It’s somewhat bewildering. I think the comments that she’s ugly are a bit silly as she’s clearly an attractive woman but beautiful? That seems a bit of a stretch. She claims to have lost friends because they were threatened by her presence around their husbands. Really? A chill would apparently descend if she spoke to their other halves. Perhaps there is a magical charisma that doesn’t come across in the pictures or her writing but I’m really not convinced that has happened. One comment that stood out was that nobody has ever asked her to be a bridesmaid.
I am far from endlessly brimming with confidence and yet when it came to my wedding there was no question in my mind who I wanted by my side as my supporting girl. I chose my brother’s girlfriend because we’re close, she is endlessly enthusiastic and was eager to be involved. On the day she demanded I leave other preparations and have my shower so she had time to do my hair. She was great. She’s also stunning; tall, slim and with long glossy hair she’s one of those women that always looks polished.
Brick says ‘You’d think we women would applaud each other for taking pride in our appearances.’ Well I think we do. I aspire to my brother’s girlfriend’s level of grooming. I admire her for it but beyond that her looks are largely irrelevant to me. I like her for her enthusiasm and kindness, because she’s funny and sweet.
And women don’t even have to be modest. When my friend Jelly got married she looked amazing. I think my words were, ‘Oh honey, you look gorgeous’ (cue a little welling up at my lovely friend in her fab dress and shiny new husband) but her words I’ll never forget; ‘I know!’ She later added that we should burn her image in our minds because she’d never look so hot again and everyone loved her for it. Women can like attractive women. I’m happy for my friends when they start fashion blogs, find a style that suits them or meet a weight or fitness target. I get plenty of compliments back from my girlfriends. Women can be lovely!
On Tuesday Brick followed up the article with another saying that the bile just proves I’m right. I’m not sure how the likes of Duncan Bannatyne asking if what she’d written was a joke is deemed so insulting as it seems a pretty reasonable question to me but I do think it’s sad that she’s managed to ostracise friends; When I logged on to Facebook, I found a group of them had torn me to shreds. Some were asking: 'What the hell does Sam think she's on?' Others I haven't seen since college had crawled out of the woodwork to criticise me for 'always being like that' — and even for having a 'girly voice'.
A girly voice? Ah now perhaps I understand. Is she one of those women that talks a little softly, a little breathily? The kind of woman that thinks herself a bit Marilyn Monroe and speaks in such a way that men have to lean in a little to hear her. It’s an effective technique I’ve used myself. If you widen your eyes a little and look captivated it’s not impossible to make a man think you’re captivating. Make out they are attractive and they find you more attractive. It’s how women flirt. There are times when it can be fun to use.
But when a woman does it all the time to every man she meets it comes across not only as desperate but pretty disrespectful when the man is in a relationship and his partner is right there. I would have no problem with Brick talking to the husband at a party but if she was using that breathy little girl voice I wouldn’t want her for a friend.
To be honest I think that ultimately this is Brick selling out. Richard Bloch, International PR manager for Betfair, tweeted on Tuesday ‘Samantha Brick made the Daily Mail £30K yesterday (1.5M page views x £20 CPM rate card).’
While I think that Liz Jones is a genuinely unhappy person that part of me would quite like to give a hug and a square meal to, I think Brick understands her value is tied to her ability to incite backlash in a clearer way. I think she’s selling out in a rather demeaning manner but I don’t think she’s a victim of a manipulative editor. I think she seeks opportunities to build her value to the paper regardless of how she needs to portray herself.
It’s a dangerous game as it’s tough to come back from, tough to later insist was commissioned work embellished to make a good story. This has put Brick in the public consciousness and whether she’s considered to be delusional or someone who’ll say anything for money, she’s cast herself in a role that others will give a wide bearth.
I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t write something I didn’t believe to be true and if I was to believe something on a level with Brick’s work I’m pretty sure the husband would encourage me to retract the piece and perhaps think about seeking some help.
Hadley Freeman for The Guardian suggests The Mail simply threw Samantha Brick to the wolves and is rather sympathetic to the plight of freelancers. I like her piece and she makes good points but ultimately I think Brick is old enough to know better, she certainly sells herself as such. The truth is probably a mix of delusional nutter, sell out and victim of a tabloid but it’s been interesting seeing how crazy it all went.