I am not generally in the business of slating another individual. I will slate groups of people and I will slate opinions I feel are harmful and invalid but never before has a person enraged me to the point where I’ve felt compelled to write about them as a single entity. My reasons for this are simple; I like to give people the benefit of the doubt and I consider how I would feel if somebody were to pick on me. The reason I’ve decided to bypass my normal judgment on this occasion? This person has picked on people ruthlessly, using her public platform to shame others for not conforming to her and her husbands idealised social norms. She didn’t stop to consider the effect her words may have on those reading them. She didn’t consider the nuances of different experiences or the reasoning behind people’s actions being linked to their own lives and feelings. She went in headstrong and thoughtless like a bull in a china shop, rearing her head and smashing everything surrounding her.
The person in question: Samantha Brick. I’m not going to post a link to the article Samantha Brick published in the Daily Mail this week as I don’t want to be responsible for it gaining any more hits than absolutely necessary so I will summarise; all “self respecting women” want to be thin. Fat = failure, fat = ugly and thin is the absolute ideal. Women should strive to be thin at all costs. She speaks of her extreme dieting during her 20s, glorifying the fact that she would survive on one meal a day and once passed out from hunger, justifying it as a means to an end as she was being asked on so many dates. Her emphasis on the need for women in particular to conform to these norms at all costs (she doesn’t mention men at all) speaks volumes. Why, Samantha, should you worry so greatly about your figure while your husband (who you speak so highly of, claiming he will divorce you if you gain weight) looks, to quote you directly, like a “sack of potatoes.” Normally I would shy away from using such a derisive term to describe another human being – it’s hurtful and completely lacking in compassion. For you Samantha, I will make an exception.
It’s this lack of human compassion and consideration of other people that worries me most deeply. I wonder whether Ms Brick stopped to consider the effect her words may have on somebody suffering with an eating disorder? I am not, thank God, but upon reading her hateful article I started grabbing at my love handles (size 10 Samantha, is that acceptable to you?) and wondering whether to skip lunch. She doesn’t consider that obesity is not caused solely by over eating or a lack of self control – it can be as a side effect of medication, it can be genetic. Obesity can effect people who are already very vulnerable – people taking anti-depressants and gain weight as a side effect. Would you claim Samantha that they should stop taking them? That being slim is of paramount importance and is the be all and end all? If so I think you need to take a long, hard look at yourself.
Samantha Brick has used her position of power and her platform at the Daily Mail to spread vicious messages that undermine the confidence of people who could potentially be extremely vulnerable. She didn’t stop to consider the effects of her words on those suffering with eating disorders, those who gain weight as an effect of medication or those who find it extremely difficult to lose weight for whatever reason. Not to mention the basis of her argument is inherently flawed – she ends on asserting that fat is a sign of failure. I don’t think I really have to justify why that is incorrect and if you need it explaining I can’t help you. The most important thing (in my opinion at least) is a persons well being, emotionally and physically. There is no point in making yourself unhappy in pursuit of a slim figure; that is no way to live. Her contemptible attitude towards those she feels are inferior to her on the basis of something as inane as dress size is not only anti feminist but in my opinion, anti-human. If you were adversely affected by Samantha Brick’s hateful article remember this; it was the biggest crock of shit ever written. End.