… when you’re perfect in every way
Each when time I look in the mirror
I’m more beautiful every day
To know me is to love me
I must be one hell of a man
Oh Lord it’s hard to be humble
But I’m doing the best that I can
My dad used to sing this to the mirror every morning. As a joke, obviously. At least I think it was a joke. He insists announcing “it’s the fat and ugly show!” each time I entered the room – every single time, throughout the whole of my teens – also constituted “a joke”, but the scars remain. Still, at least the daily humiliation means I’ve not grown up to be anything like Samantha Brick.
I first read her story about the perils of being beautiful at 5am this morning, when I couldn’t sleep and somehow thought a Daily Mail fix would do me good (I know it’s wrong, but insomnia can get to you like that). Ever since then, I’ve had my dad’s song stuck in my head and been desperate to blog about this. But it’s been a long day at work and now I’m coming to the party late. Everything that is to be said about this has probably been said. And probably quite meanly, too. Still, I won’t let it stop me having my say.
This isn’t the first time I’ve read a piece about what a nightmare being good-looking can be. Brick’s is by far the best, though. You just read it and think, my god. Half of it must be lies (pilots on planes giving her champagne simply because “my pleasing appearance and pretty smile made their day”). A lot of it is self-delusion (as countless people have pointed out, she’s just not all that). But the remainder is just plain hatred of other women. Because we’re all “jealous”. Because we’re “shorter, heavier and older”. Because “women find nothing more annoying than someone else being the most attractive woman in the room”. Tragic, isn’t it? Making a plaintive play for sisterly solidarity, Brick even tells us that “you’d think we women would applaud each other for taking pride in our appearances”. But alas, we don’t. We can’t. We’re just too ugly and eaten up with envy.
It’s hard for Brick. But perhaps she should take comfort from the fact that I, with my many decades of experience as a minger, also don’t find that women instantly take to me. It takes time, and being nice and not an arrogant bitch from hell and all sorts of annoying and difficult things like that. Believe me, it’s tough, but in the end it can work. Some of my best female friends are even pretty*. Imagine that – friendship across the divide.
Of course, it could be that I’m just not playing the ugly girl role correctly. Perhaps I should be jealous. Perhaps these friends are all tempting my partner and putting me in the shade and making me look even more disappointingly plain than I usually do. I just don’t know. I tend to get more worried if my partner seems to, I don’t know, just get on with another woman particularly well (but actually, not that worried. He’s wise about most things, but he’s still deluded enough to think I’m ace).
I kind of feel sorry for Samantha Brick (as do some of her colleagues), what with her having annoyed so many people and ended up the subject of so much ridicule. But I kind of don’t. I’m not sure how you can evaluate public humiliation on a massive scale against the drip-drip minor humiliations that those of us who know we don’t measure up aesthetically go through ever day. Even if you could, I’m not sure it’s an evaluation that would mean anything.
Still, it makes you think. Of something. Like crap songs, and ugliness, and the all-round meanness of the standards by which we’re all measured.
*At least, I think my friends are pretty. They don’t get random men buying them champers and presenting them with flowers at every available moment, as though life’s one long eighties Impulse advert, so perhaps I’m wrong.