Monday, April 20, 2009
Susan Boyle: The Ugly and the Glory
Well I see that Susan Boyle is on her way to becoming the biggest internet phenomenom EVER.
And just about EVERYONE has written something about her.
But I thought this feminist review was the most interesting.
Why are we so shocked when "ugly" women can do things, rather than sitting at home weeping and wishing they were somebody else? Men are allowed to be ugly and talented...But a woman has to have the bright, empty beauty of a toy - or get off the screen.
Susan will probably win Britain's Got Talent. She will be the little munter that could sing, served up for the British public every Saturday night. Look! It's "ugly"! It sings! And I know that we think that this will make us better people. But Susan Boyle will be the freakish exception that makes the rule. By raising this Susan up, we will forgive ourselves for grinding every other Susan into the dust. It will be a very partial and poisoned redemption. Because Britain's Got Malice. Sing, Susan, sing - to an ugly crowd that doesn't deserve you.
I thought John Doyle also nailed the ugly truth.
If American Idol and its many imitations actually featured a lot of people who looked like Boyle, then hardly anybody would watch.
What we want is young, pretty people to gaze at. We think we root for the underdog, but we don't really. We are a superficial, catty and vapid culture. We aren't interested in authenticity. We mainly watch TV shows featuring people we'd like to date, touch and have sex with.
Which is why I normally don't watch those shows. But will watch and cheer for Susan.
Because this story really moved me.
"I was born with a disability and that made me a target for bullies. I was called names because of my fuzzy hair and because I struggled in class.
"I told the teachers, but because it was more verbal than physical I could never prove anything. But words often hurt more than cuts and bruises and the scars are still there."
But look at me now - I've got the last laugh."
BTW did I mention that if you drive north from the Scottish village of Blackburn where Susan lives ....for just two and a half hours.... you come to the village where I was born?
Is that a close brush with greatness or what eh ?
Don't change a thing BEAUTIFUL.
Sing Susan sing.
Go Susan go....