Amanda Brunker: 'Being beautiful is a gift - Miss Ireland opened doors for me'
It’s not easy being me.
Being gifted with a pretty face has been a curse at times. A burden even. Add blonde hair and large breasts into the mix and well, it’s near impossible to get anyone to take me serious.
Men have called me ‘doll face', ‘sugar tits’ and many more terms that fall into the bracket of gross sexism. I’ve been ignored in car showrooms, laughed at in business meetings and generally fobbed off for being a dumb blonde most of my life.
At 41 I’m used to it. In fact I’ve learned to use it to my advantage over the years - to trap and manipulate other stupid people (though mostly men) to my way of thinking.
Okay, that part is a joke. I won Miss Ireland when I was 17 and it has undoubtedly opened doors for me, especially in the early days of my career.My face has been used to advertise everything from sofas to slimming tablets, Guinness to FBD Insurance - the list goes on.
Sure, there were people who thought me nothing more than a good time gal but it was just the face got me in the door - it was my mind and my talent that has allowed me career longevity.
I've written for most major publications in Ireland, have a successful book series and appear regularly on a telly near you.
Yes, people have pigeon holed me as the stereotypical ditzy blonde without even talking to me, but being deemed attractive has never been a curse for me. And I think it’s laughable that Olivia Wilde, star of the new Sky Atlantic series Vinyl, has publicly complained about being dismissed and "minimised" in the early years of her career because of her beauty.
Being beautiful is not akin to being born with a birth defect. If anything, it's a gift. Being attractive opens doors. That's a fact. If people can't take someone seriously after that - well, that's a separate problem that requires some personal reflection.
Sadly, there has been times when I did myself no favours. People were probably right to make assumptions about me at certain times over the years. In my own wild heyday, I spent more than decade partying at the best events and subsequently falling out of nightclubs (and the odd time my top), so who could blame them?
But I'm still here because of my brains, my ambition and my determination to succeed. So let's stop focusing on what's on the outside and start practicing what we preach to our children - it's what on the inside that counts.