There’s been a lot of buzz about that UK article because of the level of self-flattery compared to the unconvincing photo evidence. I don’t buy all the stories she tells of encountering her list of consequences of being attractive, but that’s largely because my shallow and judgmental side puts me in serious doubt that they’ve happened, personally, to her.
There are very beautiful women out there who probably do see this treatment in the examples from both men and women. Men with the money seek a trophy wife (otherwise how would we have 25 different “Real Housewives” series?) through wooing attractive women with financial “generosity”. Women do get jealous of others, including in professional settings as found by recent studies and that is a behaviour we need to curb.
After all, a) many of our features we are born with and can’t control except through expensive surgery that risks circus-freak errors; b) every woman should have the freedom of choice in how to manage her appearance and take care of herself; c) every woman also has the freedom of choice in deliberating their reaction to other women to make friends rather than enemies and strengthen the solidarity of gender equality causes; and d) self-respecting women who put in this level of effort to look good are probably doing it to feel beautiful to themselves, and not to steal men or outdo other women.
That is, factor d) should be the case and it’s what we need to strive for. Given that I’m not trying hard to find a man and I insist on proving my merit in my career, the makeup that I wear nearly every day is like a routine morning exercise that prepares me to be engaged with the day to come. If I put makeup on, I might as well go out and do something. If I put on nice clothes, it’s because I want to be wearing nice clothes and that’s about it. It’s possible to look good under limited pretense with no intention of taking anything away from anyone else.
But I don’t think Samantha Brick in the article above puts in the level of effort she does just as a part of being herself, to herself. Whether she’s delusional about her good looks did look more undeniably attractive in earlier years, she wouldn’t be so focused on writing about the consequences of it (real or perceived) if she didn’t partly do this to impose a feeling of persecution upon herself. I have many gorgeous friends whom I look terrible next to. The difference between my motivation to maintain a positive relationship with them, and the alleged vilification Ms. Brick felt subjected to by her peers, is that they’re also women of outstanding character. I see beyond my self-perception of how pretty I am, and they see beyond theirs – we maintain eye contact and see a person, not a face.