The Downside to Being Beautiful

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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.

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Comments:

  1. 41
    Nicole

    So I’d love to know, while some men and women do like to put their partners down, don’t most people who date/sleep with you probably tell you that you are hot/handsome/beautiful/cute?   I mean, using that metric, everyone should probably think that they are the bee’s knees.

    It’s funny how often people will offer up proof of their hotness/youth the fact that someone who wanted to or was having sex with them told them they were hot.

    I mean seriously, does anyone say “yeah, you are pretty ugly, let’s do it!” If I want someone to do something for me, I’m going to butter him up.   Only people with low EQs don’t understand that.   

    I’m just saying, anyone who wants something from you is going to say the right things, esp. if they want a lot with little true investment,   and I’m not surprised that people who eat up that kind of superficial and external validation (like Samantha Brick) would come to the conclusion that it is b/c they are exquisite (and also get blindsided by the discovery that it was all lies).   Instead, I think that users, male and female can tell what people will eagerly eat that stuff up and they lay it on thick when they think it will pay off.   Not to say that people don’t sincerely give compliments, but there is a kind of person who needs to think/believe that they are getting more guys or girls, and that they are hotter, more beautiful, or more handsome than everyone else, rather than being satisfied in finding a few strong, healthy, long-term relationships.

    So I don’t think Samantha Brick is much to right home about, but since she needs that validation, I’d guess that she is probably pretty flirty and probably takes every compliment lobbed at her, no matter how insincere, as confirmation of the idea that she won the genetic lottery.

    Not to mention that fact that while she isn’t that great looking, her basic descriptors are frequently listed as an ideal that a a lot of people think everyone covets or that people will list as undeniable proof of their beauty (blond, white, blue eyes, tall)…

    It’s interesting reading here how people, well into middle-age, still think it’s more important for a bunch of strangers to find them attractive than to find one good person to settle down with.   

  2. 42
    Nicole

    “write” not “right”…ugh, typing too fast.

  3. 43
    Heather

    Personally, I think that her attitude knocked her down a scale or two as far as her outward appearance goes. A woman with confidence expresses it, yes but she also has the common sense not to brag about it like it’s honestly news to anyone.

    I’d also like to say, I’d friend her, but I would also give her a much needed reality check. Real friends tell it as it is, if she could not handle what her friends had to say, then she should surround herself with fakes. They work well.  

    Sorry to ramble, but I think any woman who has confidence, and doesn’t brag about it is beautiful. Because she accepts herself fully, inner beauty and outer. You don’t have to be a size 4 to be beautiful. Also, I must say I pity beautiful women. They are targeted by such vile people…it’s awful. The girls who disappear are always so beautiful, it’s sad =(    Guess it makes me happy to be an ugly duckling of sorts.

  4. 44
    henriette

    As usual, I agree with Nicole (I wish we lived in the same city; we’d be great friends!).   I’ve seen that most tall, slim, busty blonde women can have unremarkable features but are often ogled and told they’re beautiful because they possess these key traits that are fetishised by a large number of men.  
    Also, most of us “smart, nice girls” were raised to listen carefully to negative criticism but brush off compliments as somehow less valid.   We can be very hard on ourselves and tend to dwell on our failings.   I think that the fact Samantha Brick seems to do the opposite feels very foreign to many of us and while I’m certainly not jealous of her looks, part of me is envious of her ability to believe and internalise every good thing she hears about herself.
    I went through a period of being very attractive (super in shape, lots of great clothes, etc) followed by an illness that had me put on lots of weight (from meds) and I looked as bad as I felt.   So, I’ve lived both sides of this coin.   While there were certainly some drawbacks to being attractive they were far, far better than the drawbacks of not being attractive.

  5. 45
    Nicole

    @Heather, all kinds of girls disappear.   Only “pretty” white girls get media attention.   There is a difference.

    “Pretty” women are not targeted for violence more b/c of their looks. If that was true, small children and old women would not disappear or be assaulted.   

    If you aren’t photogenic (or white), then your disappearance just won’t make the national news, that’s all.

    I’ve never known anyone to be “too pretty” for friends.   Most people who say that have poor EQ and aren’t very nice and that is why they have no friends. Pretty people with nice personalities have HUGE advantages in life.   

    Bad personalities can make a “pretty” person pretty ugly and tiresome, although younger people sometimes flock to them.   Most people, once they come into their own, won’t tolerate a bad personality and a pretty face.  

  6. 46
    Margo

    No comment about the article because I didn’t read it. I just went right to the pictures and I have to say that this woman isn’t pretty. I look a LOT better than that.

  7. 47
    Ellen

    someone wrote: “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!”

    I’ve had regular guys approach me ’cause I’m approachable, friendly, smile, but it took me til age 30 to figure that out- how to be approachable without coming off as “easy”.

    But what she writes about is real- there ARE guys who only want to score with you for their ego. You feel like prey sometimes. But thanks to Evan’s advice I held out for a guy who could prove he was into ME, not my looks, body.

    I am told I am pretty or beautiful, though 59! I really didn’t get the “you’re beautiful” til I was over 50 though, not sure why. (Took a while for the baby fat to melt away and reveal high cheekbones? And I admit to plastic surgery and injections. I do it subtly though). And I am known for my nice figure, great legs, so double whammy. Sometimes, depending on what I’m wearing I draw open stares from men. Blows me away (at my age), but I’m enjoying it while it lasts…

    I was technically prettier maybe when younger, but not fully aware of it, too fixated on the little things that were wrong (I bit my nails for one thing) so not vain or smug or anything. I’ve never had trouble finding/keeping friends of either gender my whole life, so it all boils down to your spirit and EQ imo…..Still I occasionally attracted hostile attention from jealous females. They envied me more for my education I think though, knew I would work my way up from secretary pretty quickly whilst they would not…..

    Still, if your objective is to pick up men in a bar you WANT to be accompanied by at least one bombshell so as to attract attention. lol

    Another recent study linked being very attractive to being seen as less capable, which I think is true, so that’s a serious disadvantage, n’cest pas? Fortunately, I have a librarian vibe going, look intelligent, not like some cheerleader, so have avoided that I think. And I was awkward looking early on, so never thought about just getting by on my looks. I’m over-educated if anything….

    No, if given the chance to repeat my life I would still want to be attractive, but wish an older woman, my mother, SOMEBODY had prepared me for all of the above I mention.

    Finally, as one who has been to the UK twice, I can tell you that English women aren’t known for their beauty in general, so maybe Samantha sticks out a little. But no, I would classify her as merely attractive, a bit pretty, but not gorgeous. Jacqueline Bisset is gorgeous. Kate Beckinsale is gorgeous. She should google  both to understand that very rare category of women. lmsao!

  8. 48
    Heather

    I agree with Helene.   I have a real problem with her diva attitude, “Oh, pity me, because I’m pretty and people hate me for it.”

    Sorry Ms. Brick but I have real problems.   Like a Mom with stage 3 cancer that’s come out of remission.   So please, pardon me for not giving a crap that you’re pretty and people hate you for it.   I’ve got better things to be upset about.   Like my Mom maybe not being here, this time next year.

    This woman makes me embarrassed to be a woman.   Not all of us give a rat’s backside what our co-workers look like.   I care about results, teamwork, etc.  

    Can y’all pass me the barf bag please?

  9. 49
    mia

    I think perhaps that there ARE women, who despite failing to be ‘conventionally’ attractive, they have a magnetic appeal that draws men to them. I’ve seen this with various girlfriends of mine. One was a large girl and another was a redhead. They both had this special exuberance that drew men to them every time we went out. Photos definitely didn’t capture the magnetism these girls had. Perhaps Samantha Brick is one of these women. However, if you fail to make ANY meaningful friendships over the years, as I’ve witnessed with some women (and men) around me, it generally means that they are incredibly shallow,self-centred or a similar trait. Beauty is rarely a hindrance to making friends in my experience. It might intimidate some people, yes, but to have NO close friends at all? Hmm. Something is definitely off with Mrs. Brick, methinks.  

  10. 50
    sarahbrick

    really? you don’t think samantha brick was lying when she said a neighbor didn’t wave back because she was envious of her beauty? did you see the picture?

  11. 51
    Margo

    On second thought, I believe I will comment on this article. Like the author ascertains,  discrimination of beautiful women does exist.   I have had women play “musical chairs” to make sure I didn’t sit next to a single man they were interested in at various events. I have  had women not wanting me to even  be at events where eligible men that they were interested in were.

    I have  had women resent me and attempt to attack my intelligence. They have betrayed me, talked behind my back, and have been hostile towards me. This has all been because of my appearance. Therefore, I do agree with the author’s claims that this phenomen does exist. However, I  also agree with Evan that  the author  could be described as only marginally pretty.

  12. 52
    Karl R

    Margo said: (#51)
    “Like the author ascertains,  discrimination of beautiful women does exist.   I have had women play ‘musical chairs’ to make sure I didn’t sit next to a single man they were interested in at various events.”

    That’s your idea of discrimination?

    When I first  started dating my fiancée, I tried to ensure that she’d end up sitting near me instead of another man (whom I knew was interested in dating her).

    It’s called competition, not discrimination.

    That man looks like munchkin from the Wizard of Oz. I definitely have him beat in the looks department. And I still went out of my way to stack the deck in my favor.

    Margo said: (#51)
    “I have  had women resent me and attempt to attack my intelligence. They have betrayed me, talked behind my back, and have been hostile towards me. This has all been because of my appearance.”

    How do you know that it’s all because of your appearance? Do you read their minds? Do they tell you to your face that they betrayed you because they were jealous of your looks?

    I’ve had women gossip about me behind my back. I’m pretty sure it’s not because I’m a beautiful woman. In one case, I’d pissed off a friend of theirs. In another case, they told scandalous gossip about everyone in the workplace. (If they didn’t know anything scandalous, they made stuff up.)

    I’ve had men and women express hostility toward me, and I’ve seen no evidence that my appearance was the cause of it.

    So what makes you so certain that you’re the target of hostility and gossip because you’re attractive? Most of us experience the exact same things without being beautiful (or even being women).

  13. 53
    Nadia

    Ok. Seriously? I’m trying to write something–anything–that doesn’t come out sounding sarcastic. If Samantha Brick is seriously being passed up for being a bridesmaid or struggling with maintaining friendships with other women, I feel like I can confidently say it has nothing to do with her beauty, and everything to do with her personality. Perhaps it’s just a whole helluva lot easier to blame it on something outside of her control. Women may turn a little green from envy toward an incredibly hot woman, but if she’s genuine and kind, we’re quick to get over it.  

  14. 54
    Margo

    Karl says:”“Like the author ascertains,  discrimination of beautiful women does exist.   I have had women play ‘musical chairs’ to make sure I didn’t sit next to a single man they were interested in at various events.”
      
    That’s your idea of discrimination?

    When I first  started dating my fiancée, I tried to ensure that she’d end up sitting near me instead of another man (whom I knew was interested in dating her).
    It’s called competition, not discrimination.”

    Actually I wouldn’t call  that particular occurence discrimination. It was a woman reacting to a situation in which she  felt threatened by me. Instead of behaving in a mature manner, she became desperate and proceeded to play games to achieve her objective.

    Karl says: “How do you know that it’s all because of your appearance? Do you read their minds? Do they tell you to your face that they betrayed you because they were jealous of your looks?”

    Some things are obvious, Karl.

    Karl says: That man looks like munchkin from the Wizard of Oz. I definitely have him beat in the looks department. And I still went out of my way to stack the deck in my favor.”

    That’s because you don’t have enough confidence to let a woman you’re interested in sit where she chooses. I think it’s pathetic. I’m willing to bet you’re not tall, dark, manly, and handsome. You are lacking in one of those departments. That’s no insult to you, but the reality is that men who have these attributes don’t need to play “musical chairs”.

    Karl says: “So what makes you so certain that you’re the target of hostility and gossip because you’re attractive? Most of us experience the exact same things without being beautiful (or even being women).”

    It’s called process of elimination, and experience. Trust me.

      

  15. 55
    Joe

    @ Leesa: maybe you find it hard to attract good men because they find it infuriating to read e-mails with no capitalization…

  16. 56
    Helen

    Margo, some of your statements are beginning to sound like Samantha Brick’s.

    “I have had women resent me and attempt to attack my intelligence. They have betrayed me, talked behind my back, and have been hostile towards me. This has all been because of my appearance.”

    Margo, EVERYONE has had these experiences inflicted upon them by mean girls. Including Karl R, who is not a beautiful woman. Including me – also not a beautiful woman.  Including… well, everyone. Very few of us who have suffered the slings and arrows of misfortunate cats are beautiful.   But I guess some of us try to justify it by their looks, whereas others just think, “Spiteful cats,” and move on with their lives.

  17. 57
    Karl R

    Margo said: (#54)
    “That’s because you don’t have enough confidence to let a woman you’re interested in sit where she chooses. I think it’s pathetic. I’m willing to bet you’re not tall, dark, manly, and handsome. You are lacking in one of those departments. That’s no insult to you,”

    You’re claiming that I lack confidence.
    You think my actions are pathetic.
    You’d bet that I’m not tall, dark, manly and handsome.

    I’m not sure where/how you were raised, but most people would say that was six insults.

    If you can toss out six insults in three consecutive sentences, and then  you express your belief that  it’s “no insult,” then I believe I’ve determined the source of people’s animosity toward you.

    You’re insulting.

    You insult people. They don’t like it. They demonstrate animosity toward you. I see no evidence that your looks are to blame.

    Margo said: (#51)
    “Like the author ascertains,  discrimination of beautiful women does exist.   I have had women play ‘musical chairs’ to make sure I didn’t sit next to a single man they were interested in at various events.”
    Margo said: (#54)
    “Actually I wouldn’t call  that particular occurence discrimination.”

    Then why did you use it as your first example of discrimination?

    Margo said: (#54)
    “Some things are obvious, Karl.”
    “It’s called process of elimination, and experience. Trust me.”

    It seems obvious to me that you’re capable of insulting someone, without recognizing it after the fact. You haven’t eliminated that as a probable cause for the animosity. And if that was at all representative of your communication style, I would expect you to experience hostility on a regular basis.

    Since you seem  incapable of recognizing  that the statement was insulting, I would say that people have a credible reason for criticizing your intelligence (as you stated in #51), at least in the area of personal communication.

    Furthermore, given your inability to see your words as insulting, I’m not inclined to trust your perception of the situation.

    You may be utterly convinced that you experience animosity, discrimination and attacks on your intelligence because you’re attractive. But you’re doing a really poor job of convincing others that your appearance is the cause.

  18. 58
    Helen

    Karl R: while I really like your rejoinder (it’s pointed without being directly insulting), my guess is that Margo is more subtle in real life than she is on the internet. When we hide behind anonymity, we tend to be more blunt in our statements.

    I think the real situation is  simpler than that: that she is simply experiencing what everyone else experiences, but not recognizing it as such. Same with Samantha Brick. Rather than realizing that  unfair  treatment, competition, and backtalk  are universal experiences, she assumes that she is the only one suffering them, and then finds some explanation for them (her looks).

    I think such people need to step back and take themselves out of the picture for a moment. When they realize that a lot of what they experience in life isn’t unique to them, but experienced by nearly everyone, yes, they may be embarrassed at first  for elevating themselves so.  But ultimately they should feel relief and sympathy with others.  

  19. 59
    Margo

    Helen…If you truly believe that beautiful women are not resented by other not-so-beautiful women, then you must be from the planet Jupiter and quite unaware of what transpires here on earth.

  20. 60
    Margo

    Sorry, that should read: …resenting by beautiful women just because they ARE beautiful.

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