05/04/2012 11:36 BST | Updated 04/06/2012 06:12 BST

Samantha Brick: Open Season

I pity Samantha Brick. No, not because the poor love can't strike up a fag for the want of thousands of Zippo-clutching men leaping to her aid, nor because of all the cruel jealous bitches out there hating on her 'beauty'. I pity her because she's been stitched up a right treat by that paper whom likes nothing more than serving up its 'news' with a large helping of misogyny, the Daily Mail.

In case you've been living under a rock for the past 48 hours, on Tuesday self-confessed 'award winning TV producer, journalist and writer' Samantha Brick took the the DM to pen a sympathy-begging woe-is-me confessional about, "Why women hate me for being beautiful". Never a bridesmaid, declined promotions, our pitiful heroine laments the hard-life of a knock-out stunner. We see shots of Brickie and her gun-toting, beardy, tubby French hubby (FYI ladies: she advises us marrying a Frenchie will mean make sure you keep thin!) posing around their Franco-homestead.

Nothing too out-of-the-ordinary, right? Well given her entirely nondescript yet not-unattractive fizzog and figure, venomous incredulity ensued on the DM comments board, with over 5000 scathing comments and counting.

"April Fools day was on the 1st love!" Joked one poster. "I hate to break it to you, but you are a very ordinary looking woman. Judging by the article it's your cringeworthy self centered personality that people don't like. I am embarrassed for you" Sniped another.

Rather than let the storm of public hatred - which would better be directed at the decline of our economies or impending erosion of our internet freedoms - die down, the Mail rather connivingly gave Brick a longer piece of rope from which to hang herself by allowing her to pen a follow up response to her backlash audaciously entitled, "This bile just proves I'm right". Obviously seeing the excruciatingly high page impressions (and thus ad revenue) for her first article the Mail couldn't help but declare open season on Brickie again.

In her astonishingly naive response (or as I like to call it, Operation: Damaged Brick Control) she claimed she, "Even refaced the idea by explaining to the editor that I was fully aware I was setting myself up for a fall." Whilst it's fundamentally pretty damn spiteful for the DM to take advantage of her utterly misguided ego, Brick was willingly - bafflingly - complicit in her own downfall.

Brick continues to myopically mistake genuine caring sympathy for wanting-to-get-in-her-panties when a kind gent offered her some coffee; "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. " Girlfriend, please.

Sigh, I wouldn't like to truly speculate but it does seem very likely Miss Brick could be teetering somewhere along the scale of Narcissitic Personality Disorder - her comments, claims and delusions are textbook NPD, confirmed furthermore by her inability to listen to what many commenters were saying in the first place.

The latter aside, trolling articles such as these are beyond transparent and a carefully orchestrated exercise in both misogyny and exploiting vulnerabilities.

1) Take underwhemingly plain woman with obvious concepts of self-worth way above her station

2) Give woman platform from which to spout deluded boastings and divisive catty female stereotypes


Feminist writer and friend, Sian Norris intelligently wrote on her blog that Brick's acquired nasty comments (unsubtly suggesting that she was in fact something of a beauty-free zone) were, in fact, the wrong way to respond, "As soon as we criticise a woman by bringing it back to whether she is attractive or not, then we are buying into the lie that the most important thing about a woman is whether she fits the beauty ideal."

Whilst indeed correct, the fact is that by making such bold, shameless assertions about her appearance coupled with astonishing arrogance, Brick literally laid down the gauntlet and in doing so welcomely invited others to scrutinise it. They're repulsed not just by her not-so-pretty-actually looks but by her overall attitude.

The sad thing here is that the issue of beautiful women experiencing hostility and alienation is one worthy of attention and addressing. As someone who's been on the receiving end of more than a few frosty cold-shoulders due to not really being that much of a back-end-of-a-bus-chaser myself, I can attest it is a very much present - and unpleasant - phenomena.

However rather than actually do this in a considered way (interview numerous sources, offer case studies, suggest what this means for modern feminism etc) it's a shame Brick simply chose to brag unprovable anecdotes and lacks the self-awareness to see that it could be her obnoxiously conceited attitude which has seen her perma-ostracised from girlfriends as opposed to her 'beauty'.

In doing precisely this she shot herself in the foot and invited the cold, unforgiving scrutiny of the GBP. But then I'm sure the Mail's commissioning editor would never have wanted Brick to, God forbid, write an intelligently researched, insightful article. A sensationalist, female claw-sharpening piece will always be the DM's modus operandi. Let's face it, we've all been trolled.