Going through life as a "tall, slim, blonde" woman is harder than it looks, according to British columnist Samantha Brick, who has become the focus of criticism and ridicule for writing that her life as a beautiful woman has been especially difficult.
Brick, 41, published a column in the Daily Mail on Tuesday entitled, "'There are downsides to looking this pretty': Why women hate me for being beautiful."
Brick bemoaned having to go through life as a beautiful woman, constantly receiving free champagne and wine from suitors, flirting with male bosses, and angering female friends and co-workers with her looks.
"While I'm no Elle Macpherson," Brick wrote, "I'm tall, slim, blonde and, so I'm often told, a good-looking woman. I know how lucky I am. But there are downsides to being pretty, the main one being that other women hate me for no other reason than my lovely looks."
By Wednesday morning, Brick had become the center of a Twitter campaign aiming to take her down a few notches for her perceived vanity. Twitter users created the tongue-in-cheek hashtag #samanthabrickfacts to make jokes about Brick's alleged beauty.
"James Blunt wrote "You're beautiful" after he briefly caught sight of Samantha Brick in a crowded place. #samanthabrickfacts," Tony Cowards wrote on the site.
"Samantha Brick was originally cast in title role in Pretty Woman but Richard Gere vetoed it because she was too pretty," a user named Susan Cullen said Wednesday.
The Daily Mail's website, where the column was published, received more than 3,000 comments in response to Brick's essay, many of which called into question whether Brick was as pretty as she declared. The column was accompanied by seven photos of the alleged British beauty, and anecdotes of occasions when Brick was hated by other women for her looks.
Brick, who was not able to reached for comment, recalls in the column posing next to a male friend for a photograph on his birthday, at the suggesting of the photographer.
"Another woman I barely knew pushed me out of the way, shouting it wasn't fair on all the other women if I was dominating the snap. I was devastated and burst into tears," she said.
Brick's article raised ire with many women for her early accusation in the column that any woman feeling angry at Brick was just jealous.
"If you're a woman reading this, I'd hazard that you've already formed your own opinion about me and it won't be very flattering. For while many doors have been opened (literally) as a result of my looks, just as many have been metaphorically slammed in my face and usually by my own sex," she writes.
Brick ponders her relationships with women, noting that she has never been asked to be a bridesmaid at a friend's wedding, often gets snubbed by female neighbors and acquaintances in social situations, and is targeted by married women who think Brick is trying to steal their husbands.
"I'm not smug and I'm no flirt, yet over the years I've been dropped by countless friends who felt threatened if I was merely in the presence of their other halves. If their partners dared to actually talk to me, a sudden chill would descend on the room," Brick said.
Many of those who commented disagreed with Brick's assessment, writing "Can we get a serving of humble pie with a side order of reality check over here please?" and "Oh get over yourself dear. You are NOT THAT pretty, just average. : VERY average. I think you've lost female friends because you're a conceited delusional prat. Is this a belated April Fool's story DM?"
Brick, however, notes that she is now looking forward to the time when age will finally fade her beauty, so that she can "blend into the background" in her life.
"I can't wait for the wrinkles and the grey hair," she writes.
But following her inflammatory column, Brick's name and face may be more recognizable than ever before.
"April 3rd will now by known as international Samantha Brick day! #SamanthaBrickFacts," Twitter user @Rossildinio.
Added another: "Disney have renamed their film 'Samantha Brick & the Beast.' #samanthabrickfacts. "