FEMME FATALE or just another BRICK IN THE WALL? The Samantha Brick debacle

Samantha Brick has made headlines recently sadly not for her advancement in the highly competitive (and not to mention male-dominated) field of TV and journalism, but for her claim that […]

Samantha Brick has made headlines recently sadly not for her advancement in the highly competitive (and not to mention male-dominated) field of TV and journalism, but for her claim that she has been made to suffer oh so many burdens in her life due to her ‘beauty’.

The Daily Mail article went viral pretty quickly, receiving OVER 1000 COMMENTS in the space of one hour, and 1.5 MILLION HITS (stats that The Tab can only dream of).

I’m going to take Brick’s article as a serious piece of journalism, a proposition which sounds like it should be a given but sadly many haven’t done so. In my perspective, despite the controversial content of the article, such an attitude is biased, pretty low coming from respectable publications, and undermining of tabloid journalism as a whole. A credible newspaper reported it as a ‘silly piece’ which was ‘clearly absurd’ and ‘ridiculous’; one of the Guardian’s 2 articles about the subject was merely a list of why-I-hate-the-Daily-Mail themed anecdotes.

However, Freeman did bring up some interesting issues about the way The Daily Mail treat their female writers: “the paper uses its female writers as Trojan horses to voice its most misogynistic attitudes” – could Brick’s article have been heavily edited against her will?

In my point of view Brick’s article caused so much havoc because of two main issues.

The first factor I would point the finger at is the general society that we live in. The British are known globally for being modest – maybe so far as prudish – with good manners (as well as other more unruly associations, but traditionally this is the case). People think this is just a stereotype but the truth is that such qualities do shape our social interactions in ways that we’ve never even noticed. In many European countries, posing questions such as ‘how old are you’ or ‘how much do you earn’ are greeted with indifference, instead of the social alarm bells that the same questions seem to sound here.

Furthermore, self-deprecation is quickly becoming a social norm – “omg thanks babez but I look like soooo minging in dis piccy” – particularly among large groups of women.  In such a context to claim that your life’s problems are down to your ‘beauty’ appears as the opposite of modest (to say the least).

In the USA – particularly the centres of showbiz – such attitudes are widely accepted, and indeed Brick spent a lot of her career in Los Angeles and New York where such brazen attitudes are the norm.

Second of all I think Brick’s perceptions of the ‘injustices’ which have befallen her are a lot to do with her own attitudes (or as one of the more mild commenters put it “I think it’s probably more your arrogance that does people’s head in, love”).

If you were losing your friends, job opportunities and bridesmaid offers because you were ‘viewed as a threat’ by women EVEN once they had got to know you, sheer common sense would surely point to a personality re-vamp. Brick just seems so caught up in her own vanity that she can’t see the crux of the problem – to put it bluntly, if she got her head out her own arse maybe she would realise that it’s not her looks, it’s her attitude that people don’t like. Skimming through her articles I thought she came across as very self-centred, and most the content seemed autobiographical: in her article entitled I use my sex appeal to get ahead at work… and so does ANY woman with any sense, she claims “at 16 I transformed into a swan. The puppy fat disappeared, my complexion took on an enviable glow and I reached the 5ft 11in height I am today.” Vom.

Not that there’s no element of truth to the problems Brick addresses. We all know women can be sly, bitchy and judgemental of another woman’s looks. This is often through jealousy or perceiving the woman as a threat if there is a man around. As a woman I know very well that these issues are very common, but I personally would claim that they are only preconceptions and prejudices which are fully susceptible to fizzling out if the woman’s personality is as good as her looks.

General consensus among The Soton Tab’s male writers was that Brick is ‘distinctly average’ in looks. Personally I thought from the photos that she was quite pretty, but sadly Brick is living proof that beauty is only skin deep.