I admit that I'm not a fan of reality tv shows. Aside from 3 or 4 episodes of 'The Mole' many years ago, I've never been able to even watch an entire episode of any of the reality/talent-search shows I've tried over the years. Frankly, I don't find them all that interesting.
That said, I am very grateful to a friend who forwarded me a link to a youtube clip of the episode of Britain's Got Talent that is gathering millions of hits.
It, of course, is this show when frumpy and not-quite-young-anymore Susan Boyle walks confidently up on the stage, faces down a largely credulous audience, and delivers a piece of singing that blows everyone away.... against all odds. And, watching it, I am as inspired as everyone else and might just be more willing to give the reality talent-search tv shows more watching attempts for it.
Now, however, I'm hearing things said about this episode that I find rather bothering - especially since I've heard this sort of things before. Over and over again.
No, it isn't even the nitpicking by-the-minute updates on what Susan Boyle had done to herself since then. There are many more significant and newsworthy things I'd like to hear about than whether Susan Boyle had been corrupted by the instant fame because she had dyed her hair and bought a new leather jacket. It's the 'she should stay exactly as she is and refuse (or not be allowed) any make-over to make her look better' because 'her frumpiness is what we loved her for in the first place.'
To which, I say - Susan, darling, screw them! It's your life. Stay the way you are ONLY if that is what you want and what you are content with.... NOT because that's what society would like to condescendingly product-package you as now. It is just as unfair to expect young lasses to look like bulimic models to have a career in performance arts as it is to expect someone to remain homely against her will - all just so that some people can continue to project their own visions/wishes onto another person to force them to play a role (as an inspirational idol or whatever) that they hadn't sign up for in the first place.
Susan Boyle. You clearly stated that your dream is to be a professional singer. And you have proven that you have the voice and musicality for it. If you show up looking nice and singing well on the next round and are then criticized for being a human being who has a mind and wants about her own appearance rather than a permanently stunted sheep forever stuck in a box labeled 'the unattractive underdog' so that people can keep gratify their righteous selves by cheerfully pitying, then we'll find out just exactly what the 'Boyle Mania' is all about, now, won't we?
It won't take anything away from your singing ability.... It'll just weed out those who really cheer for you for your art and because they respect you as an individual from those who are just looking to have an 'underdog of the day' ad infinitum to cheer for simply because they want to keep being distracted away from having to turn that moral/ethical/whatever spotlight onto themselves for once.