Friday, April 24, 2009

The Susan Boyle Effect

Everyone has been talking about her – the funny looking, ungroomed woman who wowed the judges of 'Britain's Got Talent' with her rendition of one of my personal favourite songs of all time – 'I Dreamed a Dream'.
Susan Boyle, previously unknown and pretty much the kind of person you wouldn't give a second glance to, has taken the world by storm.A You Tube video of her performance has had the most internet hits of a video ever – even more than Barack Obama's inspirational inauguration speech and almost every TV chat show is vying to get her on their programme. (Believe me, I'm watching a lot of daytime telly at the moment while stuck in the feed/ change/ burp routine. For the record 'Loose Women' is quite good and Jeremy Kyle is an annoying eejit who likes the sound of his voice too much.)
The Susan Boyle Effect, as it has become known been one of the best good news stories of late – something which puts a smile on my face each time I read about it. It sure makes a change from all the tales of woe out there. I have now developed a nervous twitch at the very mention of the term 'credit crunch' and there is only so much you can read about the global recession without wanting to stick needles in your eyes.Susan Boyle's story is a happy one – it gives us all hope because – essentially, there is a little of Susan Boyle in all of us.
Certainly I can relate to her scruffy appearance. If truth be told she looks a little like me on a good day – only my eyebrows are even more in need of a good waxing at present. Her figure, I'm sad to say, is probably more enviable than mine at the minute but at least I have a half decent excuse.Ordinary womanI love the fact that she is just an ordinary woman who has spent a great deal of her life getting on with things and living her life.
Sure she enjoyed her weekly sessions in the pub singing karaoke but she never pushed herself.Lord knows why she decided to try for 'Britain's Got Talent' this time around, but I'm glad she did. I don't think I'd have had her courage – but then I'm a complete feardy cat about most things.
As she walked on the stage for her audition she was met with hoots of laughter – and not the good kind. They were not laughing with her but at her. These were the kind of hoots of laughter that would have made me run off the stage crying – very fast, without passing go, collecting £200 or facing Simon Cowell.
When she told the audience she wanted to be the next Elaine Paige, and they hooted again, she bravely started singing her song to prove them all wrong. I would have crawled under a rock and hidden.But there is no reason why she should have done so. She has an amazing voice and performed her song with a degree of confidence that really impressed me.'
I Dreamed a Dream' is not an easy song to sing – and believe me I've tried many times in the shower or under the influence of several glasses of wine (and generally in the company of my fellow musical loving colleague Erin Hutcheon).
Susan Boyle has proved that none of us should judge a book by its cover. It also made me think that there are probably a whole load of people out there who have amazing talents but who keep them to themselves for whatever reason.Strange as it may sounds there could be a Susan Boyle sound-a-like living next door to you. (Unless you are my neighbour – in which case I really can assure you that I am not a secretly amazing songstress and am, in fact, about as tone deaf as they come..). There could be an amazingly talented actress, or comedian, or singer or dancer. There could be someone secretly dreaming of taking the world by storm but who doesn't, yet, have the confidence that Susan Boyle did when she stood in front of Simon Cowell et al.
It may seem like a very obvious lesson to learn – to give people a full chance rather than writing them off based on your first impression – but it seems we all needed a reminder.There is talk of giving Susan Boyle a makeover. One national newspaper even mocked up a computer generated image of what she could like with some plastic surgery, a good hair cut and some make up. But I don't think we need to change her. Surely the most important thing is how she sounds – which has absolutely nothing to do with how she looks.
Hopefully now more and more people will be given a chance to show off just how talented they are and we will have all learned that looks can very much be


♥ bfs~"Mimi" ♥ said...

And she seems to have a pretty heart! Don't you love her smile?!

Deborah Riccio said...

Hear Hear, Claire!!! Nobody gave Paul Potts liposuction or plastic surgery, did they and I believe he's done quite well... she looks like everyone's mum and I'd adopt her tomorrow!

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