The Downside to Being Beautiful


You may have heard of Samantha Brick by now. Her article for the Daily Mail about how women hate her for her beauty has gone viral.

Brick, 41, explains that she’s been given free drinks her whole life because she’s hot.

The downside? Not one girlfriend has ever asked her to be a bridesmaid. Envious bosses have forced her out of jobs. Friendships are nearly impossible to maintain.

Therapist Marisa Peer, author of self-help guide Ultimate Confidence, says that women have always measured themselves against each other by their looks rather than achievements.

“It’s hard when everyone resents you for your looks,” says Brick. Men think “what’s the point, she’s out of my league” and don’t ask you out. And women don’t want to hang out with someone more attractive than they are…I find that older women are the most hostile to beautiful women – perhaps because they feel their own bloom fading.”

At the end of the article, she confesses that, at 41, she’s one of the few women “welcoming the decline of my looks.” She writes “I can’t wait for the wrinkles and the grey hair that will help me blend into the background.”

We can certainly debate as to whether Ms. Brick is attractive enough to warrant this conversation. The real question, however, is why the claws have come out with such glee, trying to tear her down. I think it’s a few things.

First of all, we don’t like anyone who brags about herself, even if there’s cause for bragging.

Second, we don’t like anyone who brags about herself without proper cause.

Third, we don’t like anyone who seems too happy or self-satisfied – as she claims to be in her marriage to an older man in the French countryside.

Fourth, there’s always a bit of schadenfreude in the world. We root against the guy who went to Harvard in the movie. We like to see poor lottery winners, not rich ones. We want to take down whomever’s in power – Microsoft, the government, our boss – just so they get their comeuppance.

Finally, I think that people are jealous and lashing out anonymously on the Internet is the best way to vent.

Did Samantha Brick come off as a little smug and clueless for someone who is marginally attractive? Absolutely.

But I don’t think she was lying. I just think that people didn’t want to concede that she was telling the truth.

Read the article and see multiple photos of Ms. Brick here. And click here to read my article on the woes of attractive women called “Pity the Pretty” here.

Join our conversation (132 Comments).
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  1. 21

    She spoke the truth 🙂 Good for her

  2. 22

    This is a great topic and I’ve enjoyed reading all of the posts. The bottom line is that SHE is the root cause of her own demise. She’s the one creating the media frenzy and in my opinion – is asking for the bashing. Regardless of how pretty or not she is. I would bet that if she were “normal” and had a normal personality that she’d have real friendships and be in a wedding or two.

  3. 23
    Katarina Phang

    Gosh, much ado about nothing! I’m quite pretty so I’ve been told but no, it’s not an issue. I’m happy with the way I look, most of it/the time anyway. I don’t have the “problems” she has and no, I don’t have guys pay for my stuff out of the blue either but at least both men and women find me genuine, caring, warm and non-threatening. My female friends love me as much as my male friends.

    I think it’s her personality, not her looks. And yeah she’s full of herself. She’s attractive but not that attractive.

  4. 24

    While I don’t completely disagree with the points she made, she really isn’t what I had in mind when I tried to envision this woman so beautiful it has made her life more difficult. No matter how good looking you are, if you walk into a room giving off the air that you think you’re better than everyone else, no one is going to like you. You can be gorgoues, and if you are humble, friendly and not socially awkward, even those who would like to dispise you for your looks will end up liking you. She’s so conceited that after all of these years she has herself convinced it’s her outer beauty when really it’s her inner beauty and social awkwardness that keep people from wanting to be close to her. Basically, she needs to get over herself, but I don’t think that’s bound to happen.

  5. 25

    I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the average, even unattractive people I know, have usually gotten married or gotten a ltr without a problem. Here is why: they are not attractive enough for players or guys without serious intentions to go after them for sex or a fling. The only thing that’s going to win guys over to them is their personality, which means guys who interact with them are very genuine and sincere. By contrast, as a very attractive woman, I have to constantly deal with men who just want to have sex. I’m very down to earth and nerdy and sweet, but I’ve been told that with my exotic looks I’m intimidatingly hot and that a lot of nice guys won’t even approach me, even though I’m just looking for an average looking but sweet, quirky guy who likes to be with me! It’s very frustrating. Average, dumpy women get all the guys and don’t understand how good they have it.

  6. 26

    That’s not true. Average women are definitely propositioned for flings. Unattractive women have to deal with self esteem issues because they deal with stretches where fling offers are all that there seem to be. Now exceedingly attractive women are more likely to be hooked into relationships with men who see them as trophies and waste everybody’s time before trading the woman out for a newer model (npi), someone who actually fits the ideal personality they’ve projected onto a hot girl, or even someone less flashy who they choose when they’ve become less interested in the opinions of friends, colleagues and family members. Also, men who want flings are going to be more likely to come to an average/unattractive woman “straighter.” With a beautiful one, players are more likely to go for the long game and disguise their true intentions.

  7. 27

    Like Helene, Isabella en Jennifer I am convinced that being pretty had much more advantages than disadvantages, in personal life and in the workaday world. I am so sick of people complaining how difficult it is to be beautiful.

    People, especially women, who are very unattractive have to work so much harder to find friends, relationships, work or even just simple appreciation from their own parents…. On the relationship market men can compensate for this somewhat by gaining status and money (male medical doctors always seem to be popular, no matter what they look like) but for women this is so much harder.
    And that is just for the garden-variety level unattractiveness. The type you can work at with make up, a good hairdo, taking up exercise.

    But there are people out there who really suffer because of their looks. People with bad skin diseases, who have burn marks, facial disfigurements like a serious under- or overbite, or an asymmetrical face because of Goldenhar syndrome or a similar disease – these people don’t have an easy life. If any of of those unhappy beauties would walk a day in their shoes they would never complain again. After just 24 hours of being yelled at, made fun off, being spat in the face etc. while doing nothing but minding their own business, they would be cured for once and for all of feeling – and saying – that being beautiful is difficult. They would beg to have their old ‘problem’ back.

    People who claim that being attractive is a burden have no idea what truly physically unattractive people go trough. I find it really offensive, especially towards people who were born with serous birth defects. These people have to undergo strings of operations just hoping to become more ‘ normal’, less visible and be spared cruel remarks they face almost every day will while walking to school or doing errands.

    As for Samantha Bricks newspaper article, it would have been believable if it was accompanied by photographs of a really beautiful woman…… but now it just seemed laughable because she clearly overestimates her own level of attractiveness. While I am the first to admit she is a lot prettier than I am, she is not nearly beautiful enough to cause jealous feelings in me.

    The point she was trying to make would have been a lot more believable if she actually was drop-dread gorgeous. Now it just seemed farfetched – I think we all have much prettier colleagues, classmates – and even much prettier friends than mrs. Brick.
    Sure, some woman are envious when it comes to looks, but the vast majority of women are not like that and most attractive women have plenty of friends. But in order to have a friend, you have to be a friend – and that may be just the thing that mrs. Brick has overlooked. Woman who have little or no female friends and blame their looks might want to take a better look at their own behaviour towards other women.

    I once read or heard somewhere that a plain girl said that people assume that when you are plain on the outside you most be plain on the inside, too. You could fill in ugly for plain and then fill in beautiful. If being beautiful is a problem, it’s a problem that most of us would be standing in line for. So I have zero sympathy for real of perceived people who claim being beautiful is though. Try being really ugly – now THAT is tough.

  8. 28

    No jealousy here, I’m not a woman. She looks pretty average to me and I find a much wider range of looks attractive than most American do. I think this is a case of being “a legend in your own mind”. I think the model in Evan’s stock photo for his post is at least twice as interesting.

  9. 29

    Very pretty women are avoided by most men.

  10. 30

    Poor woman.

    Much better to be homely and invisible to men.

    Or to be like virtually every man on the planet, walk around in public your entire life and no one, perhaps even in your entire life, takes a moment’s notice of your looks.

    I would give anything to have her lot.

  11. 31

    #25: “Average, dumpy women get all the guys…”

    Well, you certainly got that part right. 😉

    Seriously, though, people? It’s like I said in the other post: stop racing to occupy the “victim” role. Petra 27 was totally right. Whine whine whine, I’m not to blame at all, it’s always other people’s fault… That’s what makes Ms Brick’s statements so distasteful, and yet some of that is going on right here with a few (obviously not all) posters.

    You really think your gorgeousness prevents you from being with good men? You really think we dumpy frumpies have it easier? If so, then the solution is simple. One: get out of victim mentality. Two: make it a point not to wear makeup or dress beautifully; your natural good looks should carry the day if they’re really that amazing. (If you can’t bring yourself to do this even if dumpy looks are supposed to get guys, then acknowledge that it’s your own desire to be gorgeous, rather than others’ fault, that you’re not being approached. Or acknowledge that being dumpy doesn’t, in fact, save the day.) Three: be the first to talk with men whom you deem “good,” rather than waiting for them to talk with you. You may be surprised how glad they are to converse with you.

    There are very few circumstances in which you have no power at all to change your situation. For certain, claiming that you’re less fortunate than others rarely gets you anywhere.

  12. 32

    Very interesting discussion. I was, in my early years, terrified of approaching beautiful women and mythologized them. Now, I wouldn’t hesitate. I don’t have the distortion operating in my head that they are so superior to me. What I’m finding interesting, though, is that most attractive women I run into are married. Maybe this is characteristic of my New England area, but I can with a high degree of probability, when I look at a woman, if she’s married. Not only is she usually more attractive overall, she has a kind of polish, confidence, and poise. She probably has more resources in a partnership to pursue wellness, and this is supported often by spouses. Many studies show that couples are fairly well matched by appearance. Men would prefer having beautiful partners. This has a great deal of social capital for them. More confident males – not necessarily players – approach beautiful women. Others think they’re out of their league. The fact is there are a lot of attractive married men and women, and they found each other, approached each other, because this is the kind of person they wanted, looks wise or otherwise.

  13. 33

    It’s interesting to read the comments here and elsewhere about how Samantha Brick really isn’t “all that pretty.” Yet, she certainly has confidence in herself and, excuse me but isn’t that the image all sorts of life and relationship coaches as well as umpteen women’s mags constant advise women to project? Because, there’s nothing more sexy or attractive than a confident woman. So, here’s a woman who certainly is attractive (in all the proper ways, which also includes a “pleasing appearance and pretty smile”) whether you consider her beautiful or not, and the best we can do is comment on how she’s “not all that pretty.”

    Yes, it’s true that attractive people have more advantages in some things but it’s also true that they are treated harshly by those who are insecure and feel threatened by them. Since most of us, when we look back on our life, truly do consider friendships and relationships as more important than status and material things, there is a huge truth to what she says. If people are judgmental, act cruel to or jealous of people who are attractive solely on their looks, then that speaks of a societal dysfunction that is no different than when people are judgmental or act cruel to the unattractive, heavy, disabled or those who are deemed different.

    Is the fact that no one is jealous of those people – the unattractive, heavy, disabled or those who are deemed different – the real issue here?

    1. 33.1
      Jenny Ravelo

      True confident people do not make articles about how everyone hates them because they’re pretty, just like truly sexy women do not go out to the streets wearing industrial amounts of makeup and very little clothing. When you believe in what you are you don’t need to advertise it, when you do it’s because you’re trying to convince others and yourself of your value.  

      The common trait of hated people is not their looks, but the fact that they come off as arrogant.  

  14. 34

    I would concur – Brick’s problem isn’t that she’s beautiful(which – and yes, I’ll say it – she isn’t, imo), but rather that she comes across as a delusional narcissist.

    And as for women who struggle find a happy medium in confidence – they need only be precisely confident enough to
    cue the approach of a mutually receptive male(which, imo, is the optimal level of confidence a woman need exhibit).

  15. 35

    Vicki, your point about confidence is at the center of this. Yes, confident people are attractive. Ms Brick is not confident. An arrogant individual is not necessarily confident; often, it’s the opposite.

    You can be beautiful  without being obnoxious about it, without putting other people down, without  attributing jealousy or meanness to them. Ms Brick was waging an all-out catfight against other women – and the ironic thing is that SHE is claiming to  be the victim.  In fact, no woman (including myself) would feel the slightest bit jealous of her looks, so we find her claims ludicrous.

    You know who the most confident people are? Those who are happy with themselves and who do not compare themselves with other people.  Ms Brick seems desperate to compare herself with others. To  a lesser extent, those posting here who say, “I’m so beautiful, but all the plain women get the men” are likewise comparing themselves and lacking in confidence.

  16. 36

    It’s probably self-evident that ultimately someone would want to be born better looking than not.   An attractive individual can be modest – or not- about his or her appearance.   To me nothing’s more repellent than a conceited individual, no matter how they look.   An woman I know – probably one who would not rate high on the “looks” scale – is energetic, engaging, super friendly, and these make her very attractive.   A narcissistic woman I know – unfortunately a psychotherapist – is so exceedingly bound to her appearance that it makes her seem grotesque.    She at times referred to a couple of her friends as “inbetweenies”, in describing some aspect of their lives and perhaps lack of success.   It’s a pretty reductionistic way of looking at life and a smug celebration of her own success in the “looks lottery”.   In the end, character wins the day.

  17. 37

    i think what i’m about to say will resonate with what vicki (33) said above in her second paragraph.  whether  it be because you are too fat/ulgy/disabled or too beautiful, the resultant feelings and suffering for the  ulgy or beautiful person  is still the same.    for either reason, the unattrative or attractive human being  is sometimes  hard pressed to  experience sincere kindness, love, affection, intimacy  or acceptance from the opposite sex  or their  peers. also, i suffer from not being able to express my deep need to love another human being within the context of  an intimate relationship.    i think (at least it’s the case for me) that both the ugly and the beautiful suffer at a soul level as a result of not being able to receive and express intimate love.   and if you’re beautiful, you also have to contend with being objectified and used.   my last  boyfriend, for example,  constantly raved about how “hot” i was and he loved having sex with me. in the end, i found out he was only using me for sex  and lying  to me. i was devistated.  i guess, since i hadn’t experienced affection and an ability to express my love and intimacy  to another human being  for so long, and i believed that i was lovable and that i had alot of love to give, i just could not imagine that he would just be using me for his ego.   i cried every day for 8.5 months – i didn’t know that depth of suffering was possible.   in the end, i feel that my suffering is as deep as the ugly woman’s.   then i go for years on end without men taking an interest in me (except for the sleeze bags).   i see this as being  no different from the ugly women going years  on end without  men taking an interest in them  – there is the same suffering for both of us.    when i think about approaching a guy i might be interested in (as helen (19) suggests), suddenly i get a feeling of having a fear of being rejected. and evan teaches us not to chase guys because we look desperate and needy.

    if i consider what mrs. brick says about being discriminated against in job type situations … and i consider that i myself have easily gotten jobs when i’ve been interviewed by men, and have rarely gotten the job when i’ve been interviewed by women … i can see that it may well not have been because of mrs. bricks or my physical appearance for this practical observation.   in my case, and in hers, it could be that academically, the women see us as not the perfect match for the position, whereas the men see us as a decent match for the position … or for other reasons like the women interviewers determine that our personality isn’t right for the position or we won’t be a good fit with the rest of the staff, whereas the  men think we’ll be ok  or evem good at the job.  

    i’d love to see what the people say  who have worked with mrs. brick and get their side of the story.   these days, if people were to react adversely to me, i’d actually ask them why, instead of perceiving (as mrs. brick) has done that the reason people are adverse to her is because she’s hot.   but then, that would require the  adversely reactive  person to be honest as to why i peeve them off. often, i’m not even sure why i react a certain way to a person  since it can be so automatic.    so expecting others to be so in touch with themselves so as to give me a more accurate perspective of the situation might be a stretch.

  18. 38

    To all those “beautiful” women who have posted that yes, life is indeed not a bed of roses being beautiful – if I gave you a magic wand right now and poof ! you could trade your way above average looks for average to below average looks, would you do it ? Didn’t think so…enough said !

  19. 39

    Vicki #33
    Is Samantha Brick projecting “confidence” or is she merely trying to be provocative, as seems to be her career bent? And what about her being blonde (her most attractive feature, IMO)? My attractive, blonde-haired friends have always complained about being treated differently. One brown-haired friend notices a difference in male interest when she has dyed her hair blonde. My blonde friends tell me that others assume they are less intelligent, though.

  20. 40

    Leesa 37, I sympathize… but for your own well-being, you will have to take yourself and your looks out of the picture, to be able to see things realistically.

    I assume you want a good guy for an LTR. A good guy will treat everyone well, not just some people; and a bad guy will treat everyone poorly, not just some people.  If you find a guy who treats you like gold  but treats others like crap, it’s really only a matter of time before he starts treating you like crap too. Likewise, if you find a guy who is kind to others, he would treat you well, too, and is a keeper.

    So don’t take it so personally. Certainly don’t cry every day for 8 months over an unkind person. Do you really think he only treated you badly because you’re beautiful? More likely, if he dates a plain woman next, he’ll make her life miserable by talking about his hot ex. He’ll treat everyone that way. You lose nothing by having him gone. Next time, be more discriminating. Observe which men treat others well, not just you.

    If there were a kind way to say “Get over yourself,” that is what I would say here with the best of intentions and no meanness intended, because sometimes that’s what we need to get over tough  circumstances. Most of the time, it’s not about us – which can be an embarrassment but also a relief.  

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