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April 16, 2009

Why We're So Shocked By Brit Sensation Susan Boyle

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If you're one of the few people in the country who still haven't seen the marvelous Brit with the spectacular voice, on England's version of "American Idol," "Britain's Got Talent," here's your chance.

And while everyone is rightly applauding her wonderful talent, some of us are examining why we're so shocked that this seemingly unremarkable woman even has such a talent. 

The reason is we're so conditioned to only expect talent in young and pretty, slick packaging.  Ms. Boyle instead looks like an ordinary, middle-aged housewife you might spot at your local supermarket.  Some might call her a bit frumpy, some might call her fat, some might even say she needs a drastic makeover, like Joy Behar did yesterday on "The View."

But instead of focusing on the labels we'd like to attach to Ms. Boyle, we should instead be looking at why we feel the need to trot out those labels in the first place.

We so worship nipped and tucked, photo shopped and shaped images on television, movies and in print anything else is seen as sub par and not worthy of our notice.

Despite our public noises about how "looks don't matter" and "it's what's inside that really counts," when it does really count, we don't act that way.  We don't give all people the respect and dignity they deserve despite their looks.

That's awful.

Makes you wonder how many others out there we wrongly overlook and wrongly underestimate because they don't look like what we think they should.

As far as Ms. Boyle's performance, Jon Trainer at From The Cheap Seats puts it quite eloquently:

The cynicism of the audience toward Susan’s dowdiness is palpable.  The judge’s skepticism is writ clearly on their faces.  On the other hand, her clarion confidence and sense of purpose are intoxicating.  World’s collide and Lady David slays the giant on a global stage.

As off this morning, Ms. Boyle had made the rounds on all the American morning shows and reportedly had an invite from Oprah Winfrey to appear on her show as well. 

She's still in the "Britain's Got Talent" competition and if she wins, she gets to sing for the queen.  Good on you, my dear.

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