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What the Susan Boyle Hype Says About Our Society

I thought of this a couple days ago when the hype about Susan Boyle was at its peak, but refrained from writing anything, since it seemed that I was alone in my view of this. However, after seeing a few different perspectives, including someone’s Facebook status message questioning the hype, I decided maybe it was okay to now express my differing viewpoint on this.

Here is the status message and my response to it:

“…is trying really hard to understand the Susan Boyle hype but just doesn’t get it.”

The hype really says more about the people hyping her than it does about her.  She is just an average woman with a great voice.  The hype comes from people looking at her and seeing some “poor, less-than-pretty looking joke of a middle-aged woman” and then being shocked — shocked!!! — that such a person could have any talent whatsoever, since most people today only worship at the altar of no-talent hacks who just happen to have won the lottery in the gene pool as far as looks are concerned.

I think the hype really shows how shallow most people are.  They basically look at her in their condescending view saying “oh look, how cute, an ‘ugly’ woman who can sing.  Isn’t that precious!”

It’s really the complete opposite of what our culture usually does: instead of making stars out of people with marginal talent who are physically attractive, she has become a star solely because she is less physically attractive.

That said, I thought her performance was great.  But when I watched one of the videos on YouTube and they were scrolling the crowd before she sung, you could see plenty of people rolling their eyes and looking down upon her as a joke based on her looks and her shy demeanor.  Then all of a sudden they started cheering her raucously, because their shallow views had been shattered.  But it’s still condescending, because she is given special treatment as a star solely because she is “a shy, ugly person who can sing, how cute!”

I added a little bit more when others commented on my Facebook link:

This is not to say that she didn’t perform really well.  But really the hype is because people looked at her so badly and their standards for what they expected from her were so low that even if she had given an average performance, they would deem it “the most amazing performance EVAH!”  Which is sad.  Like I said, it’s the opposite of what we usually do in our society, which is start with a little petite hottie chick and then basically whatever comes out of her mouth, if she sings just decently and is bearable to listen to, then she’s a STAR!!!  Well, this is the opposite.  Again, she was judged by her looks and demeanor and then standards were lowered and she was deemed a star, because of lowered expectations.  That’s completely unfair to her, because she is being treated differently solely based on her looks.

April 20, 2009 , 5:42PM Posted by | Hollywood, Susan Boyle | 4 Comments