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Why Does Everyone Hate Me For Being Better Than Them?

April 19, 2012

Okay, I hinted to it yesterday so here I go; it’s time to talk about my new favorite person of the month – Samantha Brick – author of “Why do women hate me for being beautiful?”

I don’t know anything about this woman except for that one article, so I am not going to speak to her intentions, attitude, or anything like that.  And as to whether or not she is actually “hot” – I’m going to play the gay card and abstain from voting.  But whether or not you think she’s arrogant and narcissistic, she makes an absolutely excellent point.  (A great response from a frumpy perspective is here – I highly recommend it.)

Consider this; if Ms. Brick’s story started with a couple paragraphs about being born with a cleft lip and being made fun of until she was 8 when Amy Grant heard about her story and stepped in to pay for a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon – and THEN started talking about how differently people treated her because she was beautiful – this wouldn’t be an outrage, it would be a Lifetime Original Movie.  Everyone would love her.

I want to be careful here because as a gay man I am understanding of and sensitive to a lot of issues women tend to deal with – especially regarding appearance.  I’ve been there myself.  I know what it’s like to feel unattractive and insecure.  And I know what it is like to hate other men for no reason other than how they look in a bathing suit.

Ms. Brick has (or at least claims to have) the self-image that most people only attain with decades of exercise, self-discipline, psychological help and a lifetime membership to Oprah’s book club.  She is being demonized because she feels (or claims to feel) the way we wish we felt about ourselves.  It is a simple fact that almost everyone treats attractive people differently than others.

The next time I’m at a bar I am going to buy a drink for the least traditionally attractive person in the room (unless that person happens to be myself – in which case I’d make it a double and a shot of Jameson) and say “you clearly have the most inner beauty out of everyone in this place.”

It is extremely important for us beautiful people to be humble.  I agree with that.  But it’s also important for us not-so-beautiful people to stop making assumptions about people based on their physical appearance.  Underneath every charming smile, innocent pair of blue eyes and perfect ass lies a very imperfect human being just like the rest of us.

How many times have you seen some random hot actress or singer in an interview saying how she felt ugly as a child – she got picked on for being a tom boy with a few extra pounds and her parents never told her she was pretty or bought her a dress.  And nobody asked her to the prom.  (Awwwwww….)  Naturally, the host starts gushing about how beautiful she is and shame on daddy for not being more encouraging.  Everyone starts cheering loudly, and you hear a few black women and gay men in the audience shout “You GO girl!”  Well, Ms. Brick’s daddy actually did make her feel beautiful, and since she had the balls to write about it she is hated by millions.

This phenomenon is much bigger than physical beauty.  It applies to intelligence and wealth as well.  We don’t particularly care for anyone significantly smarter or wealthier than us either.   Come on, you know it annoys the hell out of you when you get passed on the freeway by some brand new Mercedes.  And I don’t mean a normal Mercedes like the ones you see in the lot when you drive by a dealer or the one that your aunt bought after making partner at her law firm last year.  I mean that one that looks like something out of Star Trek and you never would have known that it was a Mercedes at all unless the driver hadn’t slowed down to 120mph just long enough for you to recognize the logo above the license plate – and you all of the sudden realize that you aren’t even important or successful enough to be invited to the secret society where the company advertises the existence of such vehicles.

And as for intelligence, well, I’m so much smarter than you that you that you wouldn’t be able to understand my analysis of the topic so I won’t bother trying.

The internet has taught everyone a valuable lesson that we always knew but never had to admit before because we couldn’t actually prove it.  There is always someone that is prettier, smarter, wealthier and more interesting than you out there.  You’re not the best at anything; in fact you’re probably not even in the top ten in your hometown.  Maybe – just maybe – you’ll get there someday (you will likely have to sacrifice your health, sanity, relationships and ethics to get there) but by the time you wake up the next morning you’ve dropped off the leader board.  It’s pretty depressing at first.  But I wouldn’t have it any other way.  It keeps us humble and it keeps us growing.  It reminds us that there truly are no limits – we always have something to strive for and a new level to achieve.  There is nothing worse a person can do than compare themselves to other people in any way.  Beautiful is one of the most meaningless words in the English language – and one of the most destructive.  When I hear anyone use the word I instantly realize I have no clue what they are talking about because it means something completely different every time it is used.  Not only is everyone’s definition different, but our own definition changes every moment.

So thank you Samantha Brick for starting a conversation that needed to happen.  Of course, I’m sure people have already stopped talking about this issue so they can get back to focusing on more important things like America’s war on dogs.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 20, 2012 11:55 am

    That’s one of the most thoughtfull post I have read since I first heard about her article. I do think though that in her writing, she comes off as arrogant, and superior. This put me off more than anything else!
    I was reading another blog the other day about startup. And the author was saying there is no point in being the smartest or the richest. You should thrive to be the nicest 🙂
    It might work in business, but I think it is great advice in real life too!

  2. April 20, 2012 12:48 pm

    Thanks so much, I completely agree – about her sounding a little arrogant and definitely about being the nicest above any other “-est”. I’m actually kind of glad she sounded so arrogant because if she delivered her message with too much humility nobody would have been talking about it nearly as much.

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