While I am loathe to add anything to yesterday’s furore about Mrs Brick’s Daily Mail piece – “‘There are downsides to looking this pretty’: Why women hate me for being beautiful” and certainly she and her publishers are not in need of further attention – thousands of comments, hundreds of tweets, most seemingly of a rather unsupportive flavour – I did want to suggest we consider any positives those of us of a feminist bent might find in the fuss, yesterday’s news though it may be.
After getting over my initial checking of the date (it really does read like an inflammatory April Fool’s prank) and then irritation at something that would have feminists through the ages turning in their graves, I instead considered the positives of what this woman had to say.
Few of us are gifted with the obvious beauty of super models and actresses – those who we all know are truly beautiful. Samantha seems to me to be where most of us are in the “pretty” scale – not notably beautiful and yet certainly not needing a paper bag over her head. And I am sure that most of us while indeed appreciating the beauty of Brad will also see and appreciate how lovely Angelina is to the eye. Today Samantha suggests that we would be foaming at the mouth if Angelina were to acknowledge her beauty. Well, no-one I know would – I am sure most are glad that she’s enjoying it.
The thing is, though, there is beauty in just about everyone and perhaps we should take the fair Mrs Brick’s topical storm to highlight this. Look about you – on the school run, in the street, on the train, the bus – how many ugly people are there, really? And then if any person smiles – there is beauty. A proper smile, that comes from within a person – a great big, don’t care if my teeth are crooked and my eyes scrunch up kind of smile (yes, even me – bottom right!). And it’s wonderful! I’ll stop now before bursting into “Everyone Is Beautiful”… I think you get my point.
The sad part of this tale in a tea-cup is that this one person, having been given the platform, thinks the reason for other women “hating” her (really? – hate seems an excessive emotion for what would surely only be a mild jealousy) is her beauty. I find it impossible to imagine that if women hated other attractive women for that reason alone, it would be a far worse world that we share. I may be gently suggesting that there are more likely other reasons, ones that I don’t need to outline here – everyone will have their own view of Mrs Brick’s opinions and so of her. I prefer to feel sympathy that a not-unintelligent woman is either incredibly unlucky with her female colleagues, friends, neighbours or that she is unable to look beyond the idea that it must be jealousy. I have to say that worrying if my husband is going to do anything untoward with another woman does not enter my mind – if he ever does, I’ll deal with that and the reasons behind it should I need to. Which is lucky for me as some of my best friends are beautiful!
The cynic in me knows that all this attention will be made good use of by Samantha Brick – it is likely the reason for her article. Or, of course, she is simply distracting the men into thinking that we’re bothered by such things leaving us women more room to plot world domination.
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