Thursday, 5 April 2012

Brick Backlash

So there has been rather a lot of controversy surrounding a lady called Mrs Brick this week, an unfortunate name, which will shall come to later.

I, like many others, was left open-mouthed as I read an article by freelance writer and France-based expat, Samantha Brick, entitled '"There are downsides to looking this pretty." Why Women hate for being beautiful'.

I was more shocked when my eyes scanned to the photo of Mrs Brick on The Daily Mail website. I was expecting someone of Sophia Loren-like calibre (I believe her to be 'beautiful') but was met by an image of an averagely attractive blonde. Now I believe beauty is in the eye of the beholder... I think that for one person Kelly Brook is stunningly beautiful, whereas someone else would rate Kate Moss as their number one. It had to be said that Mrs Brick was not up their with the Bridgette Bardots and Gwyneth Paltrows.

So even before I read the article, I already felt that this lady had quite a high opinion of herself. Something women, I have to say, don't find attractive in other women when forming friendships. (Hint, hint Mrs Brick). But perhaps this is what The Daily Mail were trying to achieve with their use of photography next to the outlandish headline? The most odd choice of image being Mrs Brick with her husband, who looked like he had escaped from a dodgy porn set, very lightly touching her stomach.

Anyway, I digress.... back to the article. Well the first paragraph sealed it for me when deciding on whether I would side with the writer's point of view...

"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."

As a writer I know the opening paragraph is very important when writing an article. It needs to pull the reader in and set the tone of the story. For me, the last sentence - "But while it was lovely, it wasn't a surprise. At least, not for me." - instantly created an air of arrogance in her style of writing.

She could have led in with a tongue-in-cheek approach to at least allow the readers to warm to her or she could have occassionaly tried to be a little self-depreciating. Instead she goes onto list various episodes when men have been overtly generous because, she believes, of her looks. (Not because they are after anything, of course). Meanwhile, women tend to treat her with disregard and scorn, and believe she is going to steal their husbands because she is so beautiful.

I immediately typed in Samantha Brick into my Twitter search after finishing the article. I expected maybe a few comments here and there from Tweeters who enjoyed disecting The Daily Fail's pretentious features. However, I soon realised Samantha Brick was trending right at the top, Tweeters were suggesting she should change the B in her surname to a P, and there were already images of bricks with blonde wigs... oh this was going to be big!

Mrs Brick knew she was going to receive criticism for daring to announce to the world she was beautiful and that women hated her for it. However, I doubt she expected her article to go so crazily viral in a matter of hours and to receive so much criticism from the male species in particular.

Now, I think it is great for someone to have so much self-confidence. I certainly have episodes of needing plenty more of it and admire anyone who doesn't give a hoot what anybody thinks of their appearance.

The general British manner is known to be somewhat modest and the old stiff upper lip leads us to be a nation that isn't all that good at self-promotion. I agree with Mrs Brick that when a Brit receives a compliment about our appearance we tend to brush it off quickly and blush.

I also agree that women can tend to be each others worst nightmares... For instance, when you are dressed up for a night out and you're out having a good time and feeling confident when a girl walks past and gives you a bitchy once over. It does happen. It may be because you look and feel good and that could come across as acting superior - I'm not sure. I also know that in equal measure, you can be in a ladies toilet and the girl next to you will say how lovely your dress is or how nice your hairs looks.

I always go out of my way to give my friends, and female strangers in nightclub toilets, compliments on their appearance because I know that plenty of women, if they're anything like me, don't possess such high self-esteem as Mrs Brick.

So we must applaude Mrs Brick for being able to look in the mirror and believe herself to be beautiful. However, to state that women in general do not like beautiful women is absurd.

Mrs Brick says the backlash to her article proves she is right... I think she is kind of missing the point and continues to prove why some women in her life aren't all too friendly towards her.

Oh and as a freelance writer with a novel coming out soon, she has some VERY clever marketing ideas.

The Daily Mail must also be rubbing their hands with glee... the article has had 1.5 million hits and counting!