Commentary: Living a Dream

susan-boyle-pic-itv-image-1-368817678I think you’d have to be living under a rock to not know who Susan Boyle is, the Scottish woman who has won the hearts of millions around the world with her emotionally-charged rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” from one of my fave Broadway shows, Les Miserables.

Like everyone else, I was absolutely blown away with her stunning performance … and had I not seen her video, I — like anyone else — would probably just think she was another amazing Broadway star with awesome pipes.

But when we see Susan, we see an ordinary woman who you’d pass on the street and probably not give a second glance to; a woman who admits she’s never been kissed and lives in the house she grew up in, who took care of her ailing mother until she passed away. A woman, just like you or me.

And what is bothering me the most is how she’s being coined “the unlikely star” … simply based on her physical appearance.

She walks out onto the stage, and you can hear the muffled (rude) laughter in the audience. “SHE can sing?” you know the judges are all wondering. Then she opens her mouth. And the rest … is YouTube history.

How sad is it that that’s how judgmental we are as a society; that we assume she can’t possibly have a good voice because … well, just look at her. That the whole ordeal is so much bigger simply because (and forgive me for stating the obvious) she’s no super-model.

Sure, she doesn’t have ‘the look’ … but those pipes?! HELLO. That’s what they’re talking about in the press.

The worse part is, I personally felt a twinge of guilt for looking at her and thinking they’re right; no matter how we look at it, the headline is this: “Ugly Duckling” with Supreme, Incredible Raw Talent Woos the World.

And that makes me really sad, for society as a whole.

Susan ought to be basking in this glow, and from what I’ve seen, she is.

I think she has a lot to teach all of us; never judge a book by its cover. Follow your dreams. Be able to laugh at yourself, and be laughed at — taking it all in stride, good-naturedly.

And above all, love yourself as you are. Exactly as you were made.

How about you? What were your thoughts about Susan Boyle’s launch into stardom?

12 thoughts on “Commentary: Living a Dream

  1. It just about changed my life. HAHAHA I was both so proud of her yet ashamed of myself at the same time. Sure I fell into the normal flow of things thinking she is an unattractive person who will just not have what it takes. I cried at the siinging. It was wonderful. I love the underdog stories in life. She was the underdog (harsh, but a true reality. If it were not reality than we all would not have written her off) but she broke through the barriers with power and life. It was a wonderful experience watching the video and I watched it several times.

  2. She is definitely an underdog, but how sad that that title is only because of her looks, not her talent.

    It kind of reminds me of that Blue’s Traveler video for “Hook” where it’s hot people singing and then an overweight person shows up behind the lyrics.

  3. Thanks for posting this. As soon as I saw the piece I knew what the outcome was going to be; unattractive woman with super talents. So sad. I think if the media wouldn’t have made such a big deal of it, if I’d seen her come out on stage and I were watching the show I wouldn’t have thought anything of her looks but wouldn’t have pegged her to have a phenomenal voice if that makes any sense. At any rate, she is incredible and I hope she’s able to garner good attention for the talent she has; not for what she lacks.

  4. Had this been a man I am sure no one would even be talking about it. Women really are held to a different standard.

  5. My pleasure, Staci. How sad is that though, right?! I like this:
    “I hope she’s able to garner good attention for the talent she has; not for what she lacks”

    That’s a sad — but true — reality, Lara. Though remember William Hung? He didn’t have a good voice and he was mocked relentlessly for his lack of skill and appearance.

  6. I agree that most people watching were judging her from the beginning. Not nice. Harsh even. But I also think Susan Boyle is getting this much attention simply because she’s rather dowdy looking. Many a singer on American Idol, Britain’s Got Talent, etc., can sing as well as Ms. Boyle. Yes, she sounds good but are we more impressed BECAUSE she’s not attractive? Overall I think its just a good lesson to the world about not judging a book by its cover–and not much more.

  7. Well, I bawled of course, every time I saw it. But underneath it I felt really really angry – at everyone’s SHOCK that this woman could POSSIBLY have talent. Ugh ugh ugh!! On one hand I was glad she was being acknowledged, and getting positive attention, but the degree of how people were “stunned” really upset me.

  8. So true, Speedymilo. We shouldn’t judge; but we do.

    Foodie, that’s the thing … everyone is so shocked … but what upset me is that I was an inkling surprised, too, at those pipes.

  9. This to me is just a reality. unattractive or fat or disfigured people always seem to get judged right away on their appearance regardless of who or how they are. When I weighed 307 lbs, people didn’t give a rip about what I had to say. I was just another fat guy. Now after losing 130 lbs, people actually stop to listen and even tell me that I am smart or my ideas are great, etc. etc. It is just a stupid reality that we live with. I am the same smart guy that I was when I was obese but people just refused to believe because of the preconcived notions about obese people.

  10. That is so sad to me, Jason. I can’t imagine what that must feel like, esp. when it’s the same people treating you differently!

  11. So goes life eh? HAHAHA I used to get mad about it now I just sit back and think/realize that I know the real them.

  12. It just made me hate Simon Cowell even more. He was such an @$$ to her when she first got on the stage, it just broke my heart. I’m so glad she is getting this publicity, but I agree that the whole thing says something really sad about our society.

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