Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Beautiful1comment
Do you remember that 80’s Pantene commercial, “Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Beautiful,” starring Kelly LeBrock (the hot chick from Weird Science)? Even at a young age, I remember thinking that while she was beautiful, she sounded conceited and annoying by saying it out loud.
I know we are supposed to all be very “you go girl” about our looks, abilities, bodies, etc. but I have always thought a confident person didn’t need to shout their attributes from the rooftop. To me, the people constantly calling attention to said attributes seemed to lack real confidence since they needed to draw so much attention to it all the time. Maybe I was just raised that a little bit of humility goes a long way. Enter British writer Samantha Brick. On Monday, the UK’s Daily Mail published her article “Why Women Hate Me For Being Beautiful: There are Downsides to Being This Pretty.”
Basically Brick starts the article describing all of the special treatment she has received due to her good looks (plane captains sending over bottles of champagne, bartenders who won’t let her settle her bill, random flowers being given to her on the street by strangers, etc), but then tells us about the dark side. Other women. Apparently her beauty upsets other women. Brick claims she is often shunned by less attractive women, held back in her job by less attractive women, and basically she is Snow White and everyone else is an evil Queen wanting to ruin her life. According to Brick,
“But there are downsides to being pretty — the main one being that other women hate me for no other reason than my lovely looks…..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… Insecure female bosses have also barred me from promotions at work…And most poignantly of all, not one girlfriend has ever asked me to be her bridesmaid.”
Personally, I bet Brick proposed an article idea that would be bought and sold. And it did. On the first day, her article received over 1 million hits, thousands of comments and she was the #2 trending topic on England’s twitter. I imagine she’s not so conceited (and stupid) as to lament the problems of being a confident, attractive woman. However, I do think she’s one of those women that blames other women’s jealousy over her beauty rather than admit that she doesn’t play well with others. I’ve discussed before women that don’t have any real female friends but then always blame women for being jealous of them. (Half the women on The Bachelor or the Real Housewives fall into this category). But Brick went further as to make entirely about her looks. I am friends with some unbelievably stunning women. I didn’t seek them out. I think that just happens when you live in LA. Does their beauty threaten me? Well, I don’t always love laying beside them in a bikini and sometimes I wish I were skinny enough to raid their closet, but jealous of just their beauty? Nah. I have never felt the need to shun or distance myself from them because of their beauty. Nor have I ever been insecure around them when I’m with my guy. Why? Because they are my friends, and shocker, I trust my guy. Women only react this way when they are around a woman who is predatory or inappropriately flirtatious. I find Brick’s innocent act silly, juvenile and fake. In my experience, having beautiful friends is really a non-issue. I am friends with these women because they are funny, talented, smart, creative, kind, generous, and good friends. In fact, beauty is just one of their qualities, and it isn’t any of the reasons we are friends. When I hear Brick complain that she’s never been asked to be a bridesmaid, I think that is more due to her not having true close female friends, and nothing to do with her beauty.
Brick explains that while hurt and shocked by the huge negative backlash, but then again, it’s what she wanted. She wrote in a follow-up article,
“I knew when I came up with the idea that it would provoke debate. I’d even prefaced the idea by explaining to the editor that I was fully aware I was setting myself up for a fall. I knew this was sensitive territory at which women would take umbrage — but I thought it was a taboo that needed shattering.”
I’m not saying that women can’t be catty. Of course they can. But Brick takes no responsibility in not fostering female relationships on her end. She also readily admits to taking full advantage of her looks around men and using it to help her career. I’m not opposed to using what you’ve got. Last week I was with one of my beautiful friends and she had forgotten her ID at the bar. When the bouncer refused to let her in, she pulled up her IMDB page on her phone to show the bouncer (it had her age on her page), and the bouncer said “great headshot” and let her in. Did it help that she’s a beautiful blonde? Absolutely. Would this have worked for a guy? Probably not. I get that Brick has probably used her beauty when she needed it, but to wear it like the scarlett letter that keeps her from taking pictures in large groups sounds a) stupid b) like her social circles suck and c) like she’s a massive baby. Chin up Brick, you’re getting older and if beauty is all you have, it will quickly fade. Otherwise, stop writing asinine articles that only make every woman hate you more.