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.

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  1. 81

    Oh,  those pesky  spelling errors.  Perhaps I need to employ spellcheck.

    Anyway…Karl…for the last time, I don’t habitually treat people badly, even when they deserve it. Yes…beautiful people are discriminated against and resented solely because of their looks; it happens all the time. Helen…concerning Karl, it was/is a theory. Not a good one, but  a theory  just the same.

    I’m sure there are probably  studies that  prove  that  what Samantha and I  am saying on the subject in question is true. However, if I want to waste my time searching for them and posting them here for people who are  engaging in  denial (among other defense mechanisms) because the subject makes them uncomfortable, is another story.

  2. 82

    I have witnessed and experienced horrible behaviour from jealous women. My worst experiences however, have been watching how women treat other beautiful women.

    I will say however, that this behaviour usually stops by the mid-20’s.

    Women can be threatened by confident attractive women and try and take them down a peg or two. Completely nice, lovely women who end up preferring the company of men because they cannot tolerate the bitchiness of other women.

    In my college years, I just happened to have several  friends who were really really beautiful. I remain their only friend that they are still in contact with during this time, and each of them ended up with more male friends than female.

    It was due to jealousy, and nastiness.

    This is why if I see a woman who is attractive, or has something particularly lovely about her(Like lovely hair), I will say something simple, such as “You have such lovely hair”…smile then most likely move on.

    I have no idea if this is why Samantha brick dealt with issues, too hard to tell from the article, but it does happen. Women can be their own worse enemies, especially when they are young and insecure.

  3. 83

    @ Helen #79
    Very much agree. I’ve experienced my initial estimation of someone’s attractiveness go both up and down as their personality is revealed. As I come to care for them, or find them unpleasant to be around.

  4. 84

    Margo 81: “I’m sure there are probably studies that prove that what Samantha and I am saying on the subject in question is true. However, if I want to waste my time searching for them and posting them here for people who are engaging in denial (among other defense mechanisms) because the subject makes them uncomfortable, is another story.”

    Honey, that is weak indeed.

    You want to know why it makes  people “uncomfortable”? Because you and the silly Ms Brick are accusing a whole group of people of bad behavior when you have absolutely no evidence for it beyond anecdotes, which Karl among others already pointed out are worthless.  You say, “Trust me.” “Some things are just obvious.” By that same “logic,” any of us could accuse a  group of people for bad behavior because we felt slighted.  We wouldn’t need to furnish any proof that they were deliberately targeting us. Nor would we consider whether we ourselves played any role in the slight. No, we’re right, they’re wrong, end of story.

    Taken to the extreme, it’s precisely this type of attitude – accusation combined with self-victimization –  that leads to all sorts of divisions among groups of people in society – even divisions WITHIN groups. I’m not just talking about beauty here.  

    So yes, we would like to see your proof.  If you cannot be bothered to  “waste time” proving your claim,  then also don’t waste your time complaining that women treat you badly because of your beauty.

  5. 85

    I have known many, many beautiful women throughout my time on this Earth, and don’t remember anyone ever complaining that they were treated badly because they were beautiful.   How self absorbed is that?   If  a woman  has been treated badly, beautiful or not, it’s either because, as others have pointed out, young girls are just nasty in general, or, as others have pointed out, the ‘beautiful’ person in question isn’t so beautiful inside.   Whatever energy vibration we give out is what we get back.   This also smacks of ‘projection’ talking.

  6. 86
    Karl R

    Margo said: (#81)
    “I’m sure there are probably  studies that  prove  that  what Samantha and I  am saying on the subject in question is true.”

    You’re sure there are probably studies. There’s a contradiction in terms.

    You don’t know the name of  any studies.
    You don’t know who performed  any studies.
    You can’t describe any studies.
    You haven’t read  any studies.
    You haven’t seen any studies.
    You won’t even search for  some studies.

    But you’re sure that there are probably studies which completely support your position.

    I don’t think I could be less convincing than that if I tried.

    Margo said: (#81)
    “beautiful people are discriminated against and resented solely because of their looks; it happens all the time.”
    AnnieC said: (#82)
    “My worst experiences however, have been watching how women treat other beautiful women.”

    I’ve seen people discriminate against unattractive people solely because of their looks. I’ve seen people discriminate against old people solely because of their looks. I’ve seen people discriminate against overweight people solely because of their looks.

    Has it ever occurred to you that the people who do this treat everybody terribly? They’re equal-opportunity offenders. I’ve seen no evidence that attractive people are the recipients of more negative behavior than anyone else.

    Margo said: (#81)
    “I don’t habitually treat people badly, even when they deserve it.”

    You haven’t acknowledged that you’ve even insulted anyone in this blog thread. Based on your statements, you don’t even believe that you’ve insulted anyone in this blog thread.

    It’s ironic that you’re repeated accusing several of us of being in denial.

    I suspect that you truly don’t notice treating people badly on a habitual basis. But there’s a big difference between not treating people badly, and not noticing when you do.

  7. 87


    Why do you seem to struggle to believe that attractive confident women, get attacked either verbally or via sneak attacks by other women BECAUSE they are attractive and confident.?

    Women can be very competative, very petty and very jealous. And some women do target specific women due to their narcissism and insecurities.

    There are some men who behave like this either, and yes there are people who pick on those that are ugly, fat, short, tall poor, wealthy. So what? Doesn’t mean the author isn’t correct that attractive people are often targetted by those that are jealous of them.

    I witnessed this recently at work. A really really attractive , tall, slim young woman joined our work-place. She’s an over-achiever, very nice person who is assertive and confident(but not combative). Like clockwork the same women who alway’s tend to create problems, were bitching about the new co-worker, complaining about her, trying to go to HR to put in formal complaints. It’s the same  insecure attention seeking combative women who are jealous of those that are simply more confident, accomplished and attractive than they are.

    They haven’t grown beyond highschool, and since women have been dealing with the nastiness of other insecure girls, since we were in primary school, we know when it is happening.

    It isn’t alway’s because the confident attractive woman has personality problems. Miserable people like to make other people miserable, its just the way it is, unfortunately.

  8. 88

    AnnieC 87: You just deftly proved Karl’s point while failing to prove your own. In the example you gave, you say these women were acting “like clockwork” in  the new woman’s case  and “always tend to create problems.” So why should anyone believe that this one pretty coworker of yours was targeted “BECAUSE they are attractive and confident”?   Sounds more like the  jerks are  jerks to everyone.   Then you also mention men who are nasty to multiple different types of people, and state at the end, “Miserable people like to make other people miserable.”

    Everything you stated bolsters Karl’s and my points, so it sounds as though we’re in agreement.  There is no proof whatsoever that beautiful women are discriminated against specifically. All you have  provided anecdotes for support  that people who are generally nasty are  ALSO generally nasty to the pretty.     


  9. 89

    AnnieC, there is no way to know what you say is because of this woman’s ‘beauty’, women often act like this with anyone who they believe is infringing upon their territory.   And you made Karl’s point, miserable people like to make other people miserable–unless you have evidence otherwise, that’s not reserved for only the ‘beautiful’

  10. 90

    I can think of a couple of other reasons why your colleagues might have disliked the new co-worker regardless of her looks: she’s a young upstart and she’s an over-achiever. My guess is that they’d treat a more average-looking woman whom they felt was competing with them the same way.
    I’ve never read any studies that show that beautiful people are treated worse, but several that indicate that the beautiful get treated better. Check this one out, for example:

  11. 91


    It’s simple Helen. They do it “like clockwork” around confident and beautiful women. They are insecure. Hell one of them even admitted, that she was jealous insecure, and didn’t like having friends who look better than her. Lol..

    It amazes me, how people don’t want to accept that this happens. This thread Is a perfect example of this kind of jealousy. Rather than people empathizing with some-one who is being targetted by jealous women, people are boo-hooing it. It doesn’t matter why some-one is picked on, if they are suffering due to other people insecurities, then they deserve some sympathy or at least a recognition of the problem.

    Yes, women are targetted for being beautiful and confident. It happens.   

  12. 92
    Katarina Phang

    Annie, there is no doubt that there are catty, jealous and insecure women but if everyone around you behaves this way then there should be more that meets the eyes.   I might have had my share of jealous girlfriends/acquaintances in the past but I have had more female friends who are comfortable being around me because of my warm and welcoming personality.

  13. 93


    “And you made Karl’s point, miserable people like to make other people miserable—unless you have evidence otherwise, that’s not reserved for only the ‘beautiful’    ”

    Where exactly did I say that it was reserved “only” for the beautiful? I clearly stated, that this wasn’t actually the case.

    I said “here are some men who behave like this either, and yes there are people who pick on those that are ugly, fat, short, tall poor, wealthy. So what? Doesn’t mean the author isn’t correct that attractive people are often targetted by those that are jealous of them.”

    Please don’t put words into people’s mouths. It’s very frustrating and makes reasonable conversations impossible.  

  14. 94


    I agree with you. Samantha brick made the same point when she said, that she had a great group of long-term girlfriends and was happy with her friendships just like you.

    She was talking about the specific situations when women   get hostile to her due to her looks and/or confidence.  In fact she made a point of saying she had close female friends.  

    Having had those experiences myself and having had female friends having those experiences, lets stop beating around the bush and making excuses.

    It happens. Samantha said it does, and she was right. Women can be incredibly bitchy and verbally hostile toward those they are jealous of.

    Most women would prefer to see themselves as loving caring women. The reality of female behaviour doesn’t always reflect women belief abotu who they are.

    Sam, is 100% spot on. This thread and it’s claims to “she must be mentally ill” proves it. God forbid, women get rid of their jealousies, and show some empathy for a fellow female.

    The Sisterhood is a farce.  

  15. 95
    Katarina Phang

    And no I haven’t had that experience in a loooong time, Annie so I’m still not sure why she constantly experiences that.   It’s probably the filter that broke.

  16. 96

    If I were to take a guess at why Samantha Brick insists that women hate her for being beautiful, even though, according to her (professionally done) pictures, she’s nowhere close to that category, I’d say it’s an easy out. If people dislike you because you’re being an ass to them, then it’s on you to change and start treating people differently so they no longer dislike you. If, on the other hand, people dislike you because you’re beautiful, then there’s nothing you can do about it. You can sit back, relax, and not change a thing. I mean, you cannot help it if you’re beautiful, right?
    In my observation, yes, women can on occasion be mean to someone because she’s prettier than they are, but, like AnnieC said above, that behavior usually stops around age 25, if not earlier. So, when Samantha says that women still do that to her at 40, sorry, I’m not buying. By that age, people have bigger things to worry about than “does my neighbor make my ass look fat?”  
    My own looks are, I’m being told, considered above average in my age & social group. (I work in IT so the bar’s pretty low; plus, I’ve aged well.) The few times I’ve encountered any kind of bad treatment because of my looks, it has always been from men who tried to objectify me, or use as a status symbol. (When that comes from a guy you consider your close friend, and have feelings for, it kind of hurts.) From women? Never. My female friends and acquaintances are way more mature than that.

  17. 97

    All my life people have made a fuss about my “natural beauty” and how I look like a mix between Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe and a Young Katharine Hepburn. But I can’t say it has ever made people not like me. I am not smug (despite the above statement). I have met women who I have thought were sickeningly beautiful, but they usually had beautiful natures, which made it impossible not to like them. At the end of the day physical appearance may draw attention, but it’s personality that keeps people’s attentions. This woman may think her appearance drew attention, but perhaps men just loved being around her because she was sweet/funny/fantastic to be around.  

  18. 98

    I’m like Samantha Brick. In my neighbourhood and among my friends, at work, etc., I am stunningly attractive by comparison. The big picture, i.e. that Angelina Jolie would not be threatened by me one iota, is something I am aware of too. Brick has said this as well. She is talking about her whole life, not the present moment, at 41 years of age. During her life, within her circles, she has been considered more attractive on the beauty continuum than most and her point is exactly this. Not that you have to be the Most Beautiful Woman in the World, but the cutest in the room, the best looking at work, the one who all the guys talk to at a singles party, to attract venom from women (and sometimes men). I have no qualms whatsoever saying my appearance is above average and that because I am good-looking I have problems, because I also know the other side, having been considered ugly as a child, then dealing with stuff like acne and weight gain that made me blend into the crowd on more than one occasion. I do not consider this being boastful. There is a downside to ‘looking this pretty’ (LOL and tongue-in-cheek) It is just a fact.

  19. 99

    I understand this. In another blog’s comments about Brick and her appearance, I also mentioned that beauty is going to be context-dependent in many cases. People have a routine, and they get myopia. The people they rank and bestow attractiveness goodies upon are the ones that they meet, not just the ones that they visit on the silver screen and between the pages of magazines – the top 5% of attractive people who most folks will seldom have the opportunity to interact with. Some people serve to benefit, and others get slighted. Sometimes it can happen to the same person in around the same time period. A girl that people wouldn’t look twice at in a college class full of age contemporaries can become the office vixen during her internship if she’s thinner, younger and more attentive to her appearance than the other women there. Women that stop traffic in Omaha are considered run of the mill when they step off of the Greyhound a week later in Los Angeles. When I’m around people of my racial origin, I’m treated like an attractive woman. When I’m not, I’m usually treated like Average Jane. The difference is… palpable. That being said, I’m more apt to place the blame for any in-house woman troubles I’ve had in my life (I’m one of those women who usually has male friends – due to happenstance, not conscious choice) on my own idiosyncrasies, rather than my appearance.

  20. 100

    I know a woman, won’t say friend because she vocally disavows any friendships with women as she only wants to find a husband and as such only considers them worth her time. Every time she comments, it is something abrasive. She often will call another woman “Barbie” instead of using the woman’s actually name. She describes herself as “bluntly honest and most people can’t handle that”. She does tend to rub people the wrong way. She is also overweight. She continually claims people don’t like her because she is fat.
    There can be a variety of reasons people don’t like someone else. And the person who is the one disliked can usually only speculate as to the reason. The woman I know thinks it is because she is overweight. Ms. Brick thinks it is because everyone else is intimidated by her looks. It is easier than changing their ways.

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