Susan Boyle Reveals Just How Shallow We Really Are

Land Of Punt is not partial to “internet sensations.” Generally, they’re either freaks doing freakish things or shameless jesters debasing themselves for fleeting glory.

However, there’s one talent that can transcend anyone beyond the realm of freak-dom into the next level of entertainment. That talent is singing. And Susan Boyle can sing.

This is Susan Boyle.  She looks like that aunt that gives you awful smelling sweaters for Christmas.

This is Susan Boyle. She looks like that aunt everyone has with the mustache that always gives you awful smelling sweaters for Christmas.

Appearing as a contestant on the third season of Britain’s Got Talent, the 48-year old Scottish church volunteer raised eyebrows as she stumbled onto the stage. This middle-aged, frumpy, unattractive spinster with Groucho Marx eye brows is going to sing?

The audience chuckled as she flirted with judge Simon Cowell (by law Cowell has to be on every talent-based reality show in the world). “This abhorrent woman can’t possibly sing,” was probably the thought passing through everyone’s mind. She’s a librarian waiting to happen.

Then the music to “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Misérables started playing and a few bars later Boyle started singing. Emitting from her lipless mouth was an incredibly beautiful voice. It was like listening to Andrea Bocelli sing while watching Andrea Bocelli sing.

Susan Boyle versus Christina Aguilera.

Susan Boyle versus Christina Aguilera.

The judges faked being surprised (they knew what was coming, Boyle was vetted like a candidate for prime minister and the moment was scripted) but the audience did not. Boyle received a standing ovation.

The video of her singing has been seen by over 25 million people on Youtube. That’s almost half the views of any decent porn video posted on-line.

Her story has been picked up by numerous newspapers including The Sun, Daily Mirror, New York Daily News, Herald Sun, Maclean’s, Der Spiegel, Xinhua News Agency, Macau Post Daily, Correio da Manhã, The Chosun Ilbo, and De Telegraaf.

Susan Boyle versus Gwen Stefani.

Susan Boyle versus Gwen Stefani.

Numerous television shows have highlighted her plight: The Five Thirty Show, The Early Show, Good Morning America, and FOX’s America’s Newsroom. There’s even word that she’s scheduled to appear on the greatest television show ever produced in the history of humanity—The Oprah Winfrey Show.

Needless to say a record deal is in the works (Simon’s Syco label). You can’t appear on Oprah and not have something to sell. Now, Boyle has made a recording before, it dropped back in 1999. She recorded “Cry Me A River” for a charity album. There’s a 1,000 copies of that recording in existent.


Boyle hails from Blackburn, Scotland and is the youngest of nine children. At one time she was studying voice but gave it up to tend to her sick mother who died in 2007 at the age of 91 (it was her mother’s wish that Susan pursue singing in front of an audience that’s larger than a church group). She’s unemployed, unmarried and has a learning disability (although that’s never stopped someone from being famous before). She is by no stretch of the imagination an underdog

Of course no matter what she goes on to do professionally (she wants to star in musicals like her heroine Elaine Paige) she’ll always be the ugly singer with the beautiful voice—a person with real talent that’s not supposed to be talented at all.

Susan Boyle versus Beyonce Knowles

Susan Boyle versus Beyonce Knowles

In a society obsessed with a media that’s obsessed with telling us that we’re obsessed with physical appearance (LOP thinks our culture isn’t as appearance oriented as the media makes us out to be), we are led to believe that beauty can only come from beautiful things—in particular beauty can’t come from ugly women in their forties. The audience would not have been half as shocked if a man of similar age and appearance possess a stunning singing acumen.

Boyle’s sudden rise to fame begs the question why are we so shocked and fascinated by her talent? Is because of her status as an underdog? Is it because she’s unattractive? Or is it a combination of the two? Regardless of the answer, it still comes back around to one irrefutable truth: like all female singers Boyle will always be judged by her looks.

Click here to watch the video.

Land of Punt acknowledges the concepts of beauty and ugliness are relative and decided by the culture at large. The terms were used in the above article to expedite the writing process and to make a point.

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