Thursday, April 05, 2012

Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Beautiful


Have you heard about the British woman, Samantha Brick, who published an article on the Daily Mail website? She discusses how men often pay her cab fares, give her flowers, and offer her drinks, and why she believes women hate her for no reason other than her “lovely looks.” The article is called, 'There are downsides to looking this pretty: Why women hate me for being beautiful.”


Samantha Brick
The article has gone viral. And while it appears to have opened up the subject of women’s behavior toward other women, it has also, poor Samantha, created a firestorm of commentary and opinion about this woman’s looks. There are some supportive comments, but from what I read, most are really, really mean.

My opinion? She is certainly attractive . . . but . . . well, I don’t think she’d stop me in my tracks if she passed me on the street. I don’t know how I’d feel about the article if the photos showed a face more like what I behold as beautiful. Uh, like my children?

We are all entitled to our opinions on what we see as beauty and if she believes she’s beautiful than good for her. Bragging about it as she has done, however, isn’t exactly a beautiful trait.

All that said, I’d be a hypocrite if I condemned Samantha Brick for writing about her feelings. It’s what I do, right?

I may not take arrogance and delusion to THIS extreme, but I understand that by publishing anything—particularly a potentially controversial topic—I invite comments. I also think she was looking for her 15 minutes and she got it by being provocative. Either that or the entire article was an April Fool’s joke.


Meantime, I have a little story to share. Back when I was in my early 20s, living and working in the city of San Francisco, I believe I was an attractive and stylish young woman. (They called us “yuppies,” in the 1980s). Years removed from my relatively long awkward phase, I had grown into my paws by that point and became accustomed to turning heads on the street.

I perceived the attention to be primarily because of my height and my (very) long hair. I really didn’t think much about it. I was happy and having lots of fun.

California Street, San Francisco
One day, however, I was on California Street, walking to my office from either the BART station or bus station after the morning commute from where I lived in the East Bay. I remember exactly what I was wearing: a black pencil skirt, black, kitten-heel pumps and hose, and a lilac and white double-breasted wool jacket. My hair was long and flowing, and atop my head was a dark purple beret. I loved that beret.

So there I was clicking down the sidewalk, mere steps away from opening the heavy door of the office building. I was thinking about nothing special, minding my own business, when all at once I came face-to-face with a young man. He wore a green army jacket, had moderate facial hair and a look of sheer disgust on his face. He stopped dead in front of me and said, “You are SO ugly!”

Then he brushed past me and continued on his way as I stared after him in utter shock. There were no witnesses—no one to whom I could turn to ask if that really just happened. I was left standing there wondering what I had done to provoke such a nasty verbal attack.

Within seconds, I felt I had no choice but to laugh. I opened that heavy door, rode the elevator to the fourth floor and clacked my way past the smiling receptionist, who greeted me with a warm smile and a hearty “good morning.”

I smiled back, knowing I was okay. I realized this random guy may have thought I was ugly, but deep down, I knew at the very least, my mother thought I was beautiful . . . and it was ultimately just another a beautiful day in the city by the Bay.




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