April 16, 2009

The Incomparable Susan Boyle

We live in an ageist and sexist society. This is made even more apparent by the story of Susan Boyle. She auditioned for Britain's Got Talent, which you can see here. She's a slightly overweight, frumpily dressed women in her late 40's who openly admits to living with cats and never having been kissed, and yet she's happy about this. She genuinely seems to like her life and know what she wants, which is a good thing, but before she began her fabulous rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Mis, everyone in the audience was laughing at her! No one believed such a woman had anything to offer society anymore. She couldn't possibly be talented simply because she was old and unattractive, was the logic, I guess. But then, something amazing happened - she was so good the world couldn't ignore her anymore. The world, which she openly acknowledges had never before given her a "chance" to be a professional singer, now sat in awe of her greatness. Boyle didn't let the crowd's initial jeers and laughter phase her - she knew she would be fabulous and she was.

The best part of this clip I linked to is the judges speaking candidly about how everyone was against her initially. How everyone was prepared to laugh at her before she proved them all dead wrong. The Western World writes off post-menopausal women, and we really don't like spinsters, so the idea that a woman who is alone in her 40's could have anything to offer the world is often laughed at. Clearly, after all, she must be alone because there's nothing good about her. She couldn't possibly like herself or have anything special to like about herself. But everyone was wrong - Susan Boyle is special and if you just listen, you can't help but fall a little bit in love with this vivacious, talented, totally self-confident woman!

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