Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Inspired by the Susan Boyle phenomena

The world has been talking about it. It has been broadcast and the story has made headlines all over the world. I'm referring to the performance by Susan Boyle on the show Britain's Got Talent. Her singing was extremely beautiful for sure and that is probably not the most appropriate degree that I'm using. However, what seems to be the real spice in the Susan Boyle story is that she is 47 years old and does not come near to meeting the acceptable standards of beauty in the world. And for some reason, these factors seem to be of more importance than her singing prowess.
Why do we always think like this? Na...not think...judge like this. Just because she does not meet the generally-accepted standards of feminine beauty, is she not a woman? Is she not a human being? No, i'm not being moralistic here (if such a word exists) but i have always found it annoying when people make judgments just by looking at the way people dress or walk or talk. Agreed that physical appearance is one of the first things that catches one's attention but that is where it should stop...a first on a list of so much else to look for in a person.
Another thing about the whole Susan Boyle story is that she is 47. It is absolutely a story of a woman determined to make it and follow her passion. But shouldn't the passion be the story instead of her unplucked eyebrows or her age or her never-been-kissed status?
I know a lot of people who make it their business to figure out why someone walks funny or comment on people's dress sense or just singger at someone who is not as 'cool' as them. It used to happen in school to the girl who continued making two oiled plaits of her hair; it happened to the boy whose face was a little deformed, it happened to the girl who was dark skinned and had to face 'rejection'; it happened to the woman who was high on the healthy side....It has always happened to people and has always come from quarters such as family, relatives, peers, and of course 'society' in general.
The Susan Boyle story for me is inspiring because the woman decided to come up on that stage and do what she obviously loves - sing!
As far as the unplucked eyebrows or the unkempt hair or the bad dress sense go (for her and for anyone else who has thought that they are not good enough or pretty enough or cool enough), just be yourself and live!! It is your life and your choice. Courage!

View the video...

I'm tempted to borrow few lines from The Little Prince:
"Grown ups love figures. When you talk to them about a new friend, they never ask questions about essential matters. They never say to you: 'What does his voice sound like? What games does he prefer? Does he collect butterflies?' They ask you: 'How old is he? How many brothers does he have? How much does he weigh? How much money does his father earn?' It is only then that they feel that they know him. If you were to mention to grown-ups: 'I've seen a beautiful house built with pink bricks, with geraniums on the windowsills and doves on the roof...' they would not be able to imagine such a house. You would have to say to them: 'I saw a house worth a hundred thousand pounds.' Then they would exclaim: 'Oh! How lovely.'...That is the way they are. One must not hold it against them. Children should show great understanding towards grown-ups."
(- From Chapter 4)