Samantha Brick: Journalist. Attention seeker. Anti-feminist. Idiot.

It’s a bold title. But when considering Samantha Brick’s latest article alongside her already large repertoire of outrageous published opinions, I think it is a safe one. I am not a fan of Samantha Brick. Let’s start there. She first sprang into the public spectrum after writing an article which shamelessly claimed that her life has been burdened by the fact that other women hate her because she is beautiful. Quite a statement, I think you’ll agree. That’s all in the past anyway. Brick’s latest article has an even more offensive message.

Let me paint a picture for you. It will depict the perilous interior journey that I took upon reading Brick’s article.

It all began with a library. I was writing an essay. As with any essay writing experience, it involved a great deal of flitting back and forth between Microsoft Word and Twitter. Write a paragraph. Write a Tweet. Write a paragraph. Scroll through Twitter. You get the picture. It was on one of my Twitter visits that I became aware the name Samantha Brick was trending. Wondering what she had been up to this time, I clicked on a few links and found myself face to face with a Daily Mail article headlined:

“Joan Collins is right. Any woman who wants to stay beautiful (like me!) needs to diet every day of her life.”

I prepared myself for the worst as I read on. I knew that rage would soon be upon me.

In short, the article explains that women who do not reflect certain standards of beauty in their body shapes are inherent failures. Brick claims to have dieted for 30 years in order to meet these tough standards and argues that every “self-respecting woman” should do so too. Of course, these “standards” of beauty according to the well-informed Samantha Brick are all dictated by the desires of men. Indeed, in this article Brick duly notes that:

“For three decades, self-denial has been my best friend. And one of my biggest incentives is that I know men prefer slim women. 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.”

I was getting a bit hot under the collar by this point. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. Doesn’t he sound great, readers? What a meaningful relationship. That husband of hers is definitely a keeper. I wonder if Samantha Brick has ever told her husband that she’ll divorce him if he gains 5lbs? I think not. And I’ll tell you for why.

I believe that this is not just a debate about an irresponsible message from an attention-seeking journalist who is essentially trying to gain a bit of media attention. The message she really conveys is one that encourages a decline in female body confidence and a rise in eating disorders. In fact, the main message that she communicates is the very sad fact that her life is defined purely by the amount of attention that she receives from men. Is it really that wonderful? Is it really worth starving yourself over? (This is beside the point, but I genuinely believe that men prefer the ladies with a few well-placed sexy curves! In which case, Brick is wasting her time here even more than I initially thought.)

The article tells women that if they are over a certain dress size they are not good enough for their husbands or partners. Goodness knows what it is suggesting to the single ladies. Go and listen to a bit of Beyonce, girls, that’ll make you feel better. Still, I can’t help but wonder how, if women attack and degrade each other continually in this way, we can ever hope to achieve gender equality in the sadly unequal world that we live in? Why on earth should we starve ourselves purely to try and keep a firm grasp of our husbands? Quite frankly, if I had a husband who tried to scare me into losing weight then I would kick him out of the door faster than he could say “Slimming World”.  I am worth more than that! And so is Samantha Brick, although it is clear that she doesn’t realise it. Whilst this article places male attention on a pedestal and gives us all advice on how best to achieve it, I can think of far more interesting things to do with my time.

If the idea of male attention is worth more to Samantha Brick than eating chocolate eggs at Easter or drinking a glass of wine with dinner then I fear that she may be a lost cause. I plea, readers, that you do not follow her.

Here’s a link to the article. Have a read and let me know what you think! I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Sophie x

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