Monday, 22 April 2013

Another (Samantha) Brick in the wall


Samantha-You have been a very silly girl
Last week saw the writer Samantha Brick setting the world of social media alight yet again with a "Controversial" article. 
This time daftly stating  "Any woman who wants to stay beautiful needs to diet every day of her life.
I didn't wade in at the time, I find this new "femail" trend led by the likes of Liz Jones of shock bylines and content aimed at creating outrage on Mumsnet a bit tedious. It makes my inner feminist curl up in embarrassment and much as I refuse to reward my six year old's bad behaviour with attention I prefer not to add any more fuel to the flames. 
So I put my fingers in my ears and continued with my life. 
It bugged the hell out of me though. My dismissive stance just wasn't cutting it. The more I thought about what Samantha had written the more I was 
a) Angry as hell 
b) Sad for her and any woman who feels as she does.

I'm not going to link to the Daily Hate (just google if you need to read it in full) but here are a few choice quotes from said article


Samantha-think before you write





"I am 42 years old and have been on a permanent diet for the past 30 years. The logic is simple and irrefutable: any self-respecting woman wants to be thin, and to be thin you need to spend your life on a diet"

"For three decades, self-denial has been my best friend. And one of my biggest incentives is that I know men prefer slim women"

"There is nothing in life that signifies failure better than fat"


Like many of you I watched Samantha on celebrity Big Brother and defending her views on the drawbacks of being a beautiful woman on various daytime telly sofas. 
In real life she always comes across as intelligent, softer, less militant than her columns and Ive always suspected she is actively encouraged to "hate up" her output to ensure debate and articles (such as this one) continue to follow in her wake. 
Ms Brick has gone from obscurity to notoriety in a relatively short space of time and I would suggest that with access to a wide audience should come a sense of responsibly.

I'm sure when Samantha was tapping away at her keyboard in France chuckling to herself at all the twitchforks which would be headed her way she didn't for one moment consider that all over the world women are literally starving themselves to death in the grip of terrifying eating disorders. 



Trawling thinspiration sites and latching onto articles like hers as they take yet another laxative, brittle thin, organs going into failure, hair falling out in clumps.
Boasting that you managed to lose a considerable amount of weight living off a diet of Polo's and how you suspected the collage tutor who voiced concern was simply jealous as she was a size 16 doesn't make you sound like a steely movie star or supermodel (she cites Joan Collins and Kate Moss as her inspirations, seemingly missing the point that both these women make an absolute fortune from their appearance and are both incredibly beautiful and would remain so whatever size they were) you sound like someone battling an eating disorder.
Why am I so certain of this? because I recognise this woolly headed, brained starved of nutrients claptrap only too well. 
Like so many before me I suffered with eating disorders from around the age of 12 when a boy at school told me my bum was so big you could balance a teacup on it (thanks cockhead)  right through my twenties. 
I wasted years and years of my life self hating, fucked up, hungry and boring, yes boring because the thing Samantha and everybody else who spends their life on a diet doesnt realise is just how frigging dull you are. 
I can feel myself going into full on rant mode so instead will address a few points Ms Bricks includes in her article, a counter argument if you like.

"any self-respecting woman wants to be thin, and to be thin you need to spend your life on a diet"
I have self respect in spades and lots of bright lipstick

I have self respect, inner confidence and enough chutzpah to sink a battleship. In this respect I'm not unique. I have lots of other non thin friends who also have very healthy levels of self respect.I also have lots of slim friends who would prefer you didn't set yourself up as an ambassador for the slender. They would hate for anyone to think they share your views and to be honest quite dangerous diet tips.
My fatness brings all the boys to the yard

"Men Prefer thin Women"
Samantha you really are talking out of your handbag here. Just go and take a look down any shopping centre, bar, street and you will see thousands upon thousands of fat women with men who think they are the best thing since sliced bread. 
Women's bodies change throughout the years, some of us have children, we all go through the menopause, we might suffer illnesses. Our body shapes and fat mass indexes can go up and down like a brides nightie. Men know this and the vast majority couldn't give two fucks. Sure physical attraction is important but you are really doing guys a huge disservice here. I genuinely think its women who set impossibly high standards for themselves not men. 
Ive been a variety of shapes and sizes. Ive always attracted hot men, my husband is drop dead gorgeous. 
Samantha If you are with a man who makes you feel less attractive because you have put on a few pounds please pack your bags, go and stay with a good mate, get your head straight and move on.
Do I look like a failure to you nah didnt think so


"There is nothing in life that signifies failure better than fat"
Yes actually there is Samantha. Nothing in life signifies failure more than the need to make people feel shit about themselves. Calling the slender chick " a bag of bones" the plus size hottie "jabba" it should be as unacceptable as being derogatory to someone based on the colour of their skin. I remember you justifying your Daily mail columns on Big Brother by saying you were a writer who needed to earn a living. Sister I hear you, but its important to think about what you write and how it impacts on others. We are all ultimately judged by our deeds. Don't let yours be that you made Women feel crap about themselves. 

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23 comments:

  1. I've just fallen a little bit in love with you! Haha. Thank you Betty, i personally stay well away from the woman because after her appearance on the show This Morning i had an overwhelming need to smash her face in! I am and always have been a big girl, and it's taken me years to accept my body shape and i fight those demons every single damn day of my life. I have been on the 'apple and can of diet coke a day' diet, the 'starvation' diet, the 'OMG i so full after eating the non-existent lunch' diet. I have PCOS and a Degenerative disease in my spine, and am constantly told by Doctors that 'if i didn't stuff my face with cream cakes every day, i wouldn't have any medical problems at all'! I can absolutely say with my hand on my heart that my appetite is shit and my problem is that i probably don't eat enough! I know people will read this and that glazed expression will cover their faces, i see it all the time! Or accuse me of being in denial! Yep there's that word again! After 2 abusive relationships, it has taken a lot for me to accept me, and if people don't live under the same roof, how can they judge anything about me just by looking!? Maybe it's time people really looked and saw that we are just ordinary girls with extra padding and deserve the same amount of respect and chances as any other woman, fat, thin, or somewhere in the middle! So Samantha Brick, i really do feel sorry for you because you are the person in denial, the person who actually needs to experience a real and pure love, because girl, if your man makes you feel that shitty about yourself, it really is time to move on! Once again Betty....Thank you xx

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  2. Hi carmen-I think we have done all the same diets, shit isnt it. I love what you say about fat just being extra padding. So much is made of our body shapes and it can make us so unhappy if we are unable to attain the "ideal" I just decided a few years ago i couldnt be so hateful towards myself any more, so I stopped. I also feel sorry for samantha but also annoyed as its just spiteful name calling reworked as a newspaper article. Thanks so much for commenting xxx

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  3. I was fuming about this article too until I got to the bit about how her husband told her when they got married that if she ever put on an ounce of weight or looked less than perfect he'd divorce her. I saw the picture of her clinging to this pompous looking, rather ugly man with a huge beer gut (oh the irony)and I felt nothing but pity. I can't help wondering if all this bleating on about how perfect she is, is a desperate attempt to convince herself of that fact.

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    1. Miss Magpie, my thoughts echoed yours when I saw the pictures too!! If the man really did say that to her, then what a hypocrite he is!!

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    2. I flt exactly the same. In a lot of respects she is almost a pantomine villian spouting utter toss but that single line about her husbands attitude to her own weight gain speaks volumes

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  4. I personally think she purposely writes controversial articles to get attention. She is clearly lacking something in her own life and whether she's fat or thin she won't overcome her own issues.

    I believe size doesn't matter, it's how you feel in your own skin and as long as your healthy who gives a toss about a love handle here and there.

    Michelle xx

    Under The Cherry Rainbow

    Shop: Jelly Button
    Shop: Cherry Rainbow

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    1. I agree its all very much written to shock and you have to wonder how much of it actually mirrors what she really things.Yes being healthy and happy are far more important than worrying over your love handles

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  5. So wonderful, as ever. I didn't read the article as I knew it would make my blood boil and possibly trigger a downward spiral in my own self esteem.
    You are a total inspiration and proof that she is completely wrong in everything she says.
    In my opinion being healthy should be the focus, not being a certain size

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    1. I actually try to avoid her writing and would never willingly read the Daily mail but I admit my curosity got the better of me when I saw the twitter shitstorm it caused,

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  6. Wouldnt the world be such a boring place if we all looked the same.We are all unique what ever size.. society is a cruel place if we dont fit into the stereo standard that is told by us by stupid magazines whats the ideal size.. unfortunatley only a few actually are like this.The rest of us are all different shapes and need to make the best of what we have.. as a big girl myself what I would like to see change is attitude of fashion us big girls still want to feel fashionable not in smocks.. In the high street there is hardly any places to shop.. I do envy the shoppin trip that some girls do all day mine could be over in half a hour as its maybe two shops that cater for plus size localy by me.. seeing as the majority are plus size shudnt the fashion shops cotton on and realise we have cash to spend and a body to dress too..I admire you betty as a voice standing up for us plus size beautys.

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    1. You are so right Kitty. Shopping is such a disapointement when you are plus size. Ive written about this again and again. Its great that online stores cater increasingly for bigger sizes but I want to nip into Topshop or Mango and also be able to find things in my size.

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  7. This is a fabulous post. It's pretty obvious that Brickhead feels the need to write these articles to gain attention, but it's lazy journalism, doesn't make her seem intelligent and as you say, is dangerous to boot. Well done at your intelligent and articulate response. You rock!

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  8. Having an anorexic daughter who is in recovery (I'm a plus size myself) I wanted to bang her head with a plus sized Brick! Polo diet indeed! I'm surprised the Daily Fail print stuff like this! Your blog is great - love it!!

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    1. I actually think the Daily Mail should just hang their head in shame. So sorry to hear about your daughter. Sending you both all the love in the world

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  9. Samantha Brick takes all the work women have done over century's and flushes it down the loo. She has no respect for her fellow sisters.

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    1. My thoughts exactly-the Pankhursts must be spinning in their graves

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  10. Normally, just the mention of her name is enough to make me click away. I have no desire to read her nonsense. But reading these quotes make me pity her a bit. She has been dieting since she was 12 just to get a man? Seriously??! Is that all there is to life?

    As an aside, I have recently added the Daily Mail to the list of blocked sites on my web browser. I feel much better not getting drawn into their mindset.

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  11. If SB wants to deny herself chocolate cake for the rest of her life and be miserable then she's welcome to it.

    What I am really fed up with hearing is 'Men prefer this or that'. First of all who gives a fuck collectively what men think. Secondly every man is different, just like I prefer men with dark hair doesn't mean men with blonde hair are less attractive.

    The only man I want to look at me is my husband, it doesn't give me more confidence if some stranger thinks I'm attractive!

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  12. While I agree that what Samantha wrote is both horrendous and ridiculous I didn't find much comfort in this response to her post either. Personally I never bothered with dieting most of my life until I became aware of an illness that train wrecked my life. It became necessary at that point for me to concentrate on what I ate by sticking to organics, in-taking lots of vegetables, and choking down supplements that I disliked because I was hoping that a natural solution would help me avoid a lifetime of pharmaceutical drugs. Excercise also became a regular part of my life because I needed strength and flexibility to keep my joints from seizing up on me. To say that this focus on how I eat and exercise in some way makes me more "dull" or "boring" as a person is a bit hard to read. I realize you were making a point to contradict what Samantha said, but insulting people with a different lifestyle is never a very nice thing to do. Calling someone a "bag of bones" is not the only way to insult them. Point blank: We ALL have the freedom to live our lives in the way we choose without being bullied for our choices whether we diet or don't, whether we're a size 6 or a size 16, and hopefully most of us make those choices for our own personal growth and joy (rather than to please one of these fictionalized "men" Samantha thinks we need to make choices for).

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    1. I wasnt insulting others who diet or exercise I was talking about myself and making the point that being obsessed about what you eat to the point it becomes an eatting disorder makes you loose a ot of percpective and yes to a certain degree makes you a bit dull. I also exercise reguarly and eat an organic vegeterian diet. I would never for one moment try to make anyone feel bad about their own choices in fact my entire blog is devoted to celebrating difference. Im sad thats what you picked up from this post. It wasnt my intention. We will just have to agree to disagree on this one. Good luck with your journey.

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  13. I am actually a big fan of yours and have always thought that you were fabulous. I just thought that perhaps some of the comments in this one post were short sighted. I appreciate the wish for good luck on my journey though I am very glad that journey is not to a 'special seat in hell'. (Yes, I am a fan of yours on Facebook.) I wasn't trying to be insulting or 'shitty'. I was just trying to explain that some people concentrate on diets and exercise for reasons that have nothing to do with aesthetics (because life is not really about how we look) and that saying that makes them boring seemed a bit of a low blow to that group of people. I am sorry if pointing that out was somehow offensive to you; that certainly wasn't my intention.

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  14. Samantha may be slim, but she's not very pretty, so there goes that theory down the drain...

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