Wednesday, April 4, 2012

It's strange, but she's right

What Samantha Brick's detractors, who correctly observe that she is no Victoria's Secret supermodel, fail to take into account is that beauty is relative:
Samantha Brick, the Daily Mail writer, who sparked an avalanche of debate when she declared 'Why do women hate me for being beautiful?' is dominating the internet for a second day running - this time for her fierce reaction to her critics. In just hours Samantha's article yesterday became a worldwide sensation and today her name is still trending globally on Twitter as users continue to discuss her controversial opinion....

She also said: 'While I’m no Elle Macpherson, I'm tall, slim, blonde and, so I'm often told, a good-looking woman. I know how lucky I am. But there are downsides to being pretty — the main one being that other women hate me for no other reason than my lovely looks.'
Don't get me wrong, some of the backlash is hysterical. But the reality is that the behavior she's describing is no less real for all that it's being directed at a very moderately attractive middle-aged woman rather than a gorgeous actress. The reality is that most women intensely dislike other women who put them in the shade, whether they are very pretty 18-year olds or post-menopausal purple-coiffed blobs. Being a) blonde, b) not noticably overweight, and c) plain-featured, Samantha Brick is probably the belle of the ball in her various social circles and commands attention from most of the men in it.

The fact that she wouldn't attract so much as a second glance, assuming there was a first one, on Hollywood Boulevard is entirely irrelevant. It's not her place on the absolute standard of human beauty that determines how she is treated, but rather, her place in comparison with the women around her and how the men around them respond to her.

And while based on her writing, it is almost surely true that Brick is a solipsistic cow, that's not why women dislike her. When women dislike other women on sight, logic dictates that it doesn't have anything to do with their characters. Confirmation can be found in this comment at the newspaper site:

"This woman is pretty, I won't deny that, and I'm sure plenty of men and women would find her attractive. However, she's not so overwhelmingly beautiful that I would hate her just for sharing airspace with me."

Translation: Me pretty so me no hate her. Me only hate pretty pretty.

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

There are two (hilarious) aspects of women in play here:

1) Ms Brick is broadly correct, and is obviously projecting as well.

2) Ms Brick, like most women, is dramatically over-estimating her looks, for all the reasons Vox and other have laid out.

Stickwick said...

Translation: Me pretty so me no hate her. Me only hate pretty pretty.

That's interesting. Maybe it's having lived in the shadow of an exceptionally beautiful step-mother for 20 years, but I don't dislike or even feel uncomfortable around really beautiful women. I only find myself getting bitchy around flirtatious women who I perceive as roughly on my level.

Anonymous said...

her tits are too small

Wendy said...

I wonder if she uses Pantene?

dice3510 said...

And what does "hate" mean here? They might be envious of her, but they don't want her to be eaten by lions.

Jehu said...

With so many very overweight women, and women who cut their hair short, it really isn't hard for most women to make it to the 75th-85th percentile of looks for women their age.

Stickwick said...

Don't be so sure of that.

LP 999/Eliza said...

Great post.

Aww...She bagged a mate so she is far more successful than me. I'm near her age and middle age is brutal.

Here I go again, but if we could only celebrate everyone's natural beauty, gifts, talents and all shine together in the starry night time sky. Kumbaya!

Ian Ironwood said...

Meh. She's hot enough for MILF porn, but I wouldn't put her on the cover.

Gentlemen, we're seeing the inner-workings of the mysterious Female Social Matrix here in all its glory. Women and men interact with each other using a very different set of rules. Women tend to be more social and willing to congregate by nature, because that's the only way they can establish their own Sex Rank in relation to each other and society at large. When a woman is in a social situation and perceives another woman as more attractive or otherwise threatening to her own social position, then the whole "hate her because she's beautiful" thing starts working it's insidious magic. The less-attractive women conspire to undermine the social rank of the more-beautiful woman through a variety of subtle means, usually gossip and innuendo suggesting that the more-beautiful woman has transgressed the established boundaries of the social group ("She is such a slut!") in order to unseat her at the top of the social order. By unseating the Alpha female's social rank, the less-attractive Beta women elevate themselves in comparison -- within the Female Social Matrix. But the moment another woman becomes the social Alpha, she, too, becomes the target of subtle attacks. The mid-level Betas conspire and ally with each other all the while jockying for position in proximity to the social Alpha. It's as Machiavellian as you could ask for, and the competition, while not bloody, is intriguing enough to fulfill many Betas with no social hope by just participating in the "take down". Women, when they ally, do it ultimately to take away feminine power.

Men, on the other hand, congregate around an Alpha as well, but they do so to "borrow" the power of his masculinity -- his authority, his ability to order, to act, to protect, to impress and to bless -- in return for service and support that ultimately improves the Alpha and the Beta's social standing. Luke Skywalker, for instance, "borrowed" Han Solo's masculine power as much as he "borrowed"Obi Wan Kenobi's power of knowledge of the Force. That's why it's such a compelling story. At the end of the first movie, he's gone from white-clad innocent farm boy to the heroic destroyer of the Death Star, thanks to the power he gained from both. In the military, the most institutionalized social grouping based on masculine principals, authority flows clearly from the top to the bottom. But so does respect and honor, intangibles that support the Alpha, not seek to tear him down. By being good followers and lending the Alpha their individual masculine power, his personal power and authority is greatly magnified, usually along with his social rank.

Which could be one reason why it's often typical for newly married men to "disappear" off of the social circle for a few years. Their wives understand the power of male social organization, and by retarding her husband's "commitments of masculinity" to a larger male social group, they deprive him of the power of the group's support. Similarly, some men actively encourage their wives to engage in the vicious social in-fighting, not because they actually support their wives, but because female power focused against other females is power not focused against her husband.

It's a complex game, but even feminists agree that women are too hard on each other and tear each other down. But when females try to copy male-organized organizations, they end up de-evolving into the de facto clique-fest that most all-women organizations become. It is also instructive as to the nature of the relationship between Sex Rank and Social Rank in a woman's mind.



On us . . . that's another matter.

Tiger said...

Ian Ironwood, awesome post! I hope to see more from you going forward. You raised a topic I'd like to see explored in more depth.

artie said...

Good post Ian.

That also explains the (now) usual dynamics between men and women. Most men are natural followers (beta), so they naturally also follow women, put them on pedestals, etc. The solipsism of the woman is attractive to them as it (superficially) contains alpha traits.

On the other hand, women are attracted to Alpha male exactly because they perceive those men as higher in status as themselves...just as they are attracted by higher status women. Attraction does not mean love. It often means love to hate, love to bring him down. And that's what women do with other women of higher status and with alpha men. They love to hate and try to bring the alpha down.

Maybe I'm on the wrong track here, because why would then women choose to stay with alpha men? Why do they crave for alpha men, when fighting or leaving is the only option for them? Where does comfort come into play for them?

Ian Ironwood said...

It's what I do. I got a blog, too. The Red Pill Room. Check it out.

Vox is very definitely one of my inspirations, however. His insights have been invaluable. He's a jewel of the Manosphere.

Anonymous said...

"Being a) blonde, b) not noticably overweight, and c) plain-featured, Samantha Brick is probably the belle of the ball in her various social circles and commands attention from most of the men in it."

This is the money quote right here. No, she's not supermodel gorogeous. But Ms. Brick is probably more attractive than most of the other women her age. The greatest thing in her favor is that she is not noticeably overweight. Most women her age are carrying extra weight, and they know it, and their friends know it.

So, in her social and work circles, she is probably the most attractive woman or at least one of the most attractive.

Ms. Brick repeatedly talks about receiving fawning, obsequious attention from men. I find this odd. Perhaps there are a lot of cultural differences in the UK where she lives, from the midwestern US where I live. Here, we notice beautiful women, but we don't purchase their train tickets, pay their tolls, or purchase lattes for them out of the blue; nor do we pay them gushing compliments as Ms. Brick claims to receive.

deti

Pippi said...

"Which could be one reason why it's often typical for newly married men to "disappear" off of the social circle for a few years. Their wives understand the power of male social organization, and by retarding her husband's "commitments of masculinity" to a larger male social group, they deprive him of the power of the group's support."

I would say it's becasue of either the coming of children or the wife wants the attention (and, hopefully, he wants to give it), or both. Much more likely explanation than a sinister plot to deprive Hubby of the power of the group's support.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't sleep with her. Pedestrian at best. Maybe if she had her make up done well and was wearing something devilish, I might take a second look, but I doubt it would go further. She looks like a typical soccer mom, awkward flaws and all.

Joe A. said...

Eh, she ain't much of a looker. My standards aren't particularly high, either. Whatever. Her point still applies.

Anonymous said...

All women are petty and vindictive. Heck, I used it to my advantage all the time, I have several women I use as bait to hook others, since they are so competitive. While she isn't to my tastes - I like them thinner and younger, she isn't a beach-whale as so many women are in the US...

Soso84 said...

Eh, she's not gorgeous. But, most women her age are overweight...she does have a potbelly. It was more distinct in the purple dress. I was told by my dog's veterinarian, 'You're 27, wow, you look so good.' Really?! To me, I'm 'above average,' but by that I mean, I'm not 100% American (so there's an 'exotic' look), have a doctorate, and have no ex-husbnd or kids. So, apparently, women my age or older look 'bland,' or have extra 'baggage,' whether it be weight, exes, or children. I usually give a woman her props when I see she is 'beautifu,' or even 'successful.' Its usually those women who are insecure of being 'overtaken' who bash...but unfortunately, Ms. Brick isn't all that 'amazing' to be 'bashed,' at least to me...but I'm looked at as a 'pretty good catch' for my age -__- If I were a guy, she'd be hot if she was more 'exotic,' but that's my opinion. Blonde hair doesn't do it for me. Sorry.

Spacebunny said...

When women dislike other women on sight, logic dictates that it doesn't have anything to do with their characters

Slight problem with your theory. Women tend to be more intuitive than men by nature. I have dislike men and women almost on sight, both ugly and beautiful. To put it into Game terms you may understand, in the same way that most people can tell when an alpha walks into the room on site, so most women can also know that, in your words, a solipsistic cow, or in my words - bitch, walks into a room.

As to your "logic dictates" assumption. Logic also dictates that if everyone dislikes you, it's not them, it's you. And I know many, many gorgeous women who, while they are treated very well by men, both known and strangers, they are not universally hated by other women as this woman claims to be. She is doing something that is causing this reaction and it's not just looking pretty.

Spacebunny said...

Just to be clear, I'm not saying that women aren't reacting at least in part to her looks, women are women after all , but I do think that she may have a serious character flaw that women are picking up on that men are not. I could be wrong, it's almost impossible to tell without knowing more about her personal life and whether or not she has very many close female friends.

Men are almost never able to discern when a woman is "faking the charm", but other women are. She may be very pleasant to everyone (this alone will get you a loooong way with men), but women will pick up on it if it is fake and react negatively. The reaction women have to her may be a combination of both her relative attractiveness and her personality.

CastleD said...

I've been watching the reality show Celebrity Apprentice, and it's been set up as a group of male celebs vs. women celebs (B celebs). Former Miss Universe Dayana Mendoza is in the female group, and she is young, thin and quite pretty, while the rest of the women are older and obviously can't hold a candle to her level of attractiveness.

It's apparent that the amount of tension Dayana's presence has caused in the female group is more than simply discomfort or a little jealousy. You can sense the hatred, a hatred so deep I doubt they'd mind if she was ripped to a bloody mess by lions right in front of them. Sure they'd be shocked and upset at the carnage, but deep down they'd also be relieved and would thank the lions when no one was looking.

Female on female hatred stews below the surface because they're passive aggressive to the bone and rarely have the balls to just come out and say what's on their damn mind. I've heard from many women (including my sister who also watches the Apprentice) about how phony and backstabbing women are, while men are less so in general.

CastleD said...

That's true Spacebunny, I'll add that women hold an attractive woman of a social group to a more strict behavior standard. Any slight social transgression or minor personality flaw of the attractive woman will immediately begin the process of the group isolating and rejecting her. The group will say it was because "she was a bitch, or she said this and that", but ultimately it was because she was pretty and they were looking for any excuse to hate her. So it's not just character flaws in themselves.

In other words, very pretty women have to walk around on eggshells around other women, and most of them know it. In moments of candor I've had pretty girlfriends tell me this.

Stingray said...

Women pick up on "bitches" better than men and men pick up an players better than women. I think Vox wrote a post not too long ago about how a woman should listen to her male friends if they tell her a guy she is seeing is a player. The male friends will be able to pick up on it almost immediately while she will be nearly blind to it. It can go the same way with women as well. I think men tend to hesitate listening to a women tell him the girl he is seeing is a bitch because he will assume his female friend is simply jealous. Tough spot.

Mike M. said...

Vox's point is illustrated by the response to Sarah Palin's nomination as the Vice-Presidential candidate in 2008.

Men were intrigued, and willing to give her a fair hearing. Women, on the other hand, frequently developed an instant hatred.

Because she wasn't a wrinkled harridan.

The political implications are interesting.

Ian Ironwood said...

Not overtly, perhaps . . . but that sounds like the Hamster talking. It's amazing how a wife can find perfectly reasonable reasons why her husband needs to be elsewhere doing something important when there is an opportunity for such male socialization. Children certainly complicate the matter, as does the "honeymoon period" where he is, theoretically, getting laid like tile. But after that . . . it starts looking suspiciously like a power move.

AmyJ said...

I read the article a few days ago and thought it was a late April Fool's prank. When I found out she was serious (after she posted her follow-up article the next day), and said the uproar only confirmed her point, I had to laugh. If there had been zero response and zero attention, she would no doubt have posted an article saying that the lack of an uproar only confirmed her point.

Most of the responses seem more bewildered than angry - there are hateful vitriolic responses, sure, but everyone else seems honestly dumbfounded at her extreme narcissism. That turned me off of her article more than anything else. It's one thing to be confident about your looks and state truths that you think are basic; it's another entirely to accuse your entire gender of hating her without having even met her.

"Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion" Proverbs 11:22

Anonymous said...

Very true about men picking up on players almost immediately. Just as women can't understand why we can't see through 'fake charm', we are amazed that women can't see through a player.

Spacebunny raises a good point about the writer claiming that women hate simply because she is pretty. My first thought when I saw her was 'not bad' but I would barely give her a glance. To be fair, when I saw that she was 41 my opinion of her looks went up. As Vox notes, it's relative to the people she associates with.

Still, it is not likely that women are all going to be reacting with such vitriol simply based upon her 'not bad' looks. Clearly she is giving off something else that irritates women, average or otherwise.

- Apollyon

Ghost said...

I honestly think the hatred towards her has nothing to do with how pretty she is, but how conceited. She could have made all of her points by talking about a beautiful friend. But when you go out and say, "Meeeee! Meeee! Everyone look at meeee!" and then complain about the way people look at you...

I'm not saying women don't hate beautiful women. But every woman I know reacts the same to gorgeous women and BBW's in t-shirts that say "hott stuff." You're not hot. Stop lying to yourself.

If this had been Scarlet Johanson writing this article, it would have been all about "how much plastic surgery have you had?" "Can you say, calogen?"

That's my two cents.

the abe said...

Humorous look at the other side of the coin:
Like Samantha Brick, I have been hated for my good looks

Tim Dowling read Samantha Brick's article in the Daily Mail about women resenting her beauty and knew just how she felt. Here, he tells how men hate him for being too handsome

the abe said...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/apr/04/samantha-brick-hated-good-looks?fb=optOut
Sorry,
Hyper link didn't work. click on my name to go straight to the article

JCclimber said...

What I still don't get is how the vitriol and invective-laced backlash makes her cry.

I. Just. Don't. Get. It. Must be a woman thing, as I can see the same thing in my wife. When my child says "I don't like you, or I hate you" to her, it gets her upset. When it is said to me, I smile and fight down the laugh, and say something like "yep, but I still love you".

How can the opinions of people whose opinions you don't even respect matter so much to you? Now, I don't have to really understand this in order to make use of it, and I guess I should just enjoy it as another delightful difference between men and women. Why get my boxers all bunched up over such a thing?

JCclimber

Stingray said...

I think it has something to do with the herd mentality. Just a guess, but if someone doesn't like us then our standing within the herd just significantly dropped. That's a scary thing. I don't know, really. I haven't thought to much about it, but that is my first gut reaction.

Anonymous said...

Wow...just wow. She is a 6 at best. And that is a 6 in her age bracket. Which makes what she wrote rather humorous. Squarely in the 'who really cares' check box. She put herself out there for this critique. How unfortunate.

Several years back I had the keys to the house of a 32 year old DMV 10 who used to claim this on occasion. Only thing is she no doubt was speaking the truth. Every time we went out and she threw her hair around, ALL the girls hated her. A true stunner with serious game in her own right. I met my match with that one.

Anonymous said...

I don't know anything about this woman or this case but one thing it made me think of....I am an attractive woman but I have always gotten LOTS more attention in person than based on ANY still photos of myself. Maybe 25-30% of men would be completely underwhelmed by any photo of me, but in person I get treated like some kind of gorgeous utterly desirable goddess (and it causes plenty of problems). I think there must be so much more that comes through in a person's attractiveness - personality, voice, charm, eye contact, body language and movement, whatever - than still photos reveal.

Anonymous said...

Your point is well taken about photos often being different than in person. Although in this case, we all know she was putting her best foot (photo) forward for all the public to view. And some things just don't change from a photo to a in person viewing.

I almost wrote that we can pretty much rule out her personality, based solely on her writings here. Also she has what looks to be a pretty good sized pocket...so that makes her a bit of a liar too with her "I'm slim" comments. At least from my perspective anyway. Some parts on her might be slim, arms legs etc. But that only makes her somewhat disproportionately figured.

"Voice and body language/movement" really do nothing for me with respects to attractiveness to women. And I don't expect that I'm alone in this regard (exception to all the Omega 1-900 callers on the voice I suppose). Although I am usually alone in that I can find beauty in most all women.

Personally I am attracted to a pretty face and a nice booya in two of the more generic areas of men grading women. But I go much deeper than that. For one, I am a sucker for nice eyebrows. That is one of the first things I am attracted to appearance wise. Thick and pretty hair is another big one for me.

Outside the box personality is a big one, of course. But we've already ruled that out. So I really don't think I missed much here in giving her a 6. In fact I was probably being more than kind. It's very possible I drop her down to a 4 after five minutes of interaction with her.

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