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. 101
    Margo

    Karl says: “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.”

    Karl, Hon,…I believe I told you why I’m not inclined to do so. And please don’t think I can’t search for studies, I’m in a doctorate program and doing just that has taken up a good deal of my time lately.

    Karl says: “But you’re sure that there are probably studies which completely support your position.”

    There are studies on just about everything else, that’s why I included the word “probably” in my statement.

  2. 102
    Margo

    Justme, #100, says: “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.”

    Hon, because some people are disliked because of their behavior, does that disprove that some people are disliked solely because of their beauty?

    Answer: Um, no, it does not.

  3. 103
    Margo

    Karl: “You’re sure there are probably studies. There’s a contradiction in terms.”

    Let me try this again: You’re right, Karl. My above statement is a contradiction in terms.

    I was “probably” tired. 😉

    P.S. Evan, please forgive me for the triple post.

  4. 104
    Karl R

    Margo said: (#101)
    “I believe I told you why I’m not inclined to do so. And please don’t think I can’t search for studies, I’m in a doctorate program and doing just that has taken up a good deal of my time lately.”
    “There are studies on just about everything else, that’s why I included the word ‘probably’ in my statement.”

    I’m absolutely positive that there are studies on this topic.
    http://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/apl943742.pdf
    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1355/is_12_100/ai_77931216/
    http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/Careers/07/08/looks/
    http://sciencenetlinks.com/science-news/science-updates/beauty-bias/

    However, the studies show that you’re mistaken.

    Excerpts:
    “Good-looking men and women are generally judged to be more talented, kind, honest and intelligent than their less attractive counterparts. Controlled studies show people go out of their way to help attractive people — of the same and opposite sex — because they want to be liked and accepted by good-looking people.”

    “Attractive people receive more favorable treatment in hiring
    and promotion and are rated as smarter, more extraverted, more socially skilled, and as more effective classroom instructors. Attractive children are punished less severely by adults, and attractive babies receive more attention than do unattractive babies”

    “a plethora of empirical research has demonstrated
    that when it comes to income, attractiveness makes a
    difference”

    Finding this took me a whole 2 minutes of research.

    I suspect it took you longer than that to type your excuses about why you didn’t do any research. I’m sure your thesis advisor would be impressed.

    It’s also possible that you did some research, discovered that the research proved you wrong, then decided to tell us why you were “not inclined” to do any research.

  5. 105
    Margo

    Karl, um, no. You’re not even close.

    What you’ve posted is meaningless to the argument. Apples and oranges. We’re talking about the attitudes of women who are not beautiful towards women who ARE beautiful. We’re not talking about how society treats attractive people in general.

    Try again, dear. 😉

  6. 106
    Margo

    Any fool would know people treat attractive people IN GENERAL better. For instance, would you rather sit next to a well-dressed, seemingly positive man on a bus, or a man with dirty clothing and a disfigured face?

  7. 107
    Karl R

    Margo said: (#105)
    “We’re talking about the attitudes of women who are not beautiful towards women who ARE beautiful. We’re not talking about how society treats attractive people in general.”

    Are you implying that “women who are not beautiful” are not part of society in general?

    Do you believe that the studies I listed above excluded average and/or unattractive women from the testing?

    Are you suggesting that the average and unattractive women who were part of the studies were all biased against the beautiful women, but the researchers completely overlooked those results?

    You’re working on your doctorate. Is your data analysis so poorly constructed that you could overlook 25% of the sample population producing a result that is the opposite of the rest of the population? If you noticed a substantial subset consistently creating an opposite result, would you ignore it, or would you try to identify common characteristics of this unusual minority?

    Margo said: (#106)
    “For instance, would you rather sit next to a well-dressed, seemingly positive man on a bus, or a man with dirty clothing and a disfigured face?”

    Are you suggesting that an average-looking woman would prefer to sit next to a woman “with dirty clothing and a disfigured face” instead of sitting next to you?

    Perhaps you ride the bus less often than I do. My observations of average-looking and unattractive women suggest they’re a lot more likely to sit next to the attractive woman than the dirty, disfigured woman.

    Apples and oranges? Really? Men or women, beautiful or not, we’re all people. We’re not that much different from each other.

  8. 108
    Margo

    Karl says: “Margo said: (#105)
    ‘We’re talking about the attitudes of women who are not beautiful towards women who ARE beautiful. We’re not talking about how society treats attractive people in general.’

    Are you implying that ‘women who are not beautiful’ are not part of society in general?'”

    Karl…Um, no. Sigh. Really?? Do I really have to explain this? LMAO.

    The answer to your above question is “No”. However, your above question is ridiculous because it’s irrelevant to the argument regarding the validity of Samantha Brick’s claims as outlined in Evan’s article.

    Karl says: “Do you believe that the studies I listed above excluded average and/or unattractive women from the testing?”

    No. Answer this, Karl: Do you think every average or ugly woman will feel jealous, envious, or vindictive towards a beautiful woman and act upon those feelings? Answer the question, then explain your reasons.

    Karl says: “Are you suggesting that the average and unattractive women who were part of the studies were all biased against the beautiful women, but the researchers completely overlooked those results?”

    I’m saying no such thing. And I think that you know I’m not. In your argument with me on this subject, you are now drowning and grasping for straws to try and save yourself.

  9. 109
    Margo

    Karl says: “You’re working on your doctorate. Is your data analysis so poorly constructed that you could overlook 25% of the sample population producing a result that is the opposite of the rest of the population? If you noticed a substantial subset consistently creating an opposite result, would you ignore it, or would you try to identify common characteristics of this unusual minority?”

    Nope. If it had anything to do with the argument at hand, I wouldn’t.

  10. 110
    Helen

    Margo to Karl R: “In your argument with me on this subject, you are now drowning and grasping for straws to try and save yourself.”

    Um, no, he’s not. He’s using logic calmly, and you are doing a very poor job of responding to his statements. In fact, all the statements you made in 108 SUPPORT his points. There is no convincing evidence that average women treat beautiful women poorly, end of story.

  11. 111
    Margo

    Helen, I’m sorry, but that’s not true.

    In fact, you’re just as misguided as Karl is on this one. Of course, from some of your previous responses to some of the threads/comments of posters, I didn’t expect anything more.

    However, Helen, go ahead and explain your reasoning. I’m listening.

  12. 112
    Helen

    Margo sweetie, it’s simple. Karl R’s and my reasoning:

    1. The Hamermesh studies. Look them up.
    2. All the articles that Karl listed above.

    We trust peer-reviewed, scientifically conducted studies. We are not impressed by insults and anecdotes and ad hominem attacks and false jollity.

  13. 113
    Karl R

    Margo asked: (#108)
    “Do you think every average or ugly woman will feel jealous, envious, or vindictive towards a beautiful woman and act upon those feelings?”

    Absolutely not. Every average or ugly woman? You’re making this easy. Do you really think Mother Theresa spent any time acting out feelings of envy, jealousy or vindictiveness towards Hollywood (or Bollywood) actresses?

    If you think she did, feel free to read her diary. It’s been published fairly recently.

    While she’s an extreme counterexample, the same is true for the vast majority of women.

    Look at the studies. People (including women) treat attractive people (including members of the same sex) better than they treat average-looking people. The only way that peer-reviewed, empirical study can be correct, is for you to be wrong.

    I’ll explain it to you, since you weren’t able to figure this out on your own:

    One of the studies specifically showed that women treat beautiful women better than average looking women. At least 50% of women are average or unattractive. It’s simple statistical analysis. If the majority of women are jealous of beautiful women, the aggregate trend will reflect the same. If even 50% of women are vindictive towards beautiful women, they will (at least) cancel out the other half.

    I’m going to place more validity on peer-reviewed studies than on your anecdotes.

    Then there’s my own experience to consider.

    When I encounter a man who is wealthier (better-looking, more fit, etc.) than me, I may occasionally feel a brief twinge of envy. It passes, and I think nothing more of it. Envy/jealousy makes people unhappy. Therefore, it is self-destructive to the person who feels it. Furthermore, acting out of envy/jealousy is a complete waste of energy. There’s no benefit from it.

    There are a few miserable people in this world who allow envy and jealously to consume them. Because of this, they are very unhappy people.

    People don’t generate resentment or vindictiveness by being beautiful, rich, successful or talented. People generate resentment and vindictiveness by treating other people badly. That’s human nature (also repeatedly demonstrated in peer-reviewed, empirical studies).

    Margo said: (#51)
    “I have had women resent me and attempt to attack my intelligence.”

    You insult people, and you appear not to recognize it when you do. I’m sure people resent you for that reason.

    You’ve repeatedly presented your own opinion as fact. You’re unable to locate factual evidence to support your opinion. You’ve repeatedly demonstrated poor reasoning abilities and poor debate skills (such as ad hominem attacks). I’m sure people question your intelligence for that reason.

    There are more plausible explanations for your anecdotal experiences than your explanation of “jealousy” and “vindictiveness”. Especially since the scientific evidence contradicts your explanation.

  14. 114
    jolie

    I’m not sure I believe this. My friend is gorgeous, looks a lot like Pamela Anderson Lee. She gets hit on all the time. My other friend who is also blonde but fairly attractive, although not as attractive as my Lee-look alike, also gets hit on the time. The Lee look alike is drop dead gorgeous and yes she gets all kinds of free stuff, but she doesn’t have any trouble getting dates. She is really nice and has tons of friends. People love to be around her. I’m not sure I believe that really beautiful people are wholly ignored.

  15. 115
    Justforalaugh

    I love reading this blog! Evan gives a straight-forward no-nonsense approach to dating smart. Out of curiosity, all the ladies in here who have described heeself as attractive/pretty/knock-out: Would you mind sharing a link of a photo of yourself? It would be a great learning experience to see what type of woman gets the free lattes/free pass on the speeding ticket and better jobs.  
    Thanks!
    Jess

  16. 116
    Insight

    This woman is a financial genius. This isn’t really about her looks. You see, she has found a topic that led to a book, media attention, and therefore, lots of money.   I don’t think she cares whether we agree she is attractive or not.  

  17. 117
    Courtney

    “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.”

    All she could get was an old man in the countryside? An old monster in the countryside. If I were white & blonde I would go for ALL the hot guys and try to get one of them. There will always be a pile of old men laying around someplace…I guess as a backup plan in case you can’t get anybody attractive and you don’t need to have sex anymore.

  18. 118
    Monsters, Inc.

    @Courtney, I resent what you’ve just said about old men. I’ll have you know I’m working out personally. I lift my balls up off the floor and raise them over my shoulders. I do this about 7x a day and I’m in great shape. Whew, what a workout. I’m ready to make love to any woman. I’ll give her the best 3 minutes she’s ever had. Believe it, Buster.

  19. 119
    judy

    At the risk of being totally annoying here, beautiful women ARE resented and copied by other women. It isn’t because a beautiful woman is catty, a bitch, mean, or lucky. It’s because she’s BEAUTIFUL.

    And while age can change the outside, it won’t change the inside.

    Wrinkles come – hair ages – but kindness, compassion and goodness will get you ahead every time.

    If you have a pretty face and a great figure – you’ll have to fend off quite a few nerds who just want you for a test drive.

    Answer to that: No.

    You either value yourself, or you don’t.

    A few days away from my 60th birthday folks – and my best birthday present to myself is accepting that I’ll be beautiful for the rest of my life.

    With or without a man.

  20. 120
    La

    Well, none of us knows because we weren’t there and whether she’s “there” is questionable, but from personal experience I can attest that what she claims she’s been through is a real thing that happens. I know this because it happens to me, and when I finally felt fed up enough to google it – because call it self respect or call it humility, it felt shitty even to search the web for other women who face similar challenges (pun intended) – I felt better, slightly, finding the story about her experience. And while I wasn’t sure on sight what the big deal was about her looks, I recognize the power of body language and that a woman with a mega watt smile on her face, even if her teeth aren’t quite perfect, gains instant points.  
    I felt relieved reading her story, and any shade of asshole I felt even googling for other women who suffer for looking a certain way was instantly lifted away.  

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