Samantha Brick reflects the vanity in our society
Let us ignore for just a moment the fact that Daily Mail contributor Samantha Brick’s argument is based entirely on anecdotal evidence. Let us also ignore, for now, her obviously inflated sense of self-worth and her childish use of hyperbole.
What interests me about her piece is this: I don’t think she’s alone in her narcissistic vanity. We live in a society that is frankly obsessed with the way people look.
A significant proportion of the backlash to her piece was concerned not with the point she made, but that she wasn’t attractive enough to make it. The posts of thousands of incensed commentators on The Mail’s website are lasting testament to our preoccupation with issues of self-image.
Brick, displays, of course, a particularly extreme case of vanity; one need only glance at her personal website to have a conspicuously grandiose autobiography thrust upon them. But the second we’ve finished laughing off Sam’s ridiculous claim that every woman thinks she’s some kind of Siren irresistible to singletons and husbands alike, we all return to our endless grooming rituals.
Still, I can’t help thinking that Sam must lead a pretty boring life, abstaining as she does from drinking, smoking, and the comfort eating she could probably use after the abuse she’s received.
I try so hard to empathize with her ‘predicament’. But I can’t. And nor can the vast majority of normal looking human beings I expect. This is because (as Sam fails to mention) the same failure to see past appearances applies to the ugly as well as the beautiful. The only difference is that ugly people don’t get bought bottles of champagne, flowers or train tickets as she has. They are also unable to flirt to get ahead, as she admits to having done.
If she thinks that her appearance should not affect how she is treated, then she cannot possibly believe it is a satisfactory state of affairs that “no woman would ever dare to go to work in a pair of Uggs, grubby top and tracksuit bottoms”. For to judge a woman on the basis that these clothes don’t make her look attractive surely exhibits a very similar prejudice to the one that Sam bemoans so vehemently.
So, in one sense, though I hate to admit it, such a conceited individual has, (albeit inadvertently) raised a respectable point. But the vanity that she so expertly displayed is the root of this problem of confusing style and substance. Our preoccupation with self-image fuels the aesthetic trends by which we judge people. And make no mistake, we judge them.
Beauty is no substitute for personality. There is no better example of this than Samantha Brick. She should have complained that people are treated on the basis of their appearance and not their personality; instead she whinged that she is too hot for her own good. Personally, I find a certain level of false modesty over ones appearance endearing. But, alas, I am afraid that I am in the minority on this one.
Read the original article on the Daily Mail here: http://tinyurl.com/c5kvaaz
Do we suffer from superficiality? Did Samantha Brick have a point? Comment below or tweet us @Palaticomment
Image of models from Asterio Tecson on Flickr