Recently, 'Daily Mail' writer Samantha Brick attracted the ridicule of thousands of readers around the world when, in an article she wrote in the paper, she asked: "Why do women hate me for being beautiful?"
Readers' mostly vitriolic responses to her article continue to dominate Twitter. She has responded to critics in a second article, saying reader reactions "have simply proved my point."
According to Daily Mail, the article has received over 1.5 million views, with over 50,000 shares and rose to the second top trend on Twitter. Samantha, according to Daily Mail, was more discussed than any other major news item and her article was the second top trending on Twitter after "Dear Nicki." A spoof twitter account was set up to poke fun at her.
While a few readers were supportive of Brick, most feel she is delusional. Others say she is being deliberately provocative and that she is only seeking attention. Her supporters say she has the right to express herself, while others say she has been honest about her feelings.
A comment by a reader, Christine, on Daily Mail, attracted the most "dislikes." Christine wrote: "This woman has what every women wants !! SELF ESTEEM!!! Every women should be able to look at themselves as the most beautiful women in the world .You go girl!!!!"
That Christine's comment would attract the most "dislikes" indicates most readers do not share Brick's view of herself as "beautiful." A certain Rebs from Dublin, got the highest number of "likes" for her comments. She wrote: "We don't dislike you for thinking you are beautiful, that's fine. It's your arrogant deluded attitude that is annoying."
On April 3, a comment by Annie from Toronto, got 18,000 likes after she said Samantha needs a "reality check."
India Andrews, from Los Angeles, California, commenting in support of Brick, said: "You can't account for other people's reactions to you. I'm smart, and I've intimidated people in a conversation unintentionally many times or engendered jealousy in students during a class unintentionally as well. Just live your life, and if someone tries to get into your face about it, say 'okay' and go about your life like normal.Don't try to engage them in a conversation about it. My experience is that you can't change their minds or their feelings."
Daily Mail reports Brick's original article on its website continues to attract more views after having over 8,000 comments. In her response to critics after the first article, she wrote: "While I've been shocked and hurt by the global condemnation, I have just this to say: my detractors have simply proved my point. Their level of anger only underlines that no one in this world is more reviled than a pretty woman." She compared herself to Victoria Beckham, saying Victoria moved to Los Angeles because other women were envious of her good looks. She said: "She (Victoria Beckham) knows better than anyone how your looks can be used against you in Britain — here we reward false modesty instead and gang up against anyone who isn't suitably self-deprecating."
It appears that the furor over Samantha's article, whom The Telegraph reports is a former television producer, centers on the claim that other women feel threatened by her "good looks." She told the Daily Mail from her home in Dordogne, France, where she lives with her husband: "I'm not smug and I’m no flirt, yet over the years I've been dropped by countless friends who felt threatened if I was merely in the presence of their other halves. If their partners dared to actually talk to me, a sudden chill would descend on the room." Samantha added: "While I’m no Elle Macpherson, I'm tall, slim, blonde and, so I'm often told, a good-looking woman. I know how lucky I am. But there are downsides to being pretty — the main one being that other women hate me for no other reason than my lovely looks."
An editorial on Stylist Magazine, entitled "We don't hate you Samantha Brick," said: "We believe Samantha Brick has had some unfortunate experiences with friends and colleagues, but this article is just another example of women attacking women - the very thing Samantha complains about. We're proud when our friends look their best and, we imagine, so are you. It's genuinely pleasant to watch a colleague light up when you compliment her skirt, or to walk into a room and see your closest friend looking just perfect. Think of the joy we all get from seeing a woman we love as a happy, sparkling bride. Let’s treat each other with generosity: let's celebrate."
No regrets says Samantha Brick
In her response to her critics, Brick said she has no regrets about the article. She said the past 24 hours have been “among the most horrendous of my life”. She described the response as “extraordinary in its volume and vitriol" and "beyond anything I could have imagined when I first started work at my keyboard”. Daily Mail reports she admitted she was aware the article would provoke debate. She said: "I was fully aware I was setting myself up for a fall”.
She said: “Yet even I could never have imagined the fury my piece would spawn and the thousands upon thousands of nasty comments I've been subjected to since it was published. Other people who don't know me have queued up to call me ugly, stupid, a b****. Then there are those who have sought out my email address and bombarded my inbox with bile-filled messages — over 1,000 so far. I've had malicious mail from everyone from Swedish crime writers to bored housewives asking me what planet I'm on for daring to write such a feature. Yes, I'm a good-looking woman - albeit one that has feelings, too."
She wrote defiantly: "While I've been shocked and hurt by the global condemnation, I have just this to say: my detractors have simply proved my point. Their level of anger only underlines that no one in this world is more reviled than a pretty woman.”
Brick said she received several calls from media asking for her response to the "Twitterstorm" her article provoked. She complained: “No one bothered to ask how I was coping. But what everyone wanted to know, vulture-like, was what it's like to be so hated and reviled. Well, I'll tell you what it's like: it's soul-destroying."
She concluded: “Yes, I have cried on and off all day. But do I regret my article? Not at all. I know I'm risking the wrath of the online community once more, but there is an irony to yesterday. While I was tearfully dealing with the emails and calls outside the supermarket, a young man approached me, offered to park my car and even get me a coffee. He could see I was having a tough time — and yes, my looks had helped me out again. I know women reading this will think I deserve to be attacked again. But why should I be? Yes, I'm a good-looking woman — albeit one that has feelings, too.”
But Is Samantha beautiful?
The reader may judge from the photo of her above. But many readers do not seem to think so highly of the “tall, slim, blonde" appearance of the 41-year-old.
The Telegraph reports a reader said: “Is it just me, or is this woman actually not nearly as attractive as she thinks she is?”
Another said: “From that article alone, I can think of 15 reasons to dislike Samantha Brick. Her intimidating beauty isn't one of them.”
The Telegraph reports a third reader, in a message to Daily Mail, said: "Sorry, but you have obviously printed the wrong pictures for this article. Could you please amend this immediately and upload the pictures of the beautiful woman this article refers to."