Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Susan Boyle phenomenon

It's nice to see an average person with talent being newly discovered, and I'm happy for Susan Boyle getting the exposure her voice deserves. What puzzles me, though, is how she got that recognition.

When this frumpy middle aged housewife with a flat nose and a horrible hairdo appeared on stage for the Britain's Got Talent show the audience looked on her with low expectations in their eyes, while the judges were openly dismayed to see someone like that on the stage.

When she opened her mouth and people realized she could actually sing with the best of them, everyone cheered like mad, as if they were watching a handicapped person do a pole vault. When the video circulated on You Tube Boyle became a worldwide sensation overnight.

What is really going on here? She defied expectations, that much is clear. What puzzles me is why expectations were so low in the first place. A pretty face is not a prerequisite for a pretty voice. The most rudimentary layman's knowledge of anatomy should have been enough for the audience and judges to give her the benefit of the doubt. But apparently they didn't see any reason to believe she could sing.

I hate to think that the audience and judges were so shallow minded as to judge a book by its cover, but after watching their rolling eyes when she walked on stage that seems to have been the case.

This story is not about Susan Boyle. It is about us.

1 comment:

Gigi Saenz said...

Well said!

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