Friday, April 17, 2009

Susan Boyle, the Scottish Nightingale With A Beauty All Her Own


Your faithful correspondent must confess, she was astounded by Susan Boyle's spectacular performance on Britain's Got Talent. It was not because she was "funny-looking." In fact I found her gold lace dress quite attractive and vintage-esque. It was not because she was "plump," as some would put it. The eyebrows could perhaps do with a good plucking, but women in England are not as obsessed with appearance as we Americans.

However, television generally demands that its performers, particularly female, be as perfectly bland as peas in a pod, and Susan Boyle was anything but bland from the moment she walked on the stage.

Moreover she committed television's cardinal sin: she looked like an ordinary person, someone you would pass on the street without glancing twice. Unless you were her friend or a relative. (Only on commercials is that allowed, it seems.)

The vast majority of our population is like that. But our media chooses to tell us otherwise. In fact it pummels us with airbrushed photos and commercials of gorgeous celebrities, anorexically thin women--you don't think television is retouched the way Photoshop retouches magazine covers? Have you ever noticed that my dear friend Sarah Jessica Parker is not only in soft focus while hustling Garnier Nutrisse, the large mole on her chin is mysteriously absent?

We are surrounded by ways to sell us an unreachable perfection. But Susan Boyle gives the the lie to all of that by being an ordinary, beautiful, imperfect curvy woman.

Young, attractive members of the audience were shown on camera snickering before she sang, but once she sang, they were at her feet.

You can watch it by clicking on the title of this particular entry, in fact.

It is a rather long clip, but quite worth it! It has become an Internet sensation, in fact.

One hopes that all of the lookalike melisma-belting wannabes on countless talent shows learn from this that true ability knows no age limit and does not necessarily look like Taylor Swift.

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog


graceonline said...

Thank you, thank you for this post. I am so weary of people maligning Susan Boyle because she does not look like she's been through the nip, tuck, bleach and pluck machine. To those of us who live in the real world and know real people, Susan Boyle is absolutely beautiful. I am so grateful that she tells everyone who asks that she has no intention of changing herself. You rock, Susan!

Hoardmeister said...

You're welcome. There is already quite a backlash. I pity the poor thing--all she did was sing beautifully!