Do you remember that opinion article published last April in The Daily Mail? The one written by a woman who is hated by other woman because she’s so damn beautiful? Yes? No? It created a lot of buzz because the author came across as arrogant and deluded (which was probably the real reason people hated her), plus it was published on April 2nd, so it seemed like it might be an April Fool’s prank. I meant to write something about it at the time, but I’d gone off my meds at the time and wasn’t in a writing mood. So I’ll write about it now. Yesterday’s news today!
When I read Samantha Brick’s article my response was, “Oh wow, she’s taken the fat-girl excuse and inverted it.” You know the fat-girl excuse. No one will ever find me attractive because I’m so fat. I will never make any friends because I’m so fat. People never give me a chance because I’m so fat. The fat-girl excuse is a handy crutch to have because you can use it to explain away anything bad in your life. You didn’t get the job because you’re fat, not because you weren’t the most qualified candidate. That guy won’t go out with you because you’re fat, not because he doesn’t like your personality. Everything would be perfect, if you weren’t so fat. Good thing you’re fat, or else you might find out you have flaws other than the ones you see in your appearance.
Samantha Brick’s not a fat girl, but she’s got a crutch too. It’s the I’m just too damn beautiful crutch. Women don’t want to be her friend because she’s so gorgeous, not because she’s full of herself. Her female bosses hate her because she’s beautiful, not because of her behavior at work. A neighbor didn’t wave at her because she’s so pretty, not because she didn’t see her. It’s a handy crutch to have because it allows you to be the hero of your own story and cast everyone else as the villain.
We’ve all got psychological defense systems in place that help us deal with the world in this way. We spin events so they are positive, not negative. It’s so great that you were fired from that job you hated and have no savings because now you will be really motivated to find a job you love instead! Right? Uh, if you say so.
It’s easier to blame events in your life on a superficial reason, like your appearance, instead of looking closely at yourself and analyzing the flaws that we all have. I have no idea if Samantha Brick is good at her job or not, if her neighbor really did dis her during a drive by, or if women hate her because of her looks or just because of her personality. I do know that when you think you’re fat it’s easy to blame everything on your appearance, and if you think you’re beautiful it’s evidently easy to blame everything on your appearance too. But things aren’t always what they appear to be, not you, not me, nor all the things between us.
I do think people discriminate against the obese. And it’s been proven that attractive people make more money at their jobs, than those of us less aesthetically gifted. But I think you nailed it when you said perhaps the reason people don’t like Samantha, is because she is full of herself. As the song says: “You don’t know you’re beautiful….that’s what makes you beautiful.”
I feel like I should have something to say here, as I spent most of my life fairly attractive (but not “too beautiful”) and average weight (not fat enough to blame everything on being fat like I do nowadays). So what did I blame all my problems on? I honestly don’t remember. Maybe I didn’t blame everything on one issue …
So did that make my life better in some way? There were still plenty of boys who didn’t want to go out with me, various other problems throughout those years. I think I was fairly resilient. In the case of an adored boy not returning my interest, after a brief crush I would move on to the next one. If something didn’t work out, try something else.
That sounds pretty healthy, really.
I love this post. I’ve been working really hard to be cognizant of when I’m making excuses and one side effect is that it’s blaringly obvious to me now when others do it.
I want to make my students read this. 🙂
Good post. I think we place blame on anything that makes us different. For example, I just spent several days at a business meeting there I was the only woman. I allowed myself to feel weird about that a few times.
I looked back at Samantha’s article and then her picture. Maybe it’s just me, but I wouldn’t call her beautiful. Pretty, cute, but definitely not beautiful. She is, however, stuck on herself, full of herself, and has the personality of a shrew (and I don’t mean the little animal that lives underground). It will never occur to her that other women don’t like her because she’s stuck up and thinks she’s better than everyone else. This is a really good post, Jennette.
“Good thing you’re fat, or else you might find out you have flaws other than the ones you see in your appearance.”
I love this! Sometimes a simple sentence just really strikes home to remind us that our lives won’t be perfect even if we’re not fat.
She ain’t that good looking. But boy is she full of herself! You hit the nail on the head with this post.