I’m sure you guys either read or heard about Samantha Brick’s April article in the Daily Mail, Why women hate me for being beautiful. When it came out, I read it, rolled my eyes, and promptly forgot about it. On the one hand, it seemed a perfect Cowardly Feminist conversation piece, but on the other, I found it too annoying. Actually, I took one look at the woman’s pic and thought, could I write a post about this without saying anything mean? No, probably not. And therefore I didn’t. However, yesterday I read an article in Marie Claire, Do women hate attractive women, in which the author did try to write a piece that didn’t attack Brick. That’s commendable, but she also claimed women are above hating other women based upon attractiveness.
Wellllllll, some are. And then again, some aren’t.
Look, I’d like to believe women as a whole have risen above cattiness, but by and large they have not. How else do you explain tabloids? I once read an article with a woman that was chief editor of one of the major tabloid magazines/websites, in which she said some of their biggest sellers are those that contain terrible photos of stars. Stars without makeup, stars with cellulite, stars with their Spanx visible beneath their short dresses, and so on. People gobble it up like visual candy. My husband and I discussed this last night, and his take was that stars are so heavily made-up, lit, styled and photoshopped, that they seem unattainable and perfect. The blooper photos of them with fat rolls or whatever bring them back down to planet Earth, and people like them because it shows that famous people are just that, people. I agreed with him, but feel there’s more to it – there’s a nastiness to the thrill people get from seeing stars in a non-glorious moment. It seems that some people revel in the downfall of others, as though the loss of that outward perfection is somehow their gain. Only it isn’t. So why do people do it? What’s with all the Shadenfreude?
My husband’s answer? Because people are haters.
Well, he’s right. There are a lot of haters. Perhaps the author in Marie Claire has managed to surround herself with only the kindest people in the world. I, for one, have heard plenty of women bash their counterparts based on nothing other than how they look. Geez, all you have to do is walk into a bar or club and watch the fangs and talons flash. The viciousness is, of course, rooted in insecurity. Women tear apart other ladies to make themselves feel better, or to make their friends feel better, or whatever. Now, understand I’m not saying all females do this (thankfully). And I believe that a lot of this sort of behavior diminishes with age. However, that isn’t always the case. While reading through this post, I remembered a conversation with an old coworker. I had interviewed a young and attractive female, and as she was leaving my office, my colleague gave her the up and down, and then turned to me and said,
“God, who does she think she is? She’s wearing false eyelashes…in the daytime.”
I shrugged my shoulders and informed her that the interview had gone well, and I had already set up a second interview for the girl later in the week. My coworker couldn’t believe it, and proceeded to pick the woman apart bit by bit, from her hair, to her makeup (and eyelashes), to her wardrobe and her walk. And she did it for no reason. She hadn’t so much as spoken a word to my candidate, nor had she seen her résumé. She simply didn’t like how the other woman looked, but more than that, it was as though she was angry that the candidate had obviously put time and effort into making herself more attractive.
Which brings me back to Brick and her article, both of which received a whopping dose of criticism and nasty remarks from women. Some felt the need to tell Brick she was not an attractive woman, and some were simply pissed at her perceived smug attitude. In my opinion, it is the latter that irritated me, because really, who feels the need to write about how hard it is being pretty? Perhaps Brick truly feels she is a great beauty and is discriminated against because of it. Or, maybe she writes these articles because they attract page views, and it’s all a publicity stunt. Whatever the case, it isn’t my place to say whether or not she’s hot. My opinion is this – find me a person you feel is absolutely gorgeous, and I guarantee you someone else thinks the person is kinda fugly. It’s the way of the world, and thank goodness for that.
Tomorrow we will continue this conversation, sort of, and discuss another aspect of the tabloid conversation between my husband and I (in which I do not come off quite so diplomatic).
PS – this has nothing to do with today’s post whatsoever, but I just discovered it and feel the need to share one of the search terms that brought someone to my blog today – gigantichangingpenis. That brings me great joy.
PPS – Let’s call this week a bust in terms of schedule, since we won’t be doing cocktails tomorrow, and there was no Ask Vesta post on Monday. Back to our regularly scheduled program next week, promise! And don’t forget to send your questions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, with Ask Vesta in the subject heading. I’ll answer anything!