Dear Samantha Brick: I Am Sorry for Being a Sexist Jerk

Rant 46

Three days ago, Samantha Brick, a writer for the Daily Mail, wrote a piece that set the Internet ablaze. In it, she admitted that her "beauty" has been a major hindrance in making female friendships. The piece itself was trite it's true, boiling a woman's self worth down to only her beauty. But the resulting onslaught against Brick has been nothing short of breathtakingly cruel.

She has been bullied on Twitter. Of the 1.5 million clicks the piece has garnered, at least 8,000 of them took the time to comment on her "ugliness" and most have been scathing in their analysis of what she said. Her own newspaper threw her under the bus with extremely unflattering photos of Brick under the caption: "Are these the looks that make all women jealous?" Simply put: It has been disturbing.

And I have been just as guilty as everyone else.

From the moment I saw the piece, I posted it on Facebook and laughed with my friends about how delusional she is (hell, I wrote about it, too). I consider myself a feminist and I care about women and our advancement, but if one gets uppity, am I the first to throw her under the bus? I sure hope not. But maybe I am.

Obviously, The Daily Mail is most to blame for this travesty. They took a clearly vulnerable writer and commissioned a piece they knew she would get trashed for. Read the captions on the original piece and it becomes immediately obvious that she was being slammed from the start.

Publications do have some responsibility to edit pieces responsibly. To say otherwise and to click bait at the expense of writers is irresponsible and cold. It will be the end of respectful discussion if we aren't careful.

Still, the newspaper isn't to blame for what happened after, for the way so many gleefully attacked her looks and bullied her to the point of tears (as she admitted in a follow-up piece). Wow, don't we feel good about ourselves? We took a confident women who dared to break a taboo about herself and her looks and we shot her down. We mocked her. We made her feel badly. Hell, some of us even called her ugly. Mea culpa. I was wrong.

Why does it matter if she is or isn't pretty? If she FEELS it, why should we attack it? Sure, we can say the premise is hog wash. Maybe we, as women, feel insulted by the notion that we are too insecure to befriend attractive women. But attack her on the content of what she is saying, not the accuracy of her stated "fact." Anything less is simply bullying.

In fact, it's the very definition of bullying. We see someone who feels good about something and we try to take that away from them. The Daily Mail was irresponsible and deplorable for using her this way, but we were all too willing to jump on board, calling her "plain" and "ugly" and "unattractive" with such wild abandon and cruelty.

We should be ashamed. Brick has proven something ugly, indeed. But it's not about her looks. It's about us. I am ashamed of the way I reacted. As a sister and mother of a daughter, a daughter myself, and as a woman, I should support a person's confidence and be glad if a woman feels good about herself, whether I feel her confidence is misguided or not.

Do I think I want to be friends with Brick? Maybe not. There were some things in her piece that bothered me about her personality. Still, as a fellow woman, I applaud her confidence in her beauty and I wish she had chosen a better newspaper to highlight it than Daily Mail. Maybe we could be having another, more useful discussion.

Dear Samantha Brick: If you feel good about your looks and your body and have that confidence at 41, then good for you. It's too bad all women don't. Maybe we wouldn't be so mean to one another if we did.

See Brick below:

Do you think The Daily Mail owes Brick an apology?

 

Image via iTV1/YouTube

cyberbullying

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Kritika Kritika

She was a nobody before her article and is now 1.5 million people more famous. Seriously, don't apologize.

the4m... the4mutts

Idk about the daily mail, but you certainly did.

You were wrong, as I said in my comments to your previous blog.

Its good to see that you "womaned up" and apologized and admitted your folly.

P2The... P2TheDoodle

I think she's a very pretty woman. I congratulate her for standing up and saying that she is beautiful. We teach our daughters that beauty is within yourself, and to let it shine through. Men respond well to it, and maybe they do treat her differently - it's about confidence! I hope my daughter feels comfortable enough to know that she's beautiful. What's happened with Samantha is that women have proved her piece right, and that "we" as women are nasty creatures that love to bully each other. It happens all the time here on TheStir. It's sickening to read the comments sometimes, and to listen to women who are supposed to be setting an example for their little ones spew hateful comments about writers and each other. Can we just stop it already??

nonmember avatar blh

No I'm sorry she asked for it. She made a complete jackass of herself. For one she is NOT that pretty and for two even if you are exdtremely beautiful it makes you seem like a conceited bitch if you go around saying it. she's deluduonal and needed a reality check.

nonmember avatar Jamie

I think you're wrong. In her piece, she criticized ALL women for being nasty and rude soley because they're jealous of her. Isn't that an insult to all OTHER women on a few levels? Even when she said something about a woman who was comforting her, she made sure to add the woman was doing it in a way that wasn't genuine. She deserves to be criticized herself.

Mara Tuominen

hahaha there is a difference between feeling beautiful and recieving priveleges and what she wrote. She wrote with a haughty arrogance  and quite honestly writing that piece shows her narcissism and makes her look stupid. Yes if youa re attractive it causes jealousy but that is also something that you complain with your friends about not writing an aritcle.

Flori... Floridamom96

I think there are several reasons women were bothered by this article. First, she claimed she was prettier than almost all other women. Second, she claimed that men simply swooned at the mere vision of her. She gleefully asserted her beauty led men (including other women's husbands) to regularly fall all over themselves to show their appreciation for her beauty. Lastly, and most importantly, she insisted that all other women are shamed by, threatened by, and viciously envious of her beauty. In other words, she said that we were all jealous harpies. Are you really surprised that women found this offensive?

Miche... Michelephant

Mara- The daily mail commissioned her to write that article, as in they told her to write it.  All I got from the article was that she was confident, above average attractive and she gets some perks because of it.  Yes having all of the examples of the harsh treatment from other women and the benefits she receives from men sound like she is being arrogant.  But she was told to write a piece and had to shove about 15 to 20 years of those occurrences into about 2 pages.  Put it all together and it's her being cocky, if these things were mentioned casually and not in one clump of an article no one would accuse her of being that self centered.

nonmember avatar Liz

I don't feel bad for a second. There's a difference between confidence and arrogance and she crossed the line. She admitted to flirting with men to get ahead in her job. Hmm maybe that's why her female coworkers didn't like her?? There is a way to express being proud of your looks while still being humble. Furthermore, any women who aren't fond of her are automatically called jealous and insecure. There are many beautiful women who I like because they are beautiful both inside AND out. This woman is clearly very ugly on the inside. Maybe she should take a closer look at herself to figure out if people have legitimate reasons for not liking her. There is something very disturbing about someone who blames all their life problems on other people. I would never call this woman ugly, yet she has no problem pointing out other women's flaws as reasons why they don't like her! What makes her delusional is not being proud of her own looks, but the fact that she truly believes her relationship with other women is strictly based on THEIR looks: "the deterioration began when she started to put on weight." Are you kidding me?! I'm more ashamed of you, OP, for defending her than for laughing at her to begin with.

nonmember avatar Liz

CON'T. Basically you've chosen to defend someone who belittles other women and suggests they don't like her only because they are less attractive than her. A truly confident women would have NEVER written about this topic in such a way. It is possible to discuss the way women judge each other without belittling every woman you can't get along with in life. If she was really concerned with women celebrating each other's beauty she wouldn't have spent so much time describing other women as "shorter, heavier and older" than her. This woman is pompous and arrogant and nothing more.

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