Was Samantha Brick set up to fail?

In my opinion, Samantha Brick made two rookie mistakes by writing the article that made  her famous yesterday. The first is the one that everyone has been talking about – an unfortunate and awkward irony where a woman that the world has deemed average looking told her account of the blessed and burdened life of being so beautiful.

Samantha BrickThe second, more important mistake in my eyes, was that she clearly put her faith in the tabloid press. Look at that headline, ‘ Why do women hate me for being beautiful?’, it’s got ‘red top’ written all over it. My bet is they’d planned their follow up – ‘How Samantha Brick became an internet sensation’ – before the initial piece was even released.

I’ve read the article, so I know that headline was not plucked from obscurity. But it’s her first mistake letting her down in the actual text. This woman believes whole heartedly that she is what she declares herself to be, and as such, admits herself that she had set out to break the social taboo of talking about your own good looks. You have to laugh, really. Well, we do, because we have grown up learning that arrogance is ugly and unfortunately for Samantha Brick, it’s hard for us to sympathise with people that we think are showing off.

Had she not gone on to make the second mistake, she would have only been subject to a handful of people scoffing, muttering under their breath or taking it upon themselves to knock her down a peg or two; when you tell the whole world that’s a few more million people that will have something to say about you. Does she deserve the backlash, although she was so under the impression that she was doing something noble, because she dared to put her name against something she held as true?

Do not kid yourself that the article just blew up of its own accord – it was most likely commissioned on the knowledge that it would gain this scale of a reaction. The press are not blind, they can spot a good story a mile off and as such is it not fair to suggest they could see the flaws in Samantha’s from the get-go? Could there perhaps have been some selective vision involved? After all, controversy, outrage and a social media storm is great publicity when you are in the business of scandalous stories.

In a celebrity interview last year, I remember Piers Morgan saying that people who put themselves in the goldfish bowl of celebrity life cannot then complain when the world and its press ogles at them.

I don’t doubt that the same is fair comment here. In fact, as a journalist herself, Samantha may have already been privy to this theory.

So did she get in that goldfish bowl herself? Or did something in the water tell her it was a great idea, knowing all too well that the predators would soon start circling?

There are plenty of justified opinions about the piece and more than enough nasty comments about her. I’m intrigued by the paper’s role in this story du jour. Where do we – as the press – and where did the Daily Mail in this instance, draw the line between giving somebody a platform and putting them in the public stocks?

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