So Twitter pretty much exploded today with the Daily Fail’s story of Samantha Brick, entitled ‘Why women hate me for being beautiful’ – the same freelancer who, almost exactly a year ago today, wrote an article on her low self-esteem issues entitled ‘I’ll always be that fat girl.’ So is Samantha Brick an invention? Is she mindlessly arrogant, delusional, suffering from misplaced low self-esteem, a cynical invention of a newspaper to boost readership? I won’t explore any of those options in this article. Because my view on the whole thing is much more akin – dare I say it – to the responsive Telegraph article by Brendan O’Neill, which so rightly claimed that the Twitterstorm against Samantha Brick is infinitely uglier and nastier than the article she wrote. Beyond what you may or may not think of her looks, what was Samantha’s article about? The first four words – ‘why women hate me’ – caught my attention much more than whether or not she was as beautiful as she thought. Do women hate beautiful women? Is this a gender issue? Is the sisterhood failing in its apparent duty to protect its members from judgment and vitriol?
‘The sisterhood’, as has been said, functions in both positive and negative ways: anything that encourages positive and supportive communication between people is surely a good thing; but it also can isolate women even more from being a normalised part of society. So long as we can’t look upon each other as a load of people – some people who are complete pricks, some people who are the most awesome thing since unsliced olive bread – then we may as well stop targeting instances of segregation in the same breath. Preaching goodwill to humanity is an undeniably excellent thing, but leaving any room for exclusion in a feminist movement can be its death knell.
Beyond that, I’d like to compare this to another recent article by the same hero publication that explained how doughnuts were likely to make women depressed. Laura Davis, blogging for The Independent and defending Samantha Brick, similarly cited a study that claimed women’s ‘judgment is impaired by jealousy’ – and as we all know, Wonderbra claimed a few days ago that [insert randomly chosen number here] percentage of women could ‘get ahead’ in work by showing the skin just above their tits.
Which incredible black hole is eating up all the studies on men these days, eh? Because I want to know which body part the average man is discreetly flashing at his boss for a promotion, or where the widely reported studies are that conclude that burgers make men cry. I’m all for these studies and this absolutely vacuous reporting, guys and gals – just so long as it’s about people, and not some boring subset you’ve been positioning as on the emotional brink 24/7, about to be pushed over by a doughnut or the swish of Samantha Brick’s hair. Do women hate women? It’s a loaded question, and the only answers you can give are food for a shitty social positioning of women as ‘bitches’ or ‘sisters’, out on the sidelines, huddling together in miniskirts and waitress outfits or openly burning their bras, unmixed and unequal.
People get jealous. People get deluded. People eat doughnuts. People get depression. And the necessity of having to actually write these sentences is almost as sad as the number of people who ganged up on some random woman today for publicly proclaiming her opinion of herself.