Apr 28, 2009

Unexpected inspiration: Susan Boyle sings

by Rachel Barker

The world watched with bated breath as an unfortunate-looking older woman took her place on stage. Viewers were filled with shock and amazement as their expressions of ridicule quickly changed to tears of glee.

Susan Boyle became an instant star as the lyrics to “I Dreamed a Dream” emerged in beautiful contrast to her unusual appearance. Her performance on the television show Britain’s Got Talent has scored over 20 million views on YouTube, and has been talked and blogged about by people all over the globe, according to The New York Times. Boyle’s story of inspiration has touched the lives of many and continues to evoke tears.

Boyle is far from a typical pop star. According to the New York Times, Boyle is a 47-year-old unemployed Scottish woman who lives alone with her cat Pebbles. She informed the program that she is unmarried and never been kissed, and up until her moving performance, the homely church volunteer had only sung in her local church, according to the New York Times.

Through Boyle’s moving performance, the world was reminded that talent should be more important than how well a person looks on a CD cover. What consists of being a recording artist has become far removed from merely encompassing talent and expressing yourself through that talent.

“Susan Boyle’s debut came as a shock because we’ve come to assume that pretty voices come only in pretty packages,” according to the Chicago Tribune.

Boyle has torn down stereotypes with her simple dream and has helped us become aware of our own frequent judgments and preconceived notions.

“Boyle has shattered prejudices about the connection between age, appearance and talent. She has proved that you don’t have to be young and glamorous to be talented, and recognized as such,” according to BBC News.

We tend to believe that it is vital to be young and beautiful in order to be successful in the artistic world, but Susan Boyle has proved us wrong. Hopefully this phenomenon will affect the way we view others in the future. Let us not, as they say, judge books by their cover, but appreciate them for what is on the inside.

We appear to be in constant pursuit for someone or something to catapult our hopes and dreams into an achievable reality, whether it is a song, a poem or even a middle-aged Scottish woman singing her heart out. Although her appearance is not what we expect from celebrities, Boyle’s rendition of a Broadway classic gave fellow contestants a run for their money. Viewers were ready to respond with judgment and disgust, but what we all received was a much-needed lesson.


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