Samantha Brick’s ‘I’m pretty’ article sets Twitter aflutter

4 Apr 2012

The homepage of Samantha Brick's website

A 41-year-old woman named Samantha Brick who wrote an article about how hard it is for her to be pretty has unleashed a torrent of reaction on Twitter, even today, when the Daily Mail published a follow-up article by Brick about the reaction to her story.

In the article by Brick published in the Daily Mail yesterday, ‘There are downsides to looking this pretty’: Why women hate me for being beautiful, Brick relays how women don’t want to be her friend because they hate her for her looks, how women fear their husbands will fancy her, how she has received free drinks, flowers and a bottle of champagne, and how a male stranger even bought her train ticket.

“And whenever I’ve asked what I’ve done to deserve such treatment, the donors of these gifts have always said the same thing: my pleasing appearance and pretty smile made their day,” wrote Brick, who described herself as “tall, slim, blonde”.

That article generated more than 1,000 personal emails, Brick says, and more than 5,000 comments from readers on the Daily Mail‘s website, in which readers pondered whether the article was joke, if Brick was being serious, to criticising her appearance, to offering “real” reasons why women “hate” her, citing narcissism, for example.

The Telegraph reports the story was named the most-read web page in the world.

Twitter users also reacted, despite the fact the Daily Mail today published a response by Brick, The I’m so beautiful backlash: In yesterday’s Mail, Samantha Brick claimed other women loathe her for being too attractive. It provoked a worldwide internet storm. Here she says: This bile just proves I’m right.

In today’s article, Brick wrote she expected her article to provoke debate, and admitted being shocked and hurt by the global reaction to her first story.

“When I logged on to Facebook, I found a group of them (friends) had torn me to shreds. Some were asking: ‘What the hell does Sam think she’s on?'” she wrote.

Today’s story has drawn little sympathy from the Twittersphere, where ‘Samantha Brick’ has been a trending topic for the past two days. Even high-profile personalities had an opinion on the subject.

Irish comedian Dara O’Briain got in on the action, tweeting, “I think the government should intercept Samantha Brick’s e-mail, and find the one with the subject ‘Great idea for article!!!’ ”

Former singer Lily Allen tweeted, “Oh lord, she’s at it again” and included a link to today’s article.

“I do loathe the inference that all women hate good looking women. ALL my friends are way hotter than me, I love them all,” tweeted Jo Elvin, editor-in-chief of the UK version of Glamour magazine.

Maria Fowler, from reality show The Only Way is Essex, posted, “No women people don’t like you with an overinflated ego like that … eeeek!”

General members of the public posted tweets such as, “I’ve heard of ‘beer-goggles’, Samantha Brick would appear to possess a ‘beer-mirror’ “, “Just been to Starbucks, when they asked my name and I told them Samantha Brick I was still asked to pay – WTF?”, and “Excellent Daily Mail article on being pretty, by Samantha Brick. Agree and empathise with every word.”

“I know women reading this will think I deserve to be attacked again,” Brick wrote in her article today. “But why should I be? Yes, I’m a good-looking woman – albeit one that has feelings, too.”

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic