Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Susan Boyle

I just caught the end of a piece on CBC Radio about Susan Boyle, the recent Britain’s Got Talent sensation. There was a lot of discussion about how we judge people by physical appearance; ageism, sexism and even single-ism were all mentioned. (She’s 48 and “never been married, never been kissed”).

Of course, that judgement isn’t so much about the person being judged, but about our own insecurities. (i.e. I may not like how I look, but at least I don’t look that bad. I might not be so attractive, but at least I wasn’t 48 and never married or kissed. I might not be able to sing, but at least I’m not as bad as some of the people who audition for these shows).

What gives me hope is that I believe that something deep in most viewers, even if it was at a subconscious level, wanted her to surprise us and prove us wrong. People stood, cheered, and even cried when her voice totally exceeded our wildest expectations.

It would have been incredibly sad if her talent had been overlooked because of her appearance and presentation. Seeing that she’s 48 and just now discovered, I suspect that has happened in the past, but she is now not only being recognized for her talent, she has become a hero for the underdog and has reminded us all of what our mothers taught us: Never judge a book by its cover -- and, more importantly, never judge a woman by her eyebrows!

For the 1% of you who have been on vacation on a remote island or in a coma and haven’t seen the clip, here is I Dreamed a Dream

I think her version of Cry Me a River is even better.

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