Ah, Samantha Brick. Unless you have been living under a rock for the past week, you will have heard about her. She has received thousands of horrendous comments, emails, tweets. Death threats, angry outbursts, bitchy comments – the works. And why? Because she has the balls to say that she thought she was beautiful. You would think she killed a litter of kittens the way people have reacted but no, all she did was write an article about how she loved herself.
Samantha wrote the now infamous piece for the Daily Mail about how she felt that women tend to hate other, beautiful women. We responded by proving her right. I have sat through the last few days feeling terribly sad. I am not saying that her method was particularly conducive to making friends; at times she seemed arrogant sure, which may have lost her a few fans but come on. What did she say that was so terrible? That justified the comments telling her she is ugly, deluded, up herself, a bitch, a loser, deserves to die, needs a slap, needs a wake up call etc etc? Did she hurt anyone? No.
We have all played the boomerang compliment games; when we get a compliment most women seem to either swat it away, ‘don’t be silly, I look a mess’ or we deflect it back ‘no, you look amazing.’ We don”t seem able to let ourselves feel good. We all read those trashy magazines which seem intent on destroying any sliver of self esteem we may have – circling celeb cellulite, highlighting bad skin, lambasting woman who wear a size 12. This week for example, sees a member of TOWIE in tears in a magazine saying dear God, ‘I’ve never worn a size 14!’ as if it were the worst thing imaginable. The basic message seems to be ‘you will never be good enough. Thin enough. Pretty enough. You will never be perfect.’ The Mail subscribes to this just as much as any glossy magazine. In my opinion, they have thrown Samantha Brick to the wolves and left her to die.
It seems that we just can’t handle women feeling good about themselves. We instantly have to point out their flaws, or what we, so jaded from years of photo-shopped images, perceive to be flaws. Samantha said she was beautiful; our response was to tell her she wasn’t. People I really respect jumped on the bandwagon – writing evil tweets and Facebook status updates. I just felt so disgusted. Not by her article, but by our reaction to it. Samantha wrote about the ‘perks’ her looks have won her – free drinks, flowers, cab fare. So what? She wasn’t saying that happened on a daily basis, just that it had happened full stop. Over 41 years how is that unbelievable? I’ve had a few free drinks in my time, a cheeky wink or two. If I put it all in a 1200 word article it would probably sound like her testament. Would people hate me then?
It is so fucked up. Mob mentality. The way we all jumped to it and joined in, tearing her apart. Like an angry gang, we didn’t stop. People got really angry about it and I don’t get why. When Samantha appeared on This Morning, I thought she came across really well. Polite, a bit nervous. And beautiful. Eammon, Ruth and the psychologist they wheeled in to make it look like it wasn’t the public flogging it actually was, sat there and tore into Samantha. They sounded like school children. Questioning, double guessing, putting words into her mouth. Acting like the jealous people Samantha wrote about in the first place. It was embarrassing.
I feel so angry and sad about this whole situation. It is like we literally can’t bear a women seeing past the bullshit we heap on ourselves every day. We can’t let her get away with some self confidence and want to drag her down to our vulnerable, damaged level. It scares me to be honest. Where do we go from here? And the elephant in the room – what would have happened if a man had made those comments? Would we pat him on the back and say nice one mate? And what of the people who said the meanest things? I don’t want negative people in my life. The way that some people reacted to Samantha has made me realise that they aren’t who I want around me. I want people to back me up when I say, hey I look great today.
I bet that one on one, no one would have had the balls to say such horrible comments to Samantha. I bet that, individually we wouldn’t dare. It frightens me the power that the internet gives us – this ability to be invisible, anonymous. It allows us to make bitchy comments and lay into people. Why the fuck are we doing this? Why are we so intent on dragging everyone into this miserable pit of self loathing and despair? Why do we let each other carry on like this? You wouldn’t go up to a stranger in the street and tell them they were ugly would you? So why is it ok to do so over the internet? Bullies are insecure. Making comments like those directed at Samantha, makes those people bullies. There is a lesson here. I’m just worried that we are too far gone to get back.