Are You Hated Because You’re Beautiful?

April 4, 2012  |  

If you think you have a tough time getting along in this world, imagine how rough it must be for the beautiful people—that’s the gist of an article written by a self-proclaimed attractive British woman named Samantha Brick who is getting slammed for her recent essay on pretty people problems.

On Monday, Samantha wrote about the perils being of pretty, but not before she listed all the perks: bottles of bubbly or wine sent to her restaurant table by men she doesn’t know, bartenders not making her pay for drinks, free train tickets and cab fares, and the list goes on. But as nice as all that sounds, Samantha says there’s an ugly downside to being so blessed in the looks department: jealous wives have cut her out of their lives, women have stopped being her friend, insecure bosses have barred her from promotions, and (gasp!) no one has ever asked her to be a bridesmaid. She also finds that “older women are the most hostile to beautiful women — perhaps because they feel their own bloom fading,” and with that observation, she says she “can’t wait for the wrinkles and the grey hair that will help me blend into the background.” Unfortunately, Samantha doesn’t realize she’s already blending in quite well with another group of women—crazies. Even Barbara Walters had to put her out on “The View” and let her know, sorry, Sammy, you’re just not all that attractive. But as much as I know this woman is hardly the cream of the British crop (and she does too), unfortunately I’ve seen her kind up close and personal.

This is actually an issue I’ve been struggling with since I started hanging out with an old friend of mine more often. We have about the same lighter brown skin tone and longer hair and for some reason she’s trying to get me to buy into this sort of alternate universe where all people with a lighter complexion are automatically attractive and therefore superior to everyone else and I just can’t take it. When we go out she’ll point out girls who “aren’t that attractive to be light-skinned” and then I have to remind her those qualities don’t go hand in hand. Or she’ll tell me people probably aren’t speaking to us because of our looks and I’ll tell her no, they’re not speaking to you because you’re stank. Then I’m reminded that this is the same girl who told me like 10 years ago that there are people in the world who simply don’t like me because of my skin tone and hair texture; interestingly I haven’t had a single experience to back that theory up. What I have seen though is that whenever one of the bartenders who looks like she could be our more attractive sister comes to ask if we want a drink her attitude turns sour and she turns up her nose to ask me why she’s always in our face about a drink. Now who’s intimidated? Like Samantha, her “woe is pretty old me” problem is all about perception.

If we really think about it, any woman could write Samantha’s story. Just a couple of months, ago a 53-year-old man bought me a Coke at the airport. I must be killin’ ‘em in these streets if he came off of $2 and didn’t even know my name! I mean really, what woman hasn’t had a man buy her a drink, or a bartender drop her tab, or an officer skip out on a ticket, or a free oil change? Women use their feminine wiles all the time to get things and half the time the goods aren’t predicated on how attractive a woman is but on the man’s level of thirst.

In all honesty, and I hope this comes out right, women who are seen as “less attractive” by society’s standards usually don’t get caught up in all this who looks better than who foolishness. When you’re not all caught up in your looks, you don’t have time to be worried about anyone else’s. It’s women like Samantha who are trying to keep up with the beauty Joneses who keep tally on how their looks affect their daily lives. Like my friend, because Samantha possesses the most sought after qualities in a white woman—blonde hair and what looks to be blue eyes—why wouldn’t she think everyone is jealous of her and dying to please her? Unfortunately, she’s been bamboozled, and if you haven’t already come to this conclusion yet, it’s likely her arrogant attitude that keeps women from befriending her, not some unfounded desire to look like her. Although let Samanta tell it, the backlash she’s received in response to her article only demonstrates her point: “no one in this world is more reviled than a pretty woman.”

I beg to differ. Pretty women people can handle. Pretty and conceited? Not so much.

Do you think so-called attractive people’s looks turn others off or is it usually their attitudes that do them in?

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

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