SBG recently talked about Susan Boyle, the singer who blew everyone away on Britain’s Got Talent despite, gasp, not looking like a Hollywood starlet. The reactions to this woman’s looks have been interesting, to say the least. Katie Couric called Boyle’s story “a reminder that looks can be deceiving” – I believe this was meant entirely as a compliment, but it begs a troubling question: when on earth did we get the idea that talent and starlet looks typically go together? Years ago, the stereotype was that beautiful women lacked talent and brains, and beautiful women really struggled to be taken seriously (think Marilyn Monroe, for just one example). Have we swung to the opposite extreme – the idea that non-beautiful people can’t have exciting talent or brains – without pausing to consider that maybe, just maybe, there’s no correlation between how a person looks and what they can do?
Or is it just that people feel if you’re going to inflict your entertaining presence on us as an audience, and you’re female, you owe it to us to look a certain way? These people would like to give Susan Boyle a makeover. Amanda Holden thinks her ordinary appearance is an advantage (sorry, it’s near the end of the video) because ordinary-looking people relate to her. I wonder why her looks can’t just be a non-issue.
What are your thoughts?