them. I didn’t get along with women as well due to my own insecurities and awkwardness, not any overwhelming beauty although I think my looks played some part. In most instances when I encountered a negative attitude once I opened my mouth and started talking to these hostile women it went away, not in every case of course but in most cases. When the woman saw that I didn’t take myself very seriously and that I wasn’t obsessed with my appearance their impression changed instantly.
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.
Personally I think she is projecting a bit. If she is sitting there obsessing that this is happening, then it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. But I have never met Ms. Brick and I have no idea what her personality is like, she may be quite lovely or she could just be so self-obsessed that women just find her annoying. We don’t know but we start to get an idea from the rest of the article.
And most poignantly of all, not one girlfriend has ever asked me to be her bridesmaid.
I have been a bridesmaid once…only once but I don’t think it has much to do with my looks as most of my friends didn’t have huge weddings. And I can’t imagine any bride thinks to themselves…wait that blonde woman will upstage me…it is nearly impossible to upstage a bride. The bride is in a huge white dress that probably cost a fortune and the whole entire day is about her. At my own wedding my extremely attractive tall and curvaceous sister was my maid of honor and two of my bridesmaids were my college aged, and drop dead gorgeous petite cousins…all of which were blonde. Their appearance had absolutely nothing to do with their selection, the fact that they were all related to me and near to my heart had much more to do with the process.
You’d think we women would applaud each other for taking pride in our appearances.
I work at mine — I don’t drink or smoke, I work out, even when I don’t feel like it, and very rarely succumb to chocolate. Unfortunately women find nothing more annoying than someone else being the most attractive girl in a room.
Now we really see some of the self-absorption. By making this statement about working out, eating well, she is implying other women don’t. And that is simply crazy. As we all know women who never work out and are blessed with perfect figures anyway, just as we know women who work incredibly hard with diet and exercise and still struggle. And the rarely succumb to chocolate line is a bit much…so any overweight woman is just a lazy pig who shovels chocolate down their throat all day? Or perhaps she might have a few children that have affected her body type or made it difficult to maintain the daily work out routines. Maybe some women might have a genetic predisposition to being slightly larger and are perfectly healthy at that weight. Body type has more to do with genetics than any workout routine or diet regime on earth and avoiding chocolate might help but it won’t turn a curvy shorter gal into tall slender one. When she makes this comment it just reeks of arrogance.
I approached a mutual friend and discreetly enquired if I’d made a faux pas. It seems the only crime I’ve committed is not leaving the house with a bag over my head.She doesn’t like me, I discovered, because she views me as a threat. The friend pointed out she is shorter, heavier and older than me.
I would have to disagree strongly with this comment as a person who works in the burlesque scene in New York city all of my female friends are dressed to the nines nearly every time they leave their apartments. Form-fitting vintage dresses, false eyelashes, makeup, hair, heels, fishnets, even glitter and they are all gorgeous. No one gets excluded because they are “Too pretty” it is just unfathomable. I am sure it happens, but I don’t see a lot of examples of it in my circle of friends, none actually. I have seen women who are self-obsessed, bitchy or mean, get excluded though so again…she very well might get shut out of things, but it may have nothing to do with her beauty. Since none of us know Ms. Brick personally we can’t really surmise, but I am finding some of her claims to a bit silly and her stories to a bit fabricated.