This leads curious people like me to Google the name and of COURSE at the top of the list is a Daily Mail article. Yesterday this person was Samantha Brick. All day people were swinging between denying all knowledge of her and expressing their displeasure at the amount of people pointing out that this woman is not beautiful.
Many people, feminist writers included have expressed their displeasure at the notion Brick might be pretty. The many photos of Brick show a woman who looks absolutely fine, but I fear the Daily Mail just has a vindictive picture editor. (A look at Brick's reply to the vitriol she received for the article Why do women hate me for being beautiful? shows a photo of Brick with her husband who is wearing army fatigues and brandishing a gun)
Here’s why I think I love, ok ‘love’ is a bit of a strong word. Let’s go with heart, here’s why I heart Samantha Brick.
1. Her name. I can only guess Samantha Brick chose not to take her husband’s name, because Brick does not strike me as a particularly French surname, maybe Brique but not Brick. Let us conclude that’s her, for want of a better word, maiden name. Samantha Brick sounds like a character in a children’s novel, she’s got skinned knees, drooping socks and invites Josie Smith to tea where they play awesome games pretending to be witches.
2. Her honesty. Samantha Brick believes she’s extremely pretty and has decided to invest in this belief. That’s nobody else’s business and frankly more chocolate for the rest of us. Women so rarely announce what they like about themselves or what they are good at; Richard Branson reckons he might be good at running a record label/airline/train company/bank and gets them. Brick has the confidence to say she thinks she is pretty and gets Daily Mail space and a fake Twitter account.
Brick will no doubt see this as more envy. But I think a fake Twitter account is up there with getting a F**K YEAH! [your name here] Tumblr account. Whilst I might agree Brick is kind of whiney about the, uh, free stuff she gets for being pretty, it’s kind of refreshing to hear a woman say ‘I think I look great’ over a woman fishing for compliments.
3. She’s not a woman’s woman. And so what? We don’t all have to get on just because we’re matchy-matchy underneath our pants. I suspect Brick doesn’t think much of women and there should be no shame in preferring male company.
Brick reports rather dramatic incidents in which wives have banned her from any friendship with their husbands. I expect most people have been informed once or twice by a friend that their partner won’t allow them to hang out any longer. Interestingly, previous articles by Brick tell of what her husband will and won’t ‘let’ her do. It seems to Brick that everyone has relationships that revolve around what one partner is or isn’t allowed to do. In her relationship she is allowed to bask in male attention, she is not allowed to get fat. It makes sense to Brick that any men she gets on with are not allowed to see her, because she is allowed to see them.
Oh yes I realise Brick is so anxious to hammer home that being pretty means females the world over are all consumed with envy she fails to notice how unutterably mean she is about all other women in her article. I don’t believe women are envious of her looks; I would hate to think anyone in a high flying job would worry so much about being the prettiest girl in the room. You simply don’t get to be The Man with that kind of mind set.
And there lies the crux of the matter. I have no doubt men entertain passing fancies of being taller, slimmer, younger or hairier. However, they don’t consider popping on their CV that their mother’s father had a full head of hair at 50. Looks don’t come in to it. If you think someone is not being professional and penalising you then that is a case for the company to take up, not the Daily Mail.
Which makes Brick’s accusations a little questionable – who are these grown women who are so silly yet so high up the industry ladder?
This is where I don’t heart Brick. Because she makes it clear women aren’t ready to hold positions of authority. Not unless the contract involves a tiaras and prettiest dress clause. Time is wasted in Brick’s world, from women sitting at their desks pouting at their computer screen because someone in the office is prettier than them.
This is nonsense of course, women who get to the top, do so because they are more than capable. I’m sure they have their shallow sides. We all do. We might try to conceal shallow thoughts but we’re all aesthetes. We’re all pleased by attractive people.
If more women would be loud and proud about their talents and intelligence (and perhaps looks) this article would be getting the attention it deserves, a raised eyebrow and swift moving on. As it is we’re still bogged down under the glass ceiling in annoying false modesty. It means when one woman scrabbles out to tap on it, unless she holds a hand out to the rest of us, we just get a stiletto in our eye.