I desperately don’t want to write about Samantha Brick. God knows I wrote enough about her last time she opened her mouth and said something idiotic. But the bile rising in my throat and the anger shaking through my fingers will not be controlled unless I type through the hatred, so here I am.
Samantha Brick is the kind of human being who does not even deserve hatred. She most certainly doesn’t deserve column inches, and the problem with my hatred for her is that it bumps her column inches up to column miles – which is what she is paid for and why she writes them.
If you were wondering, Samantha Brick is the woman who came out on the Daily Mail last year and said that other women hated her for being beautiful. I wrote an article about how she had massively missed the point – what a brilliant idea to talk about woman-on-woman rivalry and jealousy and lack of support, but instead she had over-scandalised it to the point it was entirely and only about her own self-proclaimed “beauty”.
I debated for a long time whether to write a response to her moronic ramblings, but in the end she had already made it into the Most Read Article Online in the World Ever, so I thought my small contribution to that would hardly make a difference.
The trouble with Brick is she is now paid by the Mail Online to write as controversial articles as possible about women and beauty and weight, because they haul in a ridiculously high number of readers. She is the ultimate wind-up merchant. Does she truly believe these things? Did she really spend “the best part of a year” eating ONLY “marmite on toast (no butter)”? Of course she didn’t. It’s not biologically feasible, she would have been extremely unwell. But does she truly want the massive pay check the Mail are waving at her if she writes she believes these things? Oh yes she does.
This time, however, she has gone too far. In many ways, I wish I wasn’t writing this. I desperately, desperately don’t want this article to go viral, I don’t want you to go and search and read it (I’ve got quotes here! STAY AWAY!), I don’t want it to get ANY EXPOSURE AT ALL, PLEASE.
But, equally, I cannot ignore it. She is a poisonous, dangerous writer, and I am genuinely concerned about the effects this new article may have on, particularly, younger girls. There is a difference between writing bullshit in order to annoy people/get reads/earn enough for a small motorboat, and disregarding all sense of responsibility towards younger, impressionable readership and placing vulnerable girls in genuine danger of eating disorders.
“I am 42 years old and have been on a permanent diet for the past 30 years,” says Brick. “The logic is simple and irrefutable: any self-respecting woman wants to be thin, and to be thin you need to spend your life on a diet.”
Hear that girls? Self-respect is wanting to starve yourself. Self-respect is that innate, burning desire to be desperately unhappy, never enjoy food, and punish yourself constantly. Self-respect is knowing you can never be good enough.
It’s funny. I spend 60% of my time writing about encouraging women to achieve self-respect, and 40% of my time talking to and planning how to talk to young girls about achieving that self-respect. Little did I know, Brick’s expert “thinness” tips have solved these problems for me. Next time I mistakenly try to encourage self-respect among young women, I might just hand out cereal bars.
What makes me sadder, and is even more dangerous, is Brick’s next comment. “I have only ever dated men who kept a strict eye on my figure. My partners are not only boyfriends but weight-loss coaches. My first love continually reminded me that one can never be too rich or too thin, and my husband of five years frequently tells me that if I put on weight he will divorce me.”
This is not self-respect, or normal weight consciousness. This is a basic case of domestic abuse.
It infuriates, because this is what Brick wanted all along. She and her inflated pay checks are very much hoping an angry feminist like me will sit down and write “THIS WOMAN IS SO OPPRESSED”. Her comment that “I fainted with hunger on one occasion – a minor hitch, eclipsed by the fact that I was being asked out on lots of dates,” is carefully engineered to enrage people and inspire higher readership figures.
But there are young girls out there who are in real situations of domestic abuse, just like the one she cites, who have now had that situation normalised. Brick has told them that it’s not domestic abuse, it’s actually ok – in fact, it’s the kind of relationship we should aspire to.
My only justification for writing this article, is to say this: GIRLS, IT’S NOT. Please, if you are in a similar situation, where a man is threatening you to make you lose weight, or constantly telling you you are not good enough, that is not normal, that is not ok, and there are people you can talk to about it.
Brick is writing these things purely for attention, for ‘likes’, and ultimately for money. But she must not persuade you to believe that being threatened by a boyfriend or husband to lose weight is a normal situation to be in. She has written lies, but, most importantly, she has written dangerous lies.
It blows my mind that Brick is a sick enough human being to feel that this article is ok, but nevertheless, she clearly does. All we can do is support each other in not believing it. And, don’t worry, there is a special circle in hell reserved for Samantha Brick. Where the only food available is LOADS AND LOADS OF CAKE.
This article was first published on Mind on the Hop, and reproduced with the author’s permission.