Remember Samantha Brick? The woman who went into painstaking detail how her good looks where such a hindrance and how difficult it was being “beautiful“.
Well, she is back and revealing how much her life changed after she penned the essay titled, “There are downsides to looking this pretty: Why women hate me for being beautiful.”
She tells In Touchmagazine that not only was she on the receiving end of a barrage of internet abuse, but she even received death threats.
“They said, ‘You should die. You should be bricked to death,’ playing on my last name,” the 41-year-old Birmingham, England, native tells In Touch, four months after her April 2 article ran in the U.K. Daily Mail. “They attacked the way I look — my teeth, my breasts, everything.”
Samantha says a friend even got a call from a stranger claiming to be holding Samantha hostage. “It was surreal,” she says. “I felt violated.”
Although Samantha admits the attacks forced her to question, for the first time, just how pretty she really is, and even made her contemplate getting plastic surgery, she now has her self-confidence back — and has no regrets. “I still get e-mails from models, housewives and ordinary women,” she tells In Touch, “thanking me for telling their story.”
She was a barely known writer who was capitulated into the limelight based on two articles, where she chronicled in detail the price of being beautiful.
She was lambasted by many, praised by very few. But one thing is for sure, she is no shrinking violet.
Just as the intense interest in Samantha Brick, and those now-infamous pieces for the UK’s Daily Mail, seems to have subsided, she’s back.
In a exclusive interview with RadarOnline, Samantha opens up about how her childhood was littered with jealous friends and bullies.
After her article about how she is hated by women because she is “too beautiful” became an Internet sensation, columnist Samantha Brick was bombarded by critics who accused her of being everything from vain and narcissistic, to downright disillusioned.
Now the British writer has revealed in an exclusive interview with RadarOnline.comthat the source of her seemingly arrogant attitude as an adult comes from cruel school bullies who tormented her as a child.
“As a result the feeling of being an outsider stays with you into your adult life,” she revealed. “The valuable lesson I learnt from being bullied is that you can’t please all of the people all of the time. A mantra I definitely put into practice when the furor broke two weeks ago.”
As RadarOnline.com previously reported, Brick became a household name around the world earlier this month when she wrote an article for the MailOnline website describing her life as a series of incidents where she’s showered with champagne and cocktails in bars, bunches of flowers from men in the street, cab fares paid and free train tickets, all because of her self-described good looks.
“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,” she claimed in the piece.
What came next was a slew of e-mails, calls, online comments and tweets from people telling the 41-year-old blonde that “she’s not all that,” sometimes in far less polite language.
A series of TV appearances both in the UK and the US didn’t increase Samantha’s likeability, with even TODAY show host Ann Curry marveling at her arrogance: “I counted; you used the word I at least 60 times, are you aware of how narcissistic your piece sounded?” she said, when Brick tried to defend herself during an interview on April 6.
Along with Curry, Brick was blasted by Barbara Walters on The View, which shocked her as the verbal attack came from a woman she had always looked up to.
“Her comments were crass and she clearly hadn’t read the piece. Surely on a show such as The View – with a predominantly female audience – the air time would have been better spent debating whether I had a point and whether women are treated negatively in the work place and by their friends in social situations?” Sam said. “Ms. Walters using my piece for a cheap shot is surprising – shame on her. She missed a trick there.
“It’s definitely lowered my opinion of Ms. Walters, to come out with the line that she did – it’s on an intellectual level of someone like Snooki from the Jersey Shore.”
Sam said she is used to being attacked by women, but was shocked by the nasty comments she got from men who viciously – or humorously – lambasted her.
“Who are these men who would track down my email address to send me pages of deeply offensive insults? As for male journalists who have written parodies about me, well good for them that they’ve financially benefited off the back of my piece,” she told RadarOnline.com.
“I hope they treat their wives with their pay check as a result of the money they’ve made out of trashing a female writer!”
As for those who say she is not really as good looking as she thinks she is, Sam replied: “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and beauty isn’t just external either.
“I’m really happy with who I am and where I am in my life – and that kind of contentment is evident in how I look, how I hold myself, how I approach life and how I relate to people everyday,” said Brick, who was born in Birmingham, England and now lives in the south of France with her husband, Pascal Brick, and her step son.
“That’s attractive – and I see it often in women one wouldn’t necessarily say is supermodel beautiful.”
Despite the personal and professional slamming on the front pages of newspapers and on primetime TV, Brick said she doesn’t regret writing the article. “It’s interesting that so many ordinary individuals have got in touch with me to tell me in no uncertain terms I should fix my snaggle teeth, get a boob job, sort out my hair,” she revealed.
“And in the same breath the public criticize the media for objectifying women and encouraging them to chase an illusion of perfection… to have hair extensions, plastic surgery and all manner of other artificial things done to ourselves.
“Society is insane right now when it comes to beauty, it’s such a loaded arena – and it’s got to change.”
While she may think twice before writing a first person diatribe in the future, Samantha said the article may have opened some exciting new doors for her.
“I’m now being approached by broadcasters to explore this further in a film or documentary. Why is it that the sisterhood dislikes attractive women? What can we do to change this? Society does not tolerate racism or sexism, yet why are attractive women still the target of so much venom from their fellow sex?”
Ultimately, she hopes some good will come out of all the drama. “I hope women will take a pause when they’re in the office or in a bar before they launch into an offensive character assassination of another woman purely on the basis of how she looks. We’re better than this!” she told RadarOnline.com.
In just two days, the world has gone from not knowing who Samantha Brick is, to endlessly discussing her after she penned this article in Britain’s Daily Mail detailing the downsides of being “beautiful”.
Following on from another piece in the same newspaper yesterday, today she took her story to TV, appearing on the UK’s ”This Morning”, where she defended her article and her beliefs.
During the interview, which is below, host Eamonn Holmes got her to admit what viewers were waiting for, whether she thought she was attractive?.
“Do I think I’m good looking? Yes I do. Is that a crime?” she replied.
She added: “People mistake self-confidence for arrogance” she said. “But it’s a fact that women can’t stand beautiful women.”
What do you think of the furore surrounding Samantha’s comments?
Yesterday, our heads spun upon reading Samantha Brick’s commentary in Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper. And, by the day’s end, the blonde was facing a torrent of backlash after she described in detail how problematic being beautiful was.
Today she pens another column for the newspaper, facing off against her critics and detailing how horrendous the past 24 hours have been for her.
Here is her column in its entirety.
The past 24 hours have been, to be blunt, among the most horrendous of my life. But then, the 4,510 (at the time of writing) people who have left comments on Mail Online, and the thousands who have done the same on Twitter, would probably say that it’s all my own fault.
Yesterday, I wrote an article in the Mail, posing the question: Why do women hate me for being beautiful? The response it provoked has been extraordinary in its volume and vitriol, and beyond anything I could have imagined when I first started work at my keyboard.
Of course, I knew when I came up with the idea that it would provoke debate. I’d even prefaced the idea by explaining to the editor that I was fully aware I was setting myself up for a fall. I knew this was sensitive territory at which women would take umbrage — but I thought it was a taboo that needed shattering.
Yet even I could never have imagined the fury my piece would spawn and the thousands upon thousands of nasty comments I’ve been subjected to since it was published.
I’ve been lambasted on Twitter. Dragons’ Den judge Duncan Bannatyne has asked if what I’ve written is ‘a joke’, DJ Lauren Laverne tweeted about me all day (none of it nice) and countless so-called comedians have written unprintable things about me.
Other people who don’t know me have queued up to call me ugly, stupid, a b****.
Then there are those who have sought out my email address and bombarded my inbox with bile-filled messages — over 1,000 so far.
I’ve had malicious mail from everyone from Swedish crime writers to bored housewives asking me what planet I’m on for daring to write such a feature.
This was all from strangers. But far worse came from those I had considered friends. When I logged on to Facebook, I found a group of them had torn me to shreds. Some were asking: ‘What the hell does Sam think she’s on?’
Others I haven’t seen since college had crawled out of the woodwork to criticise me for ‘always being like that’ — and even for having a ‘girly voice’.
While I’ve been shocked and hurt by the global condemnation, I have just this to say: my detractors have simply proved my point. Their level of anger only underlines that no one in this world is more reviled than a pretty woman.
In my article, I recalled how men I’d never met before had sent bottles of bubbly to my restaurant table, presented me with impromptu bouquets and even bought train tickets for me — all on account of my pretty face.
And yet women had reacted to my good looks in a very different way. Their hostility had stood in my way at work and even friends had dropped me, fearing their husbands fancied me.
Without doubt, this is a gender issue. For not only is it mostly women who are attacking me, it is also because I am female that I am being attacked for acknowledging my attractiveness.
If Brad Pitt were to say: ‘Yes, I’m a good-looking fella,’ then the world would nod sagely in agreement. But if Angelina Jolie uttered something along those lines, she’d be subject to the same foaming-at-the-mouth onslaught hurled at me yesterday.
I’ve been astounded at the intelligent women — I’m talking well-known columnists and opinion-formers — who, rather than entering into a debate about why we can’t compliment women when they are good looking, have instead taken to their Twitter accounts to trash me in typical playground bully style.
Smart women I’ve previously admired appear to have relished putting the boot in. No debate, no discussion, let’s just attack this bit of skirt for daring to declare she thinks she’s not too bad when she looks in the mirror.
Perhaps one of the most extreme comments on Twitter comes from a woman who declares: ‘Samantha Brick should be bricked to death.’
As far as I can see, the criticism falls into two camps: those who judge me for daring to mention my attractiveness and those who wish to attack my appearance, calling me ugly — well, that’s a polite way of putting it. And it’s the latter camp who are harder to brush off.
I’m normally pretty thick-skinned, but tears have welled in my eyes on more than one occasion.
Take the latest message I’ve just received, which is pretty mild — but the intention is still to wound: ‘I am sorry to be the one to burst your arrogant and conceited bubble but I don’t find you attractive at all. You look a fool.’
Or how about this one, who used her office email and signs herself as an admin executive: ‘You look a ridiculous fool, you make me ill’.
I am at a loss as to understand what goes through someone’s mind before they press the ‘send’ button on a message like that.
I’m the first to give out compliments when someone I know looks good or has made an effort. I don’t understand why other women don’t do the same.
What really struck me was how quickly the fury snowballed.
When I first logged on to the Mail’s website at 6am, there were only four comments on my article. I thought nothing of it and got on with my day, driving to the supermarket to do the weekly shop.
It was on my way there that I started receiving phone calls and emails to my BlackBerry — within an hour there had been 1,000 comments left on the website. And by mid-morning the Twitter debate was in full flow, with my story eventually getting an unprecedented one million hits.
The phone calls were largely from other people in the media — radio and television researchers — calling in their droves to ask me to defend myself in the face of the ‘Twitterstorm’. Most of them, when they spoke to me, conceded (and were surprised to do so) that I was ‘all right’ as a person and had a point in writing the piece. Predictably some went on to lecture me for thinking I was all that.
No one bothered to ask how I was coping. But what everyone wanted to know, vulture-like, was what it’s like to be so hated and reviled.
Well, I’ll tell you what it’s like: it’s soul-destroying.
Until this week I never really understood the term ‘Trolling’ — used to describe when anonymous people viciously attack others on the internet. Now I do!
It would appear it’s OK for anyone to post comments without any remorse or thought for the consequences their actions might have.
And although such technology is global, and there were plenty of comments from around the world, I do consider this particular breed of venom to be especially poisonous when coming from the British.
I have lived and worked in Los Angeles and I doubt that such a reaction to my piece would have happened there. For in the U.S. you’re expected to look good and you’re rightly applauded for it.
No woman would ever dare to go to work in a pair of Uggs, grubby top and tracksuit bottoms (and expect to receive tea and sympathy for having a fat day). Unsurprisingly then, over in the U.S. there just isn’t the same level of female jealously, snippiness and rivalry that there is the UK
Is it any wonder Victoria Beckham has decided to stay put in LA, rather than move back to Hertfordshire? She knows better than anyone how your looks can be used against you in Britain — here we reward false modesty instead and gang up against anyone who isn’t suitably self-deprecating.
While I have a strong coterie of friends who emailed me all day asking me if I was OK, telling me this will all pass and trying to shield me from the worst of the insults lobbed my way, what hurt the most?The tears really fell when I happened across those sly and sneaky comments from women I know well enough to call friends messaging each other about me on Facebook.
Women I’ve supported emotionally and financially taking the first opportunity to declare I had it coming. And what has my husband made of all this?
At first, he shrugged it off, saying they were just the spiteful remarks of a few jealous women. But as the storm brewed . . . well, I’ve had to hide the worst of it from him; the tame few I’ve read out have riled him enough to want to take his own form of action.
Yes, I have cried on and off all day. But do I regret my article? Not at all. I’m know I’m risking the wrath of the online community once more, but there is an irony to yesterday. While I was tearfully dealing with the emails and calls outside the supermarket, a young man approached me, offered to park my car and even get me a coffee.
He could see I was having a tough time — and yes, my looks had helped me out again.
I know women reading this will think I deserve to be attacked again. But why should I be? Yes, I’m a good-looking woman — albeit one that has feelings, too.
Sometimes things defy logic. The story below is a perfect example of this.
Samantha Brick has penned an extensive piece in the UK’s Daily Mail detailing how her life is much more difficult because she is “beautiful” And, whilst we would could have dismissed this as some sort of April Fool’s joke, that day has passed.
While we aren’t saying she is unattractive, we’re perhaps alluding to the fact that she has notions of grandeur and an exaggerated sense of her physical attributes. But you read it, and make up your own mind.
On a recent flight to New York, I was delighted when a stewardess came over and gave me a bottle of champagne.
‘This is from the captain — he wants to welcome you on board and hopes you have a great flight today,’ she explained.
You’re probably thinking ‘what a lovely surprise’. But while it was lovely, it wasn’t a surprise. At least, not for me.
Throughout my adult life, I’ve regularly had bottles of bubbly or wine sent to my restaurant table by men I don’t know. Once, 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.
Another time, as I was walking through London’s Portobello Road market, I was tapped on the shoulder and presented with a beautiful bunch of flowers. Even bar tenders frequently shoo my credit card away when I try to settle my bill.
And whenever I’ve asked what I’ve done to deserve such treatment, the donors of these gifts have always said the same thing: my pleasing appearance and pretty smile made their day.
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.
If you’re a woman reading this, I’d hazard that you’ve already formed your own opinion about me — and it won’t be very flattering. For while many doors have been opened (literally) as a result of my looks, just as many have been metaphorically slammed in my face — and usually by own sex.
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 it is not just jealous wives who have frozen me out of their lives. Insecure female bosses have also barred me from promotions at work.
And most poignantly of all, not one girlfriend has ever asked me to be her bridesmaid.
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.
Take last week, out walking the dogs a neighbour passed by in her car. I waved — she blatantly blanked me. Yet this is someone whose sons have stayed at my house, and who has been welcomed into my home on countless occasions.
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.
And, according to our mutual friend, she is adamant that something could happen between her husband and me, ‘were the right circumstances in place’. Yet I’m happily married, and have been for the past four years.
This isn’t the first time such paranoia has gripped the women around me. In my early 20s, when I first started in television as a researcher, one female boss in her late 30s would regularly invite me over for dinner after a long day in the office.
I always accepted her invitation, as during office hours we got along famously. But one evening her partner was at home. We were all a couple of glasses of wine into the evening. Then he and I said we both liked the song we were listening to.
She laid into her bewildered partner for ‘fancying’ me, then turned on me, calling me unrepeatable names before ridiculing me for dying my hair and wearing lipstick. I declined any further invitations.
Therapist Marisa Peer, author of self-help guide Ultimate Confidence, says that women have always measured themselves against each other by their looks rather than achievements — and it can make the lives of the good-looking very difficult.
‘Many of my clients are models, yet people are always astounded when I explain they don’t have it easy,’ she says. If you are attractive other women think you lead a perfect life — which simply isn’t true.
‘They don’t realise you are just as vulnerable as they are. It’s hard when everyone resents you for your looks. Men think “what’s the point, she’s out of my league” and don’t ask you out. And women don’t want to hang out with someone more attractive than they are.’
I certainly found that out the hard way, particularly in the office.
One contract I accepted was blighted by a jealous female boss. It was the height of summer and I’d opted to wear knee length, cap-sleeved dresses. They were modest, yet pretty; more Kate Middleton than Katie Price.
But my boss pulled me into her office and informed me my dress style was distracting her male employees. I didn’t dare point out that there were other women in the office wearing similar attire.
Rather than argue, I worked out the rest of my contract wearing baggy, sombre-coloured trouser suits. It was clear that when you have a female boss, it’s best to let them shine, but when you have a male boss, it’s a different game: I have written in the Mail on how I have flirted to get ahead at work, something I’m sure many women do.
Women, however, are far more problematic. With one phenomenally tricky boss, I eventually managed to carve out a positive working relationship. But a year in, her attitude towards me changed; the deterioration began when she started to put on weight.
We were both employed by a big broadcasting company. One of our male UK chiefs recommended I take the company’s global leadership course, which meant doors would have opened for me around the world.
All I needed were two personal recommendations to be eligible. As everyone in the office agreed I was good at my job, I didn’t think this would be a problem.
But while the male executive signed the paperwork without hesitation, my immediate boss refused to sign. When I asked her right-hand woman why, she pulled me to one side and explained that my boss was jealous of me.
Things between us rapidly deteriorated. Whenever I wore something new she’d sneer at me in front of other colleagues that she was the star, not me.
Six months later I handed in my notice. Privately she begged me to stay, blaming the nasty comments on her hormones. She was in her early 40s and confided she was having marital problems. But by then I’d had enough.
I find that older women are the most hostile to beautiful women — perhaps because they feel their own bloom fading. Because my husband is ten years older than me, his social circle is that bit older too.
As a Frenchman, he takes great pride in hearing other men declare that I’m a beautiful woman and always tells me to laugh off bitchy comments from other women.
Yet I dread the inevitable sarky comments. ‘Here she comes. We’re in the village hall yet Sam’s dressed for the Albert Hall,’ was one I recently overheard. As a result I find dinner parties and social gatherings fraught and if I can’t wriggle out of them, then often dress down in jeans and a demure, albeit pretty, top.
But even these ploys don’t always work. Take last summer and a birthday party I attended with my husband. At one point the host, who was celebrating his 50th, decided he wanted a photo with all the women guests. Positioning us, the photographer suggested I stand immediately to his right for the shot.
Another woman I barely knew pushed me out of the way, shouting it wasn’t fair on all the other women if I was dominating the snap. I was devastated and burst into tears. On my own in the loos one woman privately consoled me — well out of ear-shot of her girlfriends.
So now I’m 41 and probably one of very few women entering her fifth decade welcoming the decline of my looks. I can’t wait for the wrinkles and the grey hair that will help me blend into the background.
Perhaps then the sisterhood will finally stop judging me so harshly on what I look like, and instead accept me for who I am.